This past Saturday Douglas’ Centennial Committee kicked off what will be the first of four straight weekends of events all celebrating Arizona’s 100th birthday.
A replica of the Douglas Glider was unveiled Saturday; Douglas’ Mayor Danny Ortega Jr. delivered a proclamation address declaring October Arizona Centennial Month in Douglas and a letter signed by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 5, 1933 when the airport was dedicated was raffled off.
Arizona Author/Historian Arvin Shultz is working with designer Richard Ivansek at recreating the plan that was originally built in the early 1900’s. The glider, which, according to Ivansek, is about 90 percent complete, is 20 feet long and has a wing span of 30 feet.
Schultz said the glider is actually flyable but neither he nor Ivansek are willing to take a chance on damaging something that has taken months to build.
Ivansek said projects like this keep him going.
“I’m 85 years old and this gives me something to do,” he said. “This has been a lot of fun. … I tried to build it just the way it was back then.”
Mayor Ortega said Douglas played such an important role in Arizona’s history.
“I’m glad we can be a part of it,” he said. “I hope people get out and realize what an important part Douglas played in the history of Arizona. Come out enjoy it, celebrate and be proud to be from Douglas.”
This weekend will be Authors and Artists Weekend at the Gadsden Hotel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature authors who have written about the Douglas community or live in the community. They will also be selling their books and art. The highlight of this weekend’s event will be former Arizona Governor Raul Castro’s participation in the event. The winners of the Spirit of Douglas essay contest will also be honored.
On Oct 20, a Music Festival featuring songs of Leonardo Yanez sung by the Mariachi Folklorico 18 of Sonora and songs by Stan Jones, sung by his great nephew and renowned musician Keeter Stuart will take place at Castro Park from 4-9 p.m.
On Oct. 27, from 1-4 p.m. a photo exhibit and time capsule reception will take place in the Government Building on G Ave. Various contributions by both youth and community leaders will be sealed in the time capsule and opened in 50 years. Cochise College is making the time capsule so that the community and their contribution will be memorialized in the time capsule for their hard work.
All during the Month of October the History Makers on the Move and an exhibit of Historical leaders from Cochise County and Photos of Douglas will be shown at the new Government Building on 10th Street and G Avenue.
“We hope the Douglas will take advantage of the free events,” said Kathleen Gomez, member of Douglas’ Centennial Committee. “It is our history, come and relive it and bring your children or grandchildren so that they can learn what great history lies in this town.”
For additional information regarding these events contact Gomez at (520) 456-6818 or email@example.com.