Child gives potted plant to spectator during floral wagon parade in Balboa Park.
It was a memorable day in Balboa Park!
To celebrate its centennial, San Diego’s historic Balboa Park is throwing a number of special events this year. Today our beautiful park was the scene of the Garden Party of the Century. And what a party it was!
As the title suggests, the emphasis was on gardening and the many incredible gardens of our world-class urban park. Spring flowers filled every corner, and lots of people came out to enjoy excellent exhibits. A unique parade also took place, as you’ll see in the following photographs.
The event’s main ceremony involved Marines from San Diego’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot, which is perhaps a mile (or two) from the park. The Marines played an instrumental role during the early days of Balboa Park, which was created for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The mere presence of a Marine camp inside the large park back then eventually helped to preserve many of the wonderful old Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings visitors marvel at today.
Many tents with horticulture exhibits were around Balboa Park for the Garden Party of the Century. Some can be seen next to the Botanical Building.
These friendly folks explained that dahlia blooms can be as large as fourteen inches!
Displays concerning gardening were front and center during the special Balboa Park Centennial event.
These master gardeners showed me what a ladybird larva looks like! (It’s the critter on the right.)
There were lots of flower arrangements and botany-themed art throughout the park!
It’s still early in the morning, so some exhibitors are still setting up near the reflecting pool.
This super cool lady talked to me about the work of the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department.
Smiling lady from the San Diego Epiphyllum Society.
Lots of plants were for sale in the park, including on the Casa del Prado patio.
Ducks and baby ducklings were swimming about the lily pads in the Balboa Park reflecting pool!
Sign shows the way to the Rose Garden across Park Boulevard.
One example of Balboa Park’s Adopt-A-Plot volunteer gardening program. This plot is in Sefton Plaza.
A photo I took this morning of beautiful flower beds in the Alcazar Garden.
Another exhibitor near the huge Moreton Bay Fig Tree and Natural History Museum has a cool trash can painted with flowers and a bee.
The Navy was showcasing its environmental programs.
Marines cross street in front of the Casa del Prado Theater.
The floral wagon parade was staged in a parking lot by the Balboa Park carousel.
Musicians stand ready for the beginning of the big parade through Balboa Park.
San Diego’s own Fern Street Circus has gathered for the parade holding colorful banners.
Other performers from the Fern Street Circus wait a bit further down the parade route for the spectacle to begin.
The Garden Party of the Century Parade is underway and turning onto El Prado!
Kids, families, wagons and flowers. An overcast day after our recent stormy weather.
Here come drummers and a flag down the festive parade route!
Look at the boldly colored dresses and fantastic costumes!
Here come some lush, wonderful floral wagons.
Garden Party of the Century parade turns the corner and heads down El Prado toward Plaza de Panama.
Flower-laden wagons pass in front of ornate Casa del Prado facade.
A bee is followed by a beekeeper!
The parade approaches the reflecting pool as it passes booths that line El Prado.
This lady in an elegant old-fashioned dress was handing out goodies to the watching crowd.
A painter in Balboa Park gets an eyeful as the parade passes by.
Uncle Sam and lots of other happy San Diegans.
Dr. Seuss seems to be a favorite author of the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department!
The cool parade finally reaches the spacious Plaza de Panama in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
A second parade nears! Marines from San Diego’s MCRD march down El Prado for a special ceremony.
The band leads the way as marchers from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot enter Plaza de Panama.
The Marines played an important role in Balboa Park’s beginning, and are duplicating their march from 100 years ago!
Marines stand at attention. The San Diego mayor, MCRD commandant and other dignitaries spoke during the special Balboa Park Centennial event.
Civilian and military bystanders look on as a memorable San Diego event is taking place.
Proudly marching Marines head west down El Prado toward California Tower and Museum of Man.
Marines start across the Cabrillo Bridge to reproduce a famous photograph from one hundred years ago!
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