Fun photos: Old Town San Diego’s Fourth of July!

American flags lead a Fourth of July parade in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
American flags lead a Fourth of July parade in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Here come oodles of fun photos! I took them during the first two hours of Old Town San Diego’s Fourth of July celebration! (Sorry, but I missed the pie eating contest!)

I’ve captioned the photos with descriptions. If you’ve never enjoyed Independence Day at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, you’re missing out on a very colorful and patriotic event! And there’s a lot of fascinating history that you can absorb, as well!

During the Independence Day celebration in Old Town San Diego, there were all sorts of fun and educational activities. Musical entertainment could be heard at the main stage.
During the Independence Day celebration in Old Town San Diego, there were all sorts of fun and educational activities. Musical entertainment could be heard at the main stage.
The Armory Band played music popular in America long ago--patriotic tunes that citizens in San Diego would have enjoyed during the mid 1800s.
The Armory Band played music popular in America long ago–patriotic tunes that citizens in San Diego would have enjoyed during the mid 1800s.
Los Bailadores, performers in period costume, sing vintage patriotic songs like The Battle Hymn of the Republic inside Old Town's historic La Casa de Estudillo.
Los Bailadores, performers in period costume, sing vintage patriotic songs like The Battle Hymn of the Republic inside Old Town’s historic La Casa de Estudillo.
Los Bailadores then lived up to their name and began a few social dances that folks would have enjoyed in the 1850s and 1860s. Their first dance was the Virginia reel.
Los Bailadores then lived up to their name and began a few social dances that folks would have enjoyed in the 1850s and 1860s. Their first dance was the Virginia reel.
During the Fourth of July, there were many historical demonstrations in Old Town's central square, or La Plaza de Las Armas.
During the Fourth of July, there were many historical demonstrations in Old Town’s central square, which was originally called La Plaza de Las Armas.
A lady in a bonnet at a spinning wheel was making wool yarn.
A lady in a bonnet at a spinning wheel was making wool yarn.
Quilters were getting their tent displays ready as Old Town San Diego's Fourth of July events got underway.
Quilters were getting their tent displays ready as Old Town San Diego’s Fourth of July events got underway.
These guys were playing the old Victorian Game of Graces. A small hoop is shot into the air by pushing apart two rods. The hoop is then caught by one's partner. Winner catches the hoop ten times first.
These guys were playing the old Victorian Game of Graces. A small hoop is shot into the air by pushing apart two rods. The hoop is then caught by one’s partner. Winner catches the hoop ten times first.
The San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association had an interesting display, including ammunition that was used in old cannons.
The San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association had an interesting display, including ammunition that was used in old cannons.
A poster has photos of reenactments of the Battle of San Pasqual, which took place northeast of San Diego during the Mexican-American War
A poster has photos of reenactments of the Battle of San Pasqual, which took place northeast of San Diego during the Mexican-American War.
Of course, you need some tasty watermelon during a traditional Fourth of July!
Of course, you need some tasty watermelon during a traditional Fourth of July!
The center of the plaza became a center of attention as various tug of wars were contested by young and old alike.
The middle of the plaza became a center of attention as various tug of wars were contested by young and old alike.
These ladies vied for tug of war glory!
These ladies vied for tug of war glory!
Later games would include wheelbarrow races.
Later games would include wheelbarrow races.
A cakewalk. Stop on the winning number and you receive a cake! This game was common in mid 19th century San Diego.
A cakewalk. Stop on the winning number and you receive a cake! This simple game was common in mid 19th century San Diego.
Several speeches included one by Connie Gunther, a descendant of early San Diego. The legacy of those early Californios, townspeople, settlers and pioneers live on.
Several speeches included one by Connie Gunther, a descendant of early San Diego. The legacy of those early Californios, townspeople, settlers and immigrants live on.

Are you a descendant of early San Diego? Do you think you might be? There’s a website I learned about that you ought to visit. Here it is. Those with family trees that reach back into early San Diego history can relate their knowledge for posterity and the benefit of others; those who think they might be related to an early resident of San Diego can perform searches and do extensive research. Check it out!

Kids listening to the speeches wave American flags.
Kids listening to the speeches wave American flags.
The keynote speech was by Tom Vilicich, portraying the 1st Sergeant, Company K, Ist U.S. Dragoons, who fought in the Battle of San Pasqual.
The keynote speech was by Tom Vilicich, portraying a first sergeant, Company K, 1st U.S. Dragoons, who fought in the Battle of San Pasqual.
After the speeches, there was a Flag Raising Ceremony. People removed their hats as Old Glory was hoisted up Old Town's high flagpole.
After the speeches, there was a Flag Raising Ceremony. People removed their hats as Old Glory was hoisted up Old Town’s high flagpole.
Salutes as the Star and Stripes ascends into the San Diego sky.
Salutes as the Star and Stripes ascends into the San Diego sky.
A billowing American flag on Independence Day!
A billowing American flag rises on Independence Day!
The musicians left the stage to make way for a special public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
The musicians left the stage to make way for a special public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Diverse folk representing San Diego in the mid 19th century take turns reading the Declaration of Independence. Ordinary citizens in the crowd also took part!
Diverse folk representing San Diego in the mid 19th century take turns reading the Declaration of Independence. Ordinary citizens in the crowd also took part!
An ordinary American young person reads a few lines from the Declaration of Independence, on the Fourth of July in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
An ordinary American young person reads a few lines from the Declaration of Independence, on the Fourth of July in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
And then the parade began! It wound around the plaza twice. Ordinary Americans were invited to join in!
And then the parade began! It wound around the plaza twice. Ordinary Americans were invited to join in!
Represented in the small patriotic parade were Old Town volunteers, boosters, and descendants of early San Diego.
Represented in the small patriotic parade were Old Town volunteers, boosters, and descendants of early San Diego.
Here comes the old-fashioned marching band!
Here comes the old-fashioned marching band!
People in the parade wore every sort of period costume--even red, white and blue attire from our own modern period!
People in the parade wore every sort of period costume–even red, white and blue attire from our own modern period!
That's because ordinary American citizens joined in the fun!
That’s because ordinary American citizens joined in the fun!
This photo shows the good crowd that converged on Old Town San Diego for the Fourth of July!
This photo shows the good crowd that converged on Old Town San Diego for the Fourth of July!
A scene from the American Independence Day parade in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A scene from the colorful American Independence Day parade in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego!  Are you curious?  There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

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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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