People check out the booths at the Fiesta de Tumacácori in 2018.

In a decision made “with great regret and after much deliberation,” Tumacácori National Historical Park said it is cancelling the 2021 Fiesta de Tumacácori, which had been set for the first weekend in December.

It’s the second cancellation in the 50-year history of the fiesta, an annual celebration of the cultures that have lived in and influenced the historical Santa Cruz Valley. The first was in 2020. 

“It was a very difficult decision to make – even more difficult than the first-ever cancellation, last year during the height of the COVID epidemic,” Park Superintendent Bob Love said in a news release in which he described the fiesta as “our biggest annual event.”

Many factors contributed to the the decision to cancel this year’s fiesta, the park said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic remains a major and unpredictable factor for the community,” it said in the news release, adding that another significant concern developed more recently: the possibility of a partial government shutdown.

The federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution signed in October that expires on Friday, Dec. 3, the night before the Tumacácori Fiesta was scheduled to begin.

“The fiesta requires months of planning and preparation and the investment of significant time and money for everyone involved. If Congress has not passed a new budget or a new continuing resolution by that night, the federal government will ‘shut down,’” the park said. “Under those circumstances, it is illegal for park staff to work, even on a voluntary basis, or for the park to spend money – performers, cultural demonstrators, and partners could not be paid.”

The park has been looking forward to celebrating it 50th fiesta, Love said, adding: “The 50th Tumacácori Fiesta will be extra special and exciting – it just won’t be this year. Mark it on your calendar to come party with us in December 2022!” 

In the meantime, the park, including the visitor center and museum building, remain open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Anza Trail, which runs through park lands, is available 24 hours a day.

For more information, see or call (520) 377-5061.

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