Presidio to celebrate its 340th anniversary with art, poetry and street fair

PRESIDIO — This weekend, Presidio will celebrate its 340th anniversary with a series of events celebrating the area’s long and storied past. The event will kick off on Thursday evening with an art opening and will culminate on Saturday night with a community fiesta and dance along the town’s main drag. 

1683 — the date featured on welcome signs leading into town — isn’t the date that the city was incorporated. Instead, it marks the year that Jumano leader Juan Sabeata traveled to El Paso to petition the Spanish to build missions in the area. The Spanish maintained a presence in the area over the next century, eventually leading to the construction of a presidio, or garrison — after which the modern-day town is named. 

On Thursday, November 9, the Bean Café (506 O’Reilly Street) will host a tribute to artist Laurie Holman and to the Ferguson family. Holman — who has inspired numerous young Presidians over the years — is known for her paintings celebrating local landscapes and people. The Fergusons will be recognized for their contribution to the music scene in Ojinaga and Presidio. 

The celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. and will feature local art by Jorge Avena, Yosdy Valdivia, Andrei Renteria, Alouy Martinez, Anthony Carrasco and Ramon Deanda. There will also be a music recital by former Presidio High School students, Mariachi Santa Cruz and the Resonators.

On Friday, November 10, the PMDD office (Arrowhead Plaza) on O’Reilly Street will host a book reading at 7 p.m. by poet Margo Tamez, a Lipan Apache poet whose work engages Indigenous thought, colonial violence and the poetics of the “unwriteable, unsayable and unthinkable.” Tamez will also lead a discussion on Indigenous life in Presidio and the Texas borderlands.

On Saturday, November 11, the celebration will cap off in a festive mood by blocking off the town’s main drag for a “Celebration Dance Night” from 12 p.m. to midnight. The dance will feature performances by Presidio favorites Chet O’Keefe, Generacion X, Proyecto D and Zauna.