If you’re interested in seeing the best of Tucson, Arizona, Shaun Michael Sabia wants to make sure you don’t miss his favorite event. Dillinger Days, held each year in January, takes visitors back to the time of the capture of John Dillinger in Tucson. The notorious gangster and his crew were apprehended Jan. 25, 1934, as they hid out in warmer temperatures after committing a series of crimes from Kentucky to South Dakota. The event begins at the historic Hotel Congress, where Dillinger and his gang had stayed.
When Shaun Michael Sabia traveled to Tucson in 2019, he was fortunate to take part in the 25th anniversary of Dillinger Days. He said it was hands down the best part of his trip to Tucson, and it’s easy to understand why when you check out the well-planned annual event and the many activities and special events.
The two-day Dillinger Days sets up with whiskey tastings featuring exquisite brands, as well as delicious appetizers and high-end cigars. Attendees can browse at a gun show and enjoy live music and other entertainment plucked from the 1930s. The Friday speakeasy event is very popular, Shaun Michael Sabia says, and VIP tickets sell out quickly. The speakeasy menu is tantalizing, featuring scrumptious main dishes, rustic vegetables, artisan bread and crackers, quality cheeses, luxurious treats and desserts, and much more. Shaun Michael Sabia said he loved the fantastic foods.
The first day sets the stage for Saturday’s exciting Dillinger Days Reenactments, the main event that Shaun Michael Sabia says is what everyone is waiting for. The show takes place three times, and tickets also include brunch, a beverage and a commemorative gift. Those in the audience get great outdoor seats to see the action, which features actors in period costumes, gunfire, and the ensuing capture of Dillinger and his men.
Other events and activities held as part of Dillinger Days, Shaun Michael Sabia says, include a vintage car show, an exhibit of historic artifacts, lectures, an arts and crafts show, walking tours of Tucson’s historic downtown, and a display of Dillinger’s actual Tommy gun.
If you plan a winter trip to Tucson, Shaun Sabis says to try to be there in January during Dillinger Days. Shaun Michael Sabia is sure you’ll have a fantastic visit and take home some great memories from being immersed in the 1930s and watching Public Enemy No. 1 get taken down.