The Arizona Sonora Western Heritage Foundation, in cooperation with Old Tucson Company, will welcome 3,000 local fourth, fifth and sixth graders during the 24th Annual Ted Walker Youth Day on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The children will receive complimentary park admission and enjoy a hot dog lunch donated by the Dan Felix Memorial Foundation and Pima County Parklands Foundation. Old Tucson will be open to the public until 2:00 pm during the event.

Co-sponsored by Old Tucson and Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, Ted Walker Youth Day is a one-of-a-kind field trip for students. The event is dedicated to enhancing the childhood experience and knowledge of local Western heritage for Southern Arizona kids through experience-based learning. Pima County Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ted Walker started Youth Day in 1988 and the annual event was named for him after his death in 1993 in recognition of his charitable and civic contributions to the community.

Old Tucson will present western entertainment and educational Living History presentations covering topics like Schools on the Frontier, History of the Stagecoach and The American Cowboy throughout the day. The Living History presentations align Old Tucson with the work of the Arizona Sonora Western Heritage Foundation whose mission is to inspire people to embrace the complex history and cultures of the Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico region. In cooperation with Old Tucson Company, the Foundation has submitted proposed plans to expand Old Tucson into a multi-cultural, Western heritage center.

The event, which also features educational exhibits by more than 20 local organizations including the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Pima County Public Library, Pima Air & Space Museum, and Kitt Peak National Optical Astronomy Observatory, is designed to provide a fun-filled day of activity and education to local area school children who might not otherwise have this opportunity. Other participating organizations include 88-Crime, Buffalo Soldiers, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Drexel Heights Fire Dept., Horse Tales Literacy Project and many more.

For information on how to include a school group for 2015, please contact Kelly Cheeseman (Recreation Program Manager, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation) at 520-877-6155 or

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