Festive culture and tradition at Fiestas Patrias!

Every year, Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, includes traditional entertainment for the entire family.
Every year, Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, includes traditional entertainment for the entire family.

This morning I missed a bus to Ocean Beach at the Old Town Transit Center, so to pass the time I walked the short distance over to the State Park to see if anything was going on. And I discovered that Fiestas Patrias was being celebrated today!

I lingered for a few minutes and took some photos, headed over to OB (as you will see), then returned to Old Town a couple hours later to really soak in the event. Fiestas Patrias is a yearly celebration of Mexican independence from Spain in 1821. San Diego, a small town founded near a Spanish presidio in Alta California, thereafter became a part of Mexico until 1848.

Many diverse traditions have intermingled during San Diego’s history to make our city what it is today. The rich and colorful culture of Mexico has remained an essential part of life in San Diego!

A mariachi welcomes visitors to the historic Casa de Estudillo in Old Town San Diego.
A mariachi welcomes visitors to the historic Casa de Estudillo in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A friendly horse came for a visit as I took some photos outside the Casa de Estudillo during Fiestas Patrias.
A friendly horse came for a visit as I took some photos outside the Casa de Estudillo during Fiestas Patrias.
Traditional dances were being performed on the central plaza's main stage. Las damas y los caballeros took turns being el toro and el matador!
Traditional dances were being performed on the central plaza’s main stage. Las damas y los caballeros took turns being el toro and el matador!
The annual event features authentic costumes from a time when San Diego was a small Mexican town in Alta California.
The annual event features authentic costumes from a time when San Diego was a small Mexican town in Alta California.
Kids were decorating traditional cascarones eggshells.
Kids were decorating traditional cascarones eggshells.
A demonstration inside the Casa de Estudillo of yarn being spun. During the Spanish period, sheep were first introduced along with cattle and horses at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
A demonstration inside the Casa de Estudillo of yarn being spun. During the Spanish period, sheep were first introduced along with cattle and horses at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
Nearby, ladies were demonstrating Colcha Spanish Colonial embroidery, which was typical in San Diego in the early 1800s.
Nearby, ladies were demonstrating Colcha Spanish Colonial embroidery, which was typical in San Diego in the early 1800s.
At the same table, another lady was cutting out festive Mexican papel picado.
At the same table, another lady was cutting out festive Mexican papel picado.
The historically authentic musical group Los Californios wait for their turn on the stage at Fiestas Patrias in Old Town San Diego!
The historically authentic musical group Los Californios wait for their turn on the stage at Fiestas Patrias in Old Town San Diego!

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Photos of the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!

A friendly hello at the 2017 San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!
A friendly hello at the 2017 San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!

My walking adventure today included a stop at the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival in Mission Beach. Lots of people were arriving late in the morning, and banners were being raised, and parade floats were being prepared for later in the afternoon, and a band had begun playing Latin beats, and dancers were dancing, and people were joining in with smiles and uninhibited energy.

And so I took some photos!

People hang a banner as the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival gets started late in the morning.
People hang a banner as the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival gets started late Sunday morning.
Nearby, on the Mission Beach boardwalk, people are walking, biking and skating by the beautiful blue ocean.
Nearby, on the Mission Beach boardwalk, people are walking, biking and skating by the beautiful blue ocean.
Brazilian culture was celebrated today, so naturally some vendors were selling crispy pastel.
Brazilian culture was celebrated today, so naturally some vendors were selling crispy pastel.
The music was playing as soon as the festival got started. The Brazilian Institute for Arts and Culture was bringing the spirit of Brazil to San Diego!
The music was playing as soon as the festival got started. The Brazilian Institute for Arts and Culture was bringing the spirit of Brazil to San Diego!
Lots of Brazilian flags at this t-shirt booth.
Lots of Brazilian flags at this t-shirt booth.
Later in the afternoon there would be a carnival-like parade around Belmont Park, and some people were decorating a colorful float.
Later in the afternoon there would be a carnival-like parade around Belmont Park, and some people were decorating a colorful float.
A group promoting Latin American and Latino art had this cool vehicle with word magnets. Visitors were creating poems. There will be a thousand LATIN rainbows.
A group promoting Latin American and Latino art had a cool truck plastered with word magnets. Visitors were creating poems. There will be a thousand LATIN rainbows…
There will also be lots of cool hats!
There will also be stacks of cool hats!
It didn't take long before festival visitors were dancing in front of the main stage.
It didn’t take long before festival visitors were dancing in front of the main stage.
More people join in, and they're really kicking it up!
More people join in, and now they’re really kicking it up!
Smiling ladies commenced an energetic dance routine on the stage to the delight of the growing crowd.
Smiling ladies commenced an energetic dance routine on the stage to the delight of the growing crowd.
A funny photo of two people in the crowd. Can you spot them?
A funny photo of two people in the crowd. Can you spot them?
Brazilian culture was celebrated today in San Diego's sunny Mission Beach!
Brazilian culture was celebrated today in San Diego’s sunny Mission Beach!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Royal Marines, an admiral, pirates, dancers!

British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.
British Royal Marines pose for my camera on HMS Surprise during the 2017 Festival of Sail in San Diego.

Today I magically traveled back in time to the early 1800s!

While visiting two Maritime Museum of San Diego tall ships at the Festival of Sail, I encountered uniformed Royal Marines, sailors in more common clothing (which was typical in the early 19th century), a distinguished British admiral, dangerous pirates, and graceful English dancers–all in period costumes!

Special thanks to the Maritime Museum Dancers, who were so very nice! Come along and let’s travel back two centuries!

An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Many colorful costumes and period attire can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
An admiral boards HMS Surprise. Colorful costumes and historical dress can be seen every year at the Festival of Sail.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
The three Royal Marines stand at attention on the main deck of HMS Surprise.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer's wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
This lady is dressed as a warrant officer’s wife. I learned wives of officers often lived aboard British Royal Navy ships in the early 19th century.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren't issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
These guys are dressed as common sailors aboard the frigate HMS Surprise. Sailors in the Royal Navy, I was told, weren’t issued standard uniforms until the 1840s.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail.
Some pirates pose for a fun photo at the 2017 Festival of Sail. I’m not sure how authentic these costumes are!
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Performers on the Star of India demonstrate dancing that would have been common in 1805, when the Royal Navy beat France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar.
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
19th century hats lie at the ready near a CD player!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum dancers!
English country dances are demonstrated with grace and aplomb by the Maritime Museum Dancers!
A polite kiss of a lady's hand by an English gentleman.
A polite kiss of a lady’s hand by an English gentleman.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful new main deck of the Star of India.
Dignified dancing on the beautiful, shiny new main deck of the Star of India.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The admiral and three others in a dance typical of the period.
The gentlemen bow.
The gentlemen bow to the ladies.

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La Mesa dancers walk to fight breast cancer!

I spotted these friendly people heading along the sidewalk during my walk in La Mesa.
I spotted these friendly people heading down the sidewalk during my walk in La Mesa.

I was walking through La Mesa today, taking random photos of street art, when I happened upon some super cool people!

Ladies from the Flavor Company, a cultural fusion dance troupe headquartered in La Mesa, were greeting strangers all up and down the sidewalk. With big smiles they were promoting a walk coming up for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of San Diego! The 4-mile walk will be taking place Sunday, October 14 in Balboa Park!

Talk about setting a great example for us all!

Click the above links to learn more!

Smiles from some of the ladies of the Flavor Company, a cool dance troupe headquartered in La Mesa.
Smiles from some of the ladies of the Flavor Company, a cool dance troupe in La Mesa.

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Bayou Brothers rock the House of France!

Folks dance on the stage at the center of Balboa Park's International Cottages. The lawn program today was hosted by the House of France.
Folks dance on the stage at the center of Balboa Park’s International Cottages. The lawn program today was hosted by the House of France.

For a moment I thought I’d taken a wrong turn. Was this Louisiana? Upon entering the lawn area of Balboa Park’s International Cottages, the energetic, rollicking Zydeco music coming from the stage made me suddenly feel like dancing about! And I don’t dance!

San Diego’s own Bayou Brothers band was the main entertainment this afternoon for the House of France’s lawn program! And they appeared to be an enormous hit!

An accordion starts hands clapping and feet stomping.
An accordion starts hands clapping and feet stomping.
A nice crowd enjoyed some great entertainment on a perfect Sunday afternoon.
A nice crowd enjoyed some great entertainment on a perfect Sunday in the park.
People gathered outside the House of France to listen to the music, talk, and look at some cultural displays.
People gathered outside the House of France to listen to the music, talk, and look at some cultural displays.
A poster says Welcome to the House of France. It depicts Mont St. Michel, Château de Versailles, la Tour Eiffel, and other popular national attractions.
A poster says Welcome to the House of France. It depicts Mont St. Michel, Château de Versailles, la Tour Eiffel, and other popular national attractions.
Some visitors inside the House of France sample treats and enjoy more good conversation.
Some visitors inside the House of France sample treats and enjoy more good conversation.
While outside, the music played. Another wonderful event in Balboa Park.
While outside, the music played. Just another wonderful day in Balboa Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Photos of San Diego Shaka Fest at Mission Bay.

Performers walk off the grassy stage at Crown Point during the San Diego Shaka Fest.
Performers walk off the grassy stage at Crown Point during the San Diego Shaka Fest.

Here are some photos of the San Diego Shaka Fest held at Crown Point on Mission Bay yesterday. What a fun event!

There was a whole lot of Hawaiian culture, art and sport to see, including canoe racing and Hula dance.

It was so sunny and warm by the water, it was easy to imagine that everyone in attendance had been magically transported to the Hawaiian islands!

Caution! Your are entering an Aloha Only zone, ya! Please leave your troubles at da door!
Caution! Your are entering an Aloha Only zone, ya! Please leave your troubles at da door!
Lots of stand up paddleboards and canoes down on the water of Mission Bay.
Lots of stand up paddleboards and canoes down on the water of Mission Bay.
People enjoy a perfect San Diego Saturday.
People enjoy a perfect San Diego Saturday.
Some canoe racing between Crown Point and Fiesta Island.
Some canoe racing between Crown Point and Fiesta Island.
A nice lady told me a bit about Hawaiian dance. One can learn Hula at workshops provided by Halau Ka Lei Kukui Hi'ilani and Hawaiian Hula International.
A nice lady told me a bit about Hawaiian dance. One can learn Hula at workshops provided by Halau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani and Hawaiian Hula International.
Hawaiian culture is sunny, welcoming and full of smiles.
Hawaiian culture is sunny, welcoming and full of smiles.
Tim Richards is creating a tiki using a chisel, mallet and palm wood. I believe he said it takes about 6 hours to produce one this size.
Tim Richards is creating a tiki using a chisel, mallet and palm wood. I believe he said it takes about 6 hours to produce one this size.
Lots of fun Hawaii-themed stuff for sale at Shaka Fest.
Lots of fun Hawaii-themed stuff for sale at Shaka Fest.
And more colorful stuff!
And more colorful stuff!
Youth prepare to take the stage. They hold ipu gourds, a traditional musical percussion instrument in Hawaii.
Youth prepare to take the stage. They hold ipu gourds, a traditional musical percussion instrument in Hawaii.
Hula dancing on Mission Bay.
Hula dancing on Mission Bay.
This couple was watching the entertainment.
This couple was watching the entertainment.
Lots of paddleboards were near the sandy beach.
Lots of paddleboards were near the sandy beach.
A pleasant day was enjoyed by many at the San Diego Shaka Fest.
A pleasant day was enjoyed by many at the San Diego Shaka Fest.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Colorful photos of Chicano Park Day celebration!

Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year's Chicano Park Day Celebration. Many of the cars were fitted with hydraulic systems.
Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year’s Chicano Park Day celebration.

I headed down to Barrio Logan this morning to enjoy a bit of the 47th Annual Chicano Park Day celebration!

The big festival celebrating Mexican and Chicano culture drew huge crowds as usual from all around Southern California. There was traditional folklorico dancing, Aztec indigenous dance, and a huge contingent of lowriders and motorcyclists who converged to enjoy the scene and showcase their cool rides. Families enjoyed great food, the park’s playground, and a look at artwork and unique gifts at the many vendor tents. It was fun to just hang around, absorbing San Diego’s warm sunshine and the lively entertainment. The famous murals of Chicano Park infuse the much-loved event with a sense of history and potent meaning. The murals tell of the hard-fought struggle for civil rights.

Chicano Park Day this year was dedicated to Ramón Chunky Sánchez, a very popular musician and a leader of San Diego’s Chicano community who passed away late last year. Speakers also provided emotional tributes to the four who died last year at the annual La Raza Run motorcycle festival in Chicano Park when a car tragically plummeted onto the crowd from a ramp to the Coronado Bay Bridge.

On a happier note, I must mention that in January Chicano Park was designated a National Historic Landmark! Chicano Park contains our nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals.

Please enjoy some colorful photos from this morning!

A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Many were fitted with hydraulics. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
Cool cars in a world-famous park.
Cool cars in Barrio Logan’s world-famous park.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park's picnic tables.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park’s picnic tables.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of Chicano Park.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of San Diego’s unique Chicano Park.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A large crowd had gathered around the pavilion to hear family members remember the deceased and thank the community for its undying love.
A large crowd gathered around the pavilion to hear surviving family members remember the deceased and thank the local community for its undying love.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
And then the entertainment began!
And then the entertainment began!
People enjoy Chicano Park Day Celebration among the many expressive murals.
People enjoy Chicano Park Day among the many expressive murals.  A beautiful image of Virgin Mary has a shrine at its base.
Another photo of the festival today.
Another photo of the festival today.
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park's pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park’s pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
And more cool stuff.
And more cool stuff!
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day Celebration wore resplendent Aztec costumes.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day celebration wore resplendent Aztec-inspired costumes.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!