San Diego

Stagecoach Days Highlight History in Old Town San Diego

The event brings free activities to Old Town on Saturdays in July and August, including historical demonstrations

A series of free summertime events kick off this weekend at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park highlighting what life was like for locals way back when.

“Stagecoach Days” runs for eight Saturdays – each Saturday this month and through Aug. 26 – at the central plaza in the heart of Old Town. From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can check out historical demonstrations, partake in activities, listen to stories and songs and learn all about the mid-1800s history that shaped San Diego.

This year, “Stagecoach Days” will focus on early modes of transportation so visitors can learn about what it took to get around back in the day.

Each week, the events will correspond with a theme. This Saturday, for instance, the focus is on “Games & Amusements,” showcasing the games San Diegans played in the 19th century.


On July 15, the “Women of the West” theme will highlight the contributions of women on the settlement of the west through demonstrations and activities. The park’s “Quilt Walk,” also on this date, will offer a look at antique quilts.

On July 22, curious foodies can take a trip back in time with the “Taste of the Past” theme, focusing on how food was acquired, prepared and celebrated by people in early San Diego. On July 26, the “Soldiers and Citizens” theme will explore the military in San Diego – down to the uniforms, weapons, and stories – and how soldiers of many cultures impacted life here in the mid-1800s.

The Aug. 5 event, “Trades That Shaped Westward Expansion,” will explore San Diego’s 19th-century trades and artisans. On Aug. 12, “Days of the Vaquero,” will highlight the first cowboys in California and all of their skills.

On Aug. 19, “TwainFest” will celebrate the literary works of Mark Twain and other 19th century authors. Local actors, in costumes, will be depicting excerpts from famous works throughout the park.

In closing, the “West on the Move” event on Aug. 26 will be all about how the California Gold Rush brought folks by the thousands to San Diego.

“Stagecoach Days” activities are free and open to visitors of all ages.

Gregg Giacopuzzi, of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, said the summertime event is the biggest showcase of the park’s unique historical demonstrations.


Made possible by volunteers dressed to the nines in period attire – with historically accurate fabrics and patterns, to boot – Giacopuzzi said each display “paints the picture of life back in the 19th century.”

For a more in-depth look at Old Town San Diego and some must-see activities, click here.

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