Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum Celebrates the Season with Luminaria Night - Dec. 9, 3 pm

Featuring special guests: David Fitzsimmons, Ellen Edmonson Murphy, and the Carrillo School Children’s Posada

The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum (Presidio Museum) will celebrate the season during Living History Luminaria Night on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 3-8 pm. This annual event brings together the best of Southern Arizona tradition and this year is the best yet.

The Museum is pleased to host the Carrillo School presenting its 81st Annual Posada.   Las Posadas is a traditional Mexican holiday observance that re-enacts the journey of Mary and Joseph while they look for shelter in Bethlehem on the eve of baby Jesus’ birth.  It is also an important Tucson tradition that has been performed by Carrillo School children and their families for decades. Get ready for little angels looking for a place to rest inside the walls of the beautiful Presidion on a chilly holiday evening!

The Museum is also pleased to host David Fitzsimmons and Ellen Edmonson Murphy who will do a bilingual reading of The Night Before Christmas /Era la Vispera de Navidad.  Fitzsimmons is the well-loved local editorial cartoonist for the Arizona Daily Star and Ellen Edmonson Murphy is a respected local musician and educator.  Murphy will follow the reading with her version of Lalo Guerrero’s Pancho Claus, a “Spanglish” adaptation that tells of Christmas tradition in the Southwest.

The schedule is as follows:

3:15 pm – Arrival of Carrillo School’s Las Posadas procession ending with traditional piñata. This procession will end around 4 pm.

4:15 pm – Presidio Cannon Fire

4:35 pm – Featuring the Arizona Daily Star’s David Fitzsimmons and Ellen Edmonson Murphy, The Night Before Christmas/Era la Vispera de Navidad read in both English and Spanish

5:10 pm –Pancho Claus performed by Edmonson Murphy

5:30 pm – Night Musket demonstration on the ramparts

5:40 pm: Traditional period carols of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries performed by El Camino Ancho

6:45 - Presidio Cannon Fire

7:05 pm – The Night Before Christmas/Era la Vispera de Navidad read in English and Spanish by Fitzsimmons and Edmonson Murphy

7:40 pm – Pancho Claus repeated by Edmonson Murphy

Throughout the evening:

·       Free Champurrado (traditional Mexican hot chocolate)

·       Single tamales and tamale plates available for sale at the kitchen door

·       Christmas tree and cookie decorating

·       Tin-smithing activity and ornament making

·       Traditional carols from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries will be performed by El Camino Ancho

·       Living history demonstrations including weaving, children’s games, and Old and New World Foods.

·       Museum Shop open for holiday shopping.

This is a unique opportunity to visit the Presidio Museum in the evening and enjoy old world holiday décor and ambiance during this beautiful Southwest tradition.

Admission to Living History Days is included in museum admission of $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-14, and free for Presidio Museum members and children 5 and under.  Living History Days will return to their regular schedule in the new year of every second Saturday from 10 am – 3 pm through April. 

The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum is located on the northeast corner of the original Presidio at 196 N. Court Ave. The Presidio Museum is a reconstruction of the original Tucson Presidio built in 1775.  Docent tours give visitors a glimpse of what life in the Presidio was like for soldiers and other residents.  Additional highlights include an original 150-year-old Sonoran row house and a 2,000-year-old prehistoric pit house.  Living History Days are held on the second Saturday of the month from October through April to allow visitors to experience firsthand Tucson’s history. The Presidio Museum is managed by the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation, a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to guide and aid in the interpretation of history at the Presidio San Agustín through research, education and living history experiences.