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Happy 241st birthday, Tucson!

Posted at 9:33 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-20 00:57:50-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) --  Happy 241st birthday, Tucson!

On Friday night a celebration was held at the Presidio Museum downtown. The Presidio San Agustin del Tucson is a re-creation of the original Presidio built in 1775. Remnants of the original building still sit at the corner Washington and Court Streets.

Historians say Tucson was founded on August 20th, 1775 when Hugo O'Conor declared that Tucson would be the site of the Presidio. O'Conor was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Spanish army. It's said he chose the site in what is now downtown because of it's proximity to the Santa Cruz river. 

Homer Thiel with the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation says the original building stood until 1856. In 2007, city of Tucson rebuilt the northeast corner of the presidio. Now the preservation group holds living history events, Thiel said. 

The free annual event on Friday included food, music, a ceremony and canon firing. The canon was a replica of what would have been used in the late 1700's. It included real gunpowder, and was packed down with oatmeal.

The food represented about 4,000 years of food in Southern Arizona to include pozole, prickly pear jelly, and johnny cakes.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild also spoke about the significance of Tucson's recent designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

The event was organized by the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission and the Presidio Museum and was sponsored by Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment.