Presidio of San Francisco (June 21, 2011) — For the 12th consecutive year, the Presidio is hosting a “birthday party” for the city of San Francisco. Pasados del Presidio is a series of free, public programs commemorating the journey, 235 years ago, of a group of soldiers and pioneering families from Mexico to the bay in Alta California. Their modest, fortified settlement, El Presidio, would eventually grow into the Presidio we know today and the city of San Francisco.
This year’s commemoration begins “Around the Campfire with Anza” on Thursday evening June 23 at 7 pm at the Rob Hill Campground. Listen as “Juan Bautista de Anza” and friends take visitors on a special journey to Alta California. A new program, the evening includes living history, stories, and songs around the fire. Bring a flashlight. Parking is limited.
The following day, hundreds of children are expected to take part in an “Afternoon of Fun” at the Golden Gate Club. This free indoor and outdoor event runs from noon until 3 pm on Friday, June 24, and offers kids and their families a chance to experience early California life through traditional Ohlone games and stories; music and dance from the Spanish era; and hands-on activities. For the first time the Russian influence in early California will be highlighted with Russian dancers from Fort Ross.
“They can grind corn, make adobe bricks, create pottery, pet a donkey and meet descendants of early California settlers, all within a beautiful park setting,” says Lisa Hillstrom who organizes the event each year for the Presidio Trust. “It’s really about kids connecting with the park, creating a day for them that sparks their curiosity about the Presidio’s past so they’ll want to return with their friends and family and learn more.”
Friday evening, the lively and popular concert, Evening Fandango by the renownedCoro de Hispano de San Francisco directed by Juan Pedro Gaffney R., will celebrate the songs and dances of early California. This year’s guest artist is the Mexican-American roots band,Los Cenzontles. The concert begins at 7 pm at the Golden Gate Club. A free PresidiGo shuttle will run until 9:30 pm to connect concert-goers with Muni lines 43 and 45 at the transit center.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco,a 1,491-acre urban national park site that is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio was in continuous use as a military post from 1776 to 1994, spanning the Spanish, Mexican, and United States periods. From March 28, 1776, when Spain’s Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza arrived at the Golden Gate, until October 1, 1994, when the Sixth U.S. Army marched out the gate for the last time, the Presidio of San Francisco was a military post with local, regional, continental, and global connections. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District. The Presidio is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.”