San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

A fun special event was held today at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park. It was the San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

Music, food and dance was provided by various hosts, who represented some of San Diego’s sixteen Sister Cities. San Diego’s oldest Sister City partnership is with Yokohama, Japan. That relationship was established 65 years ago!

At information tables visitors to the event could learn about the history of different Sister Cities, and see how mutual programs, such as student and cultural exchanges, help create peace and understanding between nations.

I stayed for a bit and watched several dances while eating very tasty West African Ghana sambusa. I also asked a few questions at the tables, and learned much!

(By the way, there are signs in downtown’s Civic Center Plaza pointing to San Diego’s Sister Cities. I took photos of the signs years ago and posted them here!)

Alcalá de Henares, Spain has been a San Diego Sister City since 1982. It is the birthplace of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote!

Tema, Ghana, has been Sister City to San Diego since 1976. The “Peace and Unity Wall” mosaic mural in Tema was made from supplies donated from San Diego.

Crafts and cultural artifacts from Ghana.

Jeonju, South Korea has been a San Diego Sister City since 1983. The San Diego-Jeonju Society introduces local students to Korean culture.

Did you know Carlsbad, California has two Sister Cities? Kalovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czech Republic’s famed mineral springs inspired the naming of Carlsbad, whose artesian mineral water is nearly identical. Futtsu, Japan is the other Sister City.

Images from the long history of San Diego and Yokohama, Japan’s deep Sister City ties. In the center is the Japanese Friendship Bell, which now stands on Shelter Island. See more about it here!

Where there is friendship, there is much hope.

A nice smile!

Flamenco dancing to guitar celebrates Spain’s culture.

Lunch! Yummy!

Dancers representing Panama take the stage!

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Nayarit celebrated at the House of Mexico!

The Mexican state of Nayarit was celebrated today at the International Cottages in Balboa Park!

Baile folklórico dancers performed outside the House of Mexico cottage, and various displays promoting tourism in Nayarit greeted surprised visitors wandering through the park.

As soon as I noticed all the costumes and smiles, I was drawn right in!

As I understand it, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism teamed up with the House of Mexico to promote Nayarit with this special cultural event.

The state of Nayarit is located on the west coast of Mexico and features popular beaches, fascinating history and beautiful scenery.

This is what my camera recorded…

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Trolley Dances returns to San Diego!

The Trolley Dances have returned to San Diego!

The San Diego Dance Theater’s 24th Annual Trolley Dances are being held this year near several trolley Blue Line stations, in and around UC San Diego.

Five dances are included in this extremely unique event. Mobile groups gather to watch a dance, then ride the trolley to view performances at other locations!

Several of the dances this year take place next to the UCSD Central Campus Station. I was lucky enough to watch one group of dancers rehearsing before the first spectators would arrive.

The contemporary dance I previewed is called Estudiantes. The choreographer is Minerva Tapia. The dance is dedicated to all students, whose efforts and studies help make the world a better place. The dance moves were hopeful, exuberant, triumphant. My camera captured some smiles, too!

If you want to learn more about the Trolley Dances, here’s their website. The dances can be enjoyed this weekend only. If they’re sold out, make sure to mark this cool event on your calendar for next year!

The extension of the trolley’s Blue Line through UC San Diego, which the mobile audience is riding, opened late last year. I rode this new Mid-Coast Trolley extension on its Opening Day and posted photos here. (As you’ll see, the San Diego Dance Theater performed on that historic day, too!)

By the way, the Estudiantes dance in these photos takes place near the entrance to the new, high tech UCSD Design and Innovation Building, which I toured earlier this year soon after it opened. Check out those photos here.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Cool photo memories from September 2017.

How many big events are scheduled for this coming Labor Day weekend? Searching online event calendars, I haven’t noticed too many. That certainly wasn’t the case five years ago!

Back in September 2017, during Labor Day weekend, San Diego hosted an amazing international sand sculpture competition on Broadway Pier, another beautiful Festival of Sail on the Embarcadero, and there was the traditional stickball tournament in Little Italy.

Then later that September I recorded even more fun and inspirational stuff! Like Brazilian Day in Mission Beach, Fiestas Patrias in Old Town, the Trolley Dances downtown, and a special Remember Me Thursday in Balboa Park!

Here’s your opportunity to relive some of those moments. Check out the upcoming links for all of the colorful photographs!

Click the following links to see many photos…

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

Another perfect day at the Festival of Sail.

Stepping aboard the beautiful Bill of Rights.

Royal Marines, an admiral, pirates, dancers!

Photos from the Labor Day Stickball Tournament.

9/11 Firefighter’s legacy: Two Sons and Stickball.

Photos of the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!

Green Flash public art in Mission Beach!

Festive culture and tradition at Fiestas Patrias!

Bells ring in San Diego for Constitution Day!

San Diego Convention Center stripped of sails!

Photos of San Diego Bonsai Club exhibition.

Remember Me Thursday love in Balboa Park.

Trolley Dances at the downtown Central Library!

Scouts remove gum at Cabrillo National Monument!

Do you know of any fun public events coming up this weekend? Leave a comment! I might head on over with my camera!

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Fun at Chula Vista’s Arts in the Park!

A free, family-friendly event was held today at Chula Vista’s Memorial Park.

The annual Arts in the Park festival brought the community together to enjoy music, artists, dance, food and all sorts of cultural fun! The event was presented by Chula Vista’s own Onstage Playhouse and CARPA San Diego.

So many smiles! So much creativity!

Take a look!

A smiling stilt walker from Circus Joy!

Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and Old Man puppets take to the stage!

Write Out Loud provided Kamishibai story box theatre performances. They also read poetry. (I enjoyed Robert Frost’s Mending Wall.)

Chula Vista Learning Community Charter Elementary School smiled while creating art!

The many colors of life.

The Rad Hatter was helping people create crazy cool hats with paper bags!

Artists and art organizations could be found under canopies all around the festival.

Many young performers took to the stage in Chula Vista’s Memorial Park and received great applause!

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!

House of Panama celebration in Balboa Park!

A big celebration brought many smiles and a joyful whirl of color to Balboa Park today! The House of Panama hosted a lawn program at the International Cottages!

A good crowd turned out to enjoy cultural entertainment, and to share excitement over the recent opening of the House of Panama’s new cottage.

Dance groups came down to San Diego all the way from Los Angeles and San Francisco. There were performances by Panamá Lindo; Panamá, Molas, Polleras y Tambores (the official House of Panama Dancers); Congo Istmeño; and Viva Panamá. Many local dignitaries also attended the event.

As I walked around Balboa Park, I swung by the International Cottages a few times to enjoy the lawn program. The next three photos were taken outside and inside the beautiful new House of Panama cottage…

On the lawn stage, there was a sea of colorful Panamanian folk dance costumes!

I caught the singing of National Anthems, then an emotional speech concerning the hard work done to open a new cottage in Balboa Park…

Then the dancing began!

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!

An early Fourth of July in Balboa Park!

Should one celebrate Independence Day on the Third of July?

Why not!

Today’s Sunday lawn program at the International Cottages in Balboa Park was presented by the House of USA. It was a patriotic event for the Fourth of July–one day early!

Before the program began at 2 o’clock, I walked around and visited friendly members of two groups: Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution. One DAR member, I learned, is a descendant of Elihu Hickok, a soldier who served in the United States Revolutionary War.

The lawn program commenced with the presentation of colors and a beautiful, soaring rendition of the National Anthem sung by Ms. Helen Oh. She was followed by young pianist, Colton, who skillfully played America the Beautiful.

The Queen and Princess of the House of USA gave short speeches, then, after the main speaker, everyone enjoyed a performance of Western line dancing by the San Diego Coasters!

Then everyone was invited onto the stage to learn how to line dance!

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!

Balboa Park performer on So You Think You Can Dance!

Did you know a long-time street performer in Balboa Park has appeared on the popular television show So You Think You Can Dance?

If you’ve visited San Diego’s Balboa Park in the past few years, it’s quite likely you’ve seen Kareem “Anointed” Ali and his talented friends wowing huge crowds with their athletic dance routines, acrobatic leaps, physical contortions and fun bits of humor. All concluded with an inspirational message.

Well, a number of years ago, while speaking to Anointed Ali, I learned he’d appeared as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. I then found a YouTube video of his routine here.

The judges were absolutely amazed. You will be too!

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!

The big House of Mexico fiesta in Balboa Park!

A big, wonderful fiesta was held today in San Diego’s Balboa Park!

The House of Mexico held their annual lawn program at the International Cottages, and, as usual, a good crowd came out!

There was much to do and see–and eat! (I must admit those churros were irresistible.)

Smiles shined all around as the festival filled with more and more people. Members from diverse communities around San Diego and Mexico were in attendance, and all were welcome.

Before the entertainment began at two o’clock, I wandered into the House of Mexico’s new cottage. Inside, displays included some very striking folk art, representing the legends and spirituality of the indigenous Huichol or Wixárika. I was told the exhibits in the cottage will be changed every few months.

After wandering away to listen to the Spreckels Organ concert for a while, I returned to the International Cottages to catch some of the House of Mexico’s cultural entertainment.

Enjoy these photos!

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!

Loving life at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival!

A huge crowd turned out today for the 2022 Escondido Street Festival along Grand Avenue!

After a two years’ absence during the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event in downtown Escondido is back bigger and better than ever!

In addition to numerous vendors lining several blocks of Grand Avenue, I observed a fun art show, tons of food, and multiple stages featuring diverse entertainment. I listened to both rock and roll and mariachi music! I saw colorful baile folklórico dancing!

Folks working to improve the Escondido community were also out greeting people. That first photo is of a smile from Love Esco, an organization that cares for neighbors through simple acts of kindness and tangible means of love.

A also got a smile from the Escondido Education Foundation, but I declined their offer of a free Escondido poster. (I got enough stuff already!) The foundation is a community driven fundraising organization which provides funding for essential resources, and programs that empower teachers, inspire learning, and promote innovation and academic excellence in EUSD.

Also, thanks to the Helen’s Book Mark used bookstore for the amazing deal on half a dozen books! If you haven’t seen their cool mural on the back side of the store, click here!

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!