Dance, art, music and life in sunny Balboa Park.

House of Panama dancers practice Saturday morning in Balboa Park.
House of Panama dancers practice on a Saturday morning in Balboa Park.

I spend a lot of time in Balboa Park. It’s close to where I live, just north of downtown San Diego. It’s full of things to do and see. And it’s simply a wonderful place that makes me feel optimistic and alive.

My pleasant walk today took me once again into the park. As if by magic, I discovered dance, a play, music, bright works of art and a surprising someone I used to know years ago.

Members of Jane Austen Society in San Diego prepare to perform a play.
Members of Jane Austen Society in San Diego prepare to perform a play.
Scandalous play Lovers' Vows was referenced in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.
Scandalous play Lovers’ Vows was referenced in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
Moonlight Serenade Orchestra practices at Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Moonlight Serenade Orchestra practices at Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Jazzy group rehearses Night and Day, Sweet Georgia Brown, and more!
Jazzy group rehearses Night and Day, Sweet Georgia Brown, and more!

That big happy dog is a frequent visitor to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. He’s the friend of Dr. Carol Williams, the civic organist! The musicians today were getting ready for Monday’s finale of the International Summer Organ Festival.

Kids, hula hoops and sunshine on El Prado in San Diego's Balboa Park.
Kids, hula hoops and sunshine on El Prado in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

I believe that’s the same hula-hooper who wore the Merry Solstice shirt in my December Nights blog post.

Flowers near the reflecting pool in front of the Botanical Building.
Flowers near the reflecting pool in front of the Botanical Building.
Bright greens and clear water attract my wandering camera lens.
Bright greens and clear water attract my wandering camera lens.
A daring pirate dangles beside the San Diego Natural History Museum.
A daring pirate dangles beside the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Falun Gong artwork emphasizes persecution in China.
Falun Gong artwork emphasizes overcoming persecution in China.
A homeless Chinese girl and sunflowers.
A homeless Chinese girl and sunflowers.

A friendly lady advocating for Falun Gong and protesting their persecution in China told me she believes in collective consciousness, and that the power of good thoughts around the world will eventually bring about positive change.

Glassblowers in Spanish Village remove red hot molten glass from furnace.
Glassblowers in Spanish Village remove red hot molten glass from furnace.
Photographer Dallas displays his fine work near the International Cottages.
Photographer Dallas displays his fine work near the International Cottages.

Dallas used to show his excellent photographs along the Embarcadero, just north of Seaport Village. I’d stop and chat from time to time and he’d tell me all about his interesting life experiences. One day he disappeared.

Today, many years later, I saw him again! He was among other artists showing his professional work on a patch of grass. It was great to see him again! His photography is truly top notch and depicts places he’s visited all around the world. Please check out his website!

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Native American Pow Wow in Balboa Park!

Mothers in native costume in a large round dance.
Mothers in different native costumes perform a large round dance.

Yesterday my wandering feet led me to a Pow Wow in the south end of Balboa Park. What a colorful, amazing event! The Native American Heritage Pow Wow featured a large grassy stage with a variety of costumed dancers. I lingered for a bit and got a few pics.

Making a dash for Mother's Day goodies on grass.
Making a dash for Mother’s Day goodies scattered on the grass.
Adjusting costumes before performing a dance.
Adjusting colorful costumes before performing a dance.
Native American art at Balboa Park pow-wow.
Native American art for sale at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.
Big crowd at American Indian Heritage Pow Wow.
Big crowd checks out Native American food and culture.
Young dancer at San Diego pow-wow.
Young dancer at San Diego Pow Wow.

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People dance as Catillacs rock Seaport Village.

People dance as the Catillacs rock Seaport Village.
People dance as the Catillacs rock Seaport Village.

Whenever I take a weekend walk through Seaport Village, I always hope the Catillacs are playing their vintage rock and roll at the East Plaza Gazebo. Because nobody can resist dancing to those classic tunes!

There’s just something magical about the sunshiny, laid-back atmosphere. Everyone loses their inhibitions. Young and old alike are moved by the music, and twirl about like delighted maniacs!

People let loose and just enjoy the weekend.
People let loose and just enjoy the weekend.
Everyone is jamming to vintage rock and roll music.
Everyone is jamming to vintage rock and roll music.
Dancing to a live band near the East Plaza Gazebo.
Dancing to a live band near the East Plaza Gazebo.
Catillacs guitarist in Seaport Village gazebo.
Catillacs guitarist in Seaport Village gazebo.