Picnic in the Park - Lower Presidio Historic Park

Old Monterey Foundation to hold “Picnic in the Park" at Lower Presidio Historic Park” on Saturday, July 1, 2017 from 11 am – 3 pm

Kick off your 4th of July holiday weekend fun at this free family-friendly event! Old Monterey Foundation will hold the “Picnic in the Park” at Lower Presidio Historic Park on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Bring your friends and family to this “FUNdraiser” and enjoy great food, live entertainment, historic reenactments, walking tours, costume contests, scavenger hunt, prizes and much more. Enjoy spectacular views of the beautiful Monterey Bay, Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterey Harbor at this park that is hidden in plain view.  See the “before”, which is now and what we envision the “after” to be! Old Monterey Foundation is raising funds to develop trails and interpretive sign for all the monuments to enhance and restore this park which is considered “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast”.

At a Glance:


“Picnic in the Park” at Lower Presidio Historic Park hosted by Old Monterey Foundation will feature:

•           Delicious food for your picnic -- from hamburgers to tacos, seafood to sweet treats – available from several visiting Food Trucks; This family friendly picnic features diverse ethnic and American cuisines from your favorite Monterey Bay vendors including: Taste of Mexico, Caesars Etc., Indian Gourmet, Poke Lab, and other sweet treats and brews, including wine and beer

•           Live Musical Entertainment with Derek Bodkin & the Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble featuring folk, rock and seafaring music

•           DiFranco DanceProject, a local youth dance troupe

•           Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company of Pacific Grove

•           Argentinian Privateer Hippolyte Bouchard (regarded by his victims as a pirate) and his loyal crew will reenact the capture of the Presidio of Monterey (El Castillo) in 1818.  

•           Kids and adults are welcome to dress as pirates and be part of the reenactment

•           Costume contests with prizes for best dressed pirate-both kids and adult- there will be lots of pirate booty!

•           Photo Ops with pirates and historic reenactors

•           Scavenger Hunt with Prizes

•           Face painting for the kids

           Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the day!

•           Visit the Presidio of Monterey Museum, also located on the site and operated by the City of Monterey, an excellent place to view exhibits, artifacts, and videos that lead visitors through Monterey's various stages of military development from the indigenous period which highlights the area's native populations; through the Spanish and Mexican periods; and up to present day.

•           Free Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours with historian Tim Thomas at 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Tim will share why Lower Presidio Historic Park is considered by many professional historians as "The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast". 

•           Walk the trails and see the planned interpretive historic signs and trails

•           Visit the restored Saint Serra statue

•           Learn more about Old Monterey’s Foundation’s (a 501(c)3 non-profit) Lower Presidio Historic Park Project – and how to get involved and become a Friend of the Lower Presidio.  

•           Ample on-site parking


Saturday, July 1, 2017 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm  


Lower Presidio Historic Park. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork. turn left at the stop sign onto Artillery Road. From Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right. Lower Presidio Historic Park also features the Presidio of Monterey Museum located at Corporal Ewing Road, Bldg. 113 (Map/More Directions: http://www.monterey.org/museums/Home/Map-and-Directions?2)

Sponsors: Thank you to our valued media sponsors:   KSBW 8 NBC, Central Coast ABC and Estrella TV Costa Central. Also, a big thank you to Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association and Peter B’s Brewpub.


(831) 346-3030 or [email protected]. Check out the website at www.oldmontereyfoundation.org.

About Lower Presidio Historic Park

Lower Presidio Historic Park is considered by many professional historians as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast”. The Picnic in the Park event will highlight the park’s fascinating history as well as the current on-going work to raise funds to restore and enhance this 25.3 acre park with incredible views of the Monterey Bay.  Old Monterey Foundation is seeking additional funds to develop the handicapped accessible trail to the Sloat Monument, historic signs and more.

The Lower Presidio Historic Park is one of the least-visited historic parks in the area due to some confusion about whether the public is allowed in the area.  Situated in a “hidden in plain sight” location, the park features spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Harbor and will become a jewel of the City of Monterey’s park system.

Old Monterey Foundation invites everyone to become members of "Friends of the Lower Presidio" at  www.oldmontereyfoundation.org and make tax-deductible donations to more quickly restore the park. 

The City of Monterey Outreach Office produced an informative short video about the Lower Presidio Historic Park and its significance to California and American history:  https://youtu.be/Lg7X0spnC4k

About the Live Entertainment

Derek Bodkin and the Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble

Derek Bodkin and the “Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble” is a wonderful experience of folk rock grooves and deeply insightful lyrics. Derek Bodkin’s eclectic musical background and performance experience has made him a sought-after artist in venues, festivals and events across the western United States.

DiFranco Dance Project

The DiFranco DanceProject, a local youth group, presents a lively, colorful, culturally diverse dance programs by dancers ranging in age from 8 to 18 years, representing Americana, New Orleans Jazz, Afro–Samba of Bahia and Afro–Cuban Fusion and even a unique blend of Afro–Celtic Dance. The dancers of the DiFranco DanceProject, are students of Dianne Lyle's Afro-Latin Jazz Dance classes, sponsored by the City Pacific Grove Recreation Department. Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company of Pacific Grove will join the dancers, offering a medley of songs from their upcoming production of 'Singin' In The Rain, Jr.'.

About Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas, fourth-generation native of the Monterey area, is a popular speaker and lively tour guide. For 16 years, he was historian and curator for the Monterey Maritime & History Museum and has worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California State Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He is author of "The Abalone King of Monterey: 'Pop' Ernest Doelter," "The Japanese on the Monterey Peninsula" and co-author of "Monterey's Waterfront." Tim also conducts monthly “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours”, “Wharf Walks” on Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row Walking Tours.

Bouchard and His Merry Crew

To tell the fascinating story of Bouchard and his crew, there will be historic living history characters who will tell stories with audience participation.  Come learn more about Argentine Hippolyte Bouchard’s raid in 1818 when he attacked the City of Monterey, the only land and sea battle ever to occur on the West Coast of the United States. Maria Antoni Pico’s fascinating recollection about this event will be shared with attendees.

About the Presidio Museum of Monterey

The Presidio Museum of Monterey, on site at the Lower Presidio Historic Park, features a myriad of fascinating exhibits that lead visitors through Monterey's stages of military development from the indigenous period which highlights the area's native populations up to present day.   The Presidio Museum of Monterey is open Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.