The City of El Paso is turning 150 years old this year, and various events are planned throughout the community to celebrate the milestone.
We invite our friends, family, and visitors to help us pay tribute to the pioneers who ventured into the unknown, the resilient spirit of its people, and the cultural mosaic that defines the Sun City.
Founded as El Paso del Norte by Spanish Franciscan friars, El Paso was a small agricultural settlement along the Rio Grande River. It served as an important pass to the northern settlements and remains to be an important port of entry for the United States. As the community grew, El Paso leaders saw the need to develop a City Charter and establish a formal municipality. Joseph Magoffin and Allen Blacker, who would later serve as a district judge of El Paso, delivered the City Charter to Austin in May 1873. It was presented to the legislature and approved on May 17, 1873. It was officially signed and sealed on June 18, 1873.
Join us on this journey through time as we explore the stories, achievements, and milestones that have shaped El Paso into the vibrant and welcoming community it is today.
Together, let us honor the past, celebrate the present, and forge a future that continues to embody the spirit of El Paso!
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Are you ready to party?! Join us in commemorating El Paso's 150th sesquicentennial celebration with a series of unforgettable events that pay homage to our city's rich history and vibrant spirit. Adopt a dog or cat, go on a scavager hunt, or dance the night away to music in one of our many parks.
We're hosting free events and activities all over the city of El Paso for everyone to participate in and join in on the celebration.
Stay on top of the Sesquicentennial Celebration by viewing the playlist above as new videos are added.
The Mayor and City Council share their thoughts on what makes El Paso an amazing community and what their wish is for our City.
Want to watch more? Check out the Sesquicentennial Celebration Playlist!
Share your favorite memory from being a part of our wonderful and unique community, or tell us why you love El Paso.
Joseph Magoffin and Allen Blacker, who would later serve as a district judge of El Paso, delivered the City Charter to Austin in May 1873. It was presented to the legislature and approved on May 17, 1873. It was officially signed and sealed on June 18, 1873.
The first electric-powered streetcar was built in 1902 and served Downtown El Paso. The streetcar ceased operation in 1974. Funded by state incentives, the streetcar returned in 2017 and provides service in Uptown and Downtown El Paso.
U.S. President William H. Taft and President Porfirio Diaz of Mexico held the first U.S.-Mexico summit in El Paso. This meeting was celebrated on both sides of the border with great fanfare, parades, and lavish receptions for the dignitaries and their entourage.
The State School of Mines and Metallurgy, what would later become The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), officially open in September 1914. A devastating fire destroyed the main building of the school in 1916. The school was rebuilt in the Dzong architectural style. The selection of the unique architecture style is credited to Kathleen Worrell, wife of the university's dean, was attracted by photographs of the Kingdom of Bhutan in a 1914 issue of National Geographic magazine, which showed the dzong architecture style of its Buddhist monasteries.
The El Paso Municipal Airport opened in September 1928. Charles A. Lindbergh's visit to El Paso prompted its construction.
The Plaza Theatre was opened in September 1930 and was dubbed the "Showplace of the Southwest." The theatre was designed in the Spanish hacienda architectural style.
The first Star on the Mountain was built by El Paso Electric on the south-facing side of the Franklin Mountains in 1940. The star still shines today.
Raymond Telles, the first Mexican American Mayor of a major American city, was elected in El Paso in 1957. Telles later became the first Hispanic American appointed as U.S. Ambassador. Telles was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to serve in Costa Rica.
The Chamizal Convention of 1963 brought together U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and President Adolfo Lopez Mateos of Mexico to define the international border between the U.S. and Mexico. The Chamizal National Monument was established in 1964 to commemorate this historic event.
The Abraham Chavez Theatre was built in 1973, followed by the Judson F. Williams Convention Center in 1974. Both facilities were named after notable El Pasoans.
Sun City Area Transit was renamed Sun Metro in 1987. Sun Metro provides a variety of public transportation in El Paso including a fixed route, BRIO Rapid Transit System, Streetcar, and LIFT paratransit services.
The El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) was relocated to its current location at 1 Arts Festival Plaza in downtown El Paso. EPMA is the only American Alliance of Museums-accredited art museum within a 200-mile radius, one of the few accredited museums in all of West Texas, and serves as a major cultural and educational resource for West Texas, New Mexico, and Northern Mexico with nearly 100,000 visitors each year.
The renovated Plaza Theatre was reopened in March 2006. The first act to grace the stage was Riverdance, which sold out multiple performances. The Plaza hosts a variety of entertainment offerings throughout the year including music, comedy, and theatre performances and productions.
Southwest University Ballpark opened in April 2014. Our AAA baseball team, the El Paso Chihuahuas, play at this awarding-winning site.
Our USL soccer team, El Paso Locomotive FC, began play in El Paso. The Locomotive play at the Southwest University Ballpark, sharing the site with the El Paso Chihuahuas.
The City of El Paso celebrates its 150th birthday in May 2023. Happy birthday, El Paso!
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