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Tucson's annual Dillinger Days is off, but will live on in Congress Cookout event

Tucson's annual Dillinger Days is off, but will live on in Congress Cookout event

Instead of a three-day event, the 2021 Hotel Congress Dillinger Days will morph into “Congress Cookout: The Dillinger Days Edition” on Sunday.

Tucson’s annual Dillinger Days celebration is getting the COVID-19 treatment with a scaled-down festival and a virtual twist to the decades-old capture of one of America’s most notorious gangsters.

Hotel Congress is teaming up with the Southern Arizona Blues and Heritage Foundation and the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation for its “Congress Cookout: The Dillinger Days Edition.”

The event is from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, and will feature a concert by longtime Dillinger Days swing band, Kings Of Pleasure.

The celebration, which will take place at the hotel, 311 E. Congress St., also includes a costume contest, BBQ and Depression-era cuisine at the cookout food truck, vintage cars and the historic fire trucks that helped put out the 1934 fire at Hotel Congress that eventually led to the outlaw’s capture.

Tickets are $10 through Hotel Congress, hotelcongress.com, and attendance will be limited to 100 to comply with COVID-19 social distancing protocols, organizers said.

Hotel Congress was forced to cancel the annual Dillinger Days festival because of the state’s increasing COVID-19 positive infection rates.

The event also will feature a trio of streamed features from Hotel Congress’s website and Facebook page, facebook.com/hotelcongress:

  • A virtual tour of the hotel, highlighting its history.
  • A video of the annual reenactment of the Dillinger capture that was filmed a few years ago as part of the annual Dillinger Days celebration.
  • And a video from 1994 of the very first Dillinger Days reenactment performed in the Hotel Congress lobby.

 

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