Festival recreates landing of explorer Cabrillo.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered San Diego Bay for Spain in 1542.
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered San Diego Bay for Spain in 1542.

San Diego’s 51st Annual Cabrillo Festival was held today. Taking place at Ballast Point near the south end of Naval Base Point Loma, the event allowed the public to view a reenactment of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s entrance into San Diego Bay in 1542. Cabrillo, born in Portugal, commanded his voyage of discovery on behalf of Spain, sailing the galleon San Salvador up the west coast of America.

In addition to the colorful reenactment, the festival included a short ceremony, speeches, costumes, National Park exhibits, food and dance provided by various cultural groups, and just a lot of interesting local history. I took some photographs. Here they are!

Visitors to the 51st Annual Cabrillo Festival await recreation of historic event.
Visitors to the 51st Annual Cabrillo Festival await reenactment of historic event.
People gather above the small beach at Ballast Point on Naval Base Point Loma.
People gather above the small beach at Ballast Point on Naval Base Point Loma.
As people await a rowboat full of reenactors, event commentary is provided.
As people await a rowboat full of reenactors, event commentary is provided.

A short walk out to a point beside the bay provided a view of the San Diego Maritime Museum’s tall ship Californian, which portrayed Cabrillo’s galleon San Salvador.

Tall ship Californian, in the distance, serves as Cabrillo's galleon San Salvador.
Tall ship Californian, in the distance, serves during event as Cabrillo’s galleon San Salvador.

I took pictures of two signs by the above fenced archeological site…

Sign at Ballast Point tells about archeological site of old Spanish whaling station.
Sign at Ballast Point tells about archeological site of old Spanish whaling station.
Stones and tiles are remains of an old tryworks oven where whale oil was boiled.
Stones and tiles are remains of an old tryworks oven where whale oil was boiled.

I headed back to the gathered crowd to await the main event…

Here comes the row boat containing explorer Cabrillo, a priest and crew members.
Here comes the rowboat containing explorer Cabrillo, a priest and crew members.
People watching the historical recreation are snapping photos like crazy now.
People watching this recreation of history are snapping photos like crazy.
Cabrillo leaps from the galleon's small boat onto the shore!
Cabrillo leaps from the galleon’s small boat onto the shore!
Cabrillo in armor raises his sword, while priest with cross stands behind him.
Cabrillo in armor raises his sword, while priest with cross stands behind him.
Cabrillo now plants a Spanish Cross of Burgundy flag on soil of New World.
Cabrillo now plants a Spanish Cross of Burgundy flag on soil of New World.
A proclamation is read on behalf of Spain by Portuguese explorer Cabrillo.
A proclamation is read on behalf of Spain by Portuguese explorer Cabrillo.
Actors depart the narrow beach and head up to join the onlookers.
Actors depart the narrow beach and head up to join the onlookers.
Kids pose with a modern day version of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.
Kids pose with a modern day version of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.
Many folks in costume were in the big crowd!
Many folks in costume were in the big crowd!
Navy honor guard prepares for anthems of four nations and a moment of silence.
Navy honor guard prepares for anthems of four nations and a moment of silence.
Making an adjustment to costume from the Old World centuries ago.
Making an adjustment to costume from the Old World centuries ago.
Anthems were played for Spain, Portugal, Mexico and the United States.
Anthems were played for Spain, Portugal, Mexico and the United States.

In addition to the four national anthems, a moment of silence honored the Native American Kumeyaay, who lived in this area long before Europeans arrived. Cabrillo spent a few days anchored in today’s San Diego Bay, a place he originally named San Miguel. He took on fresh water and traded with the native Kumeyaay people that he met.

People watch with interest during the short ceremony that included several speeches.
People watch with interest during the short ceremony that included several speeches.
Several beauty queens appear on stage and smile for everyone.
Several beauty queens appear on stage and smile for everyone.
Exhibits included various parts of Spanish conquistador armor.
Exhibits included various parts of Spanish conquistador armor.
Small boy tries on a surprisingly heavy steel helmet.
Small boy tries on a surprisingly heavy steel helmet.
Chainmail was being twisted with an apparatus at the end of this table.
Chainmail was being twisted with an apparatus at the end of this table.
Biscuits, nuts and an astrolabe are typical items carried on a Spanish galleon.
Biscuits, nuts and an astrolabe are typical items carried on a Spanish galleon.
Scouts demonstrate rope making with an interesting machine.
Scouts demonstrate rope making with an interesting machine.
Friendly lady was making woolen caps to be worn under those heavy steel helmets!
Friendly lady was making woolen caps to be worn under those heavy steel helmets!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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