Art, Color and Fiesta in Balboa Park!

The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.
The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

This evening I enjoyed a special event at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The House of Mexico presented Arte, Color y Fiesta, a cultural program rich with dance, music and patriotism celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

I successfully photographed the first few groups that provided entertainment before daylight waned. Many smiles shined into the evening.

To learn more about the House of Mexico, and perhaps become a member, or provide a donation as they prepare to build their new cottage among the existing House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, visit their website here!

The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico's cottage in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico’s new cottage in Balboa Park.
Los Chinelos De Morelos dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes Carnival-like costumes and masks.
Los Chinelos Unidos por Siempre de San Diego dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes fantastic Carnival-like costumes and masks.
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego perform during an event that celebrates Mexico's independence from Spain.
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, a musical group composed of local high school students, perform during an event that celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park's Food Truck Friday.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego at Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego’s amazing 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!

Dancing with joy at a big Greek Festival!

Early this afternoon I headed to St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church on Park Boulevard to enjoy their annual Greek Festival. Wow!

Tables and tents in the parking lot behind the church were overflowing with yummy Greek food, laughter, smiles and good cheer. Under the big tent the music, song and dancing was nonstop. Everyone clapped to lively traditional Greek music as people spontaneously jumped up and joined hands to dance. The spirit of “Opa!” was alive!

Kids in colorful Greek costume also danced. I believe the group I watched were called the Delphinian Dancers. They were showered with money during the performance, flowing from the large audience’s sheer joy and gratitude.

The festival continues through the weekend. If you like good times, you must definitely go!

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!

Dance on Sunday afternoons in Balboa Park!

On Sunday afternoons I seem to be spending more and more time in the grand Ballroom of the Balboa Park Club. Cushioned chairs line the walls, and I can sit peacefully as I read or write, listening to gentle, sprightly folk music, occasionally looking up at happy people dancing.

I don’t do much in the way of dancing–not with my feet. But I’m sure some of you do! And I bet some of you’d like to learn all sorts of different folk dances!

I spoke to a nice lady who is a member of one of Balboa Park’s dance clubs, and she told me they are looking to grow their membership. There’s an opportunity for ordinary people with varying levels of experience to learn folk dances from many different cultures. And each lesson costs only a couple bucks!

As you can see from one of my photos, kids and parents can also learn how to dance the third Sunday of every month, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Sounds like fun!

Interested? Visit the International Dance Association of San Diego County website by clicking here!

If you can walk, you can 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!

A fun Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park!

A demonstration of martial arts by members of the San Diego Wushu Center during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.
A demonstration of martial arts by members of the San Diego Wushu Center during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.

Today I experienced two fantastic cultural events in Balboa Park. The first was the Chinese New Year Festival hosted by the House of China at the International Cottages.

2018 is the Year of the Dog, and a huge crowd turned out to enjoy Chinese food, entertainment and a whole lot of good fun. I stayed for a while and watched talented performers dance, demonstrate Kung fu, and fling bright Yo-Yos into the sunny San Diego sky to the delight of all! It was great!

The 2018 Chinese New Year Festival continues Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm. You really should go!

Just in case you can’t make it, I took some colorful photos…

Tents in the lawn area of the International Cottages featured food, unique crafts and many fascinating aspects of Chinese culture.
Tents in the lawn area of the International Cottages feature food, unique crafts and many fascinating aspects of Chinese culture.
Cheerful artwork and entertainment were plentiful at the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival, hosted by the House of China in Balboa Park.
Cheerful artwork and entertainment are plentiful at the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival, hosted by the House of China in Balboa Park.
Young students working with the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University dance during the program.
Young students working with the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University dance during the program.
Some traditional Chinese food being served included egg rolls, dumplings and bao--steamed buns with several different tasty fillings.
Some traditional Chinese food being served included egg rolls, dumplings and bao–steamed buns with several different tasty fillings.
I spotted one table with clever cards that open to colorful pop-up bouquets.
I spotted one table with clever cards that open to colorful pop-up bouquets.
Anyone could check the year of their birth against this Chinese horoscope. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
Anyone could check the year of their birth against this Chinese horoscope. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
These cool kids of the Riverview International Academy Yo-Yo Team wowed the crowd with their amazing skill.
These cool kids of the Riverview International Academy Yo-Yo Team wowed the crowd with their amazing skill.
I discovered a fascinating book about the history of the Chinese in San Diego. It's title is In Search of Gold Mountain.
I discovered a fascinating book about the history of the Chinese in San Diego. It’s title is In Search of Gold Mountain.
Some beautiful Chinese brush art and ink drawings were being displayed by friendly local artists.
Some beautiful Chinese brush art and ink drawings were being displayed by friendly local artists.
Energetic martial artists demonstrated various forms of Kung fu. Many routines seemed like precise athletic dances.
Energetic martial artists demonstrated various forms of Kung fu. Many routines seemed like precise athletic dances.
A graceful performance by members of the UCSD Chinese Dance Association.
A graceful performance by members of the UCSD Chinese Dance Association.
Many smiles and delightful surprises awaited visitors to Balboa Park during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival.
Many smiles and delightful surprises await visitors to Balboa Park during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival.

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!

Smiles and culture at San Diego Multicultural Festival!

Members of the Imahen Taotao Tano-Micronesia Dance Group provide entertainment at the 2018 San Diego Multicultural Festival.
Members of the Imahen Taotao Tano-Micronesia Dance Group provide entertainment at the 2018 San Diego Multicultural Festival.

Late this afternoon I ventured down to Ruocco Park to get a taste of the 20th Annual San Diego Multi-Cultural Festival.

Every year the fun, family-oriented event showcases diverse cultures from around the world, and how they uniquely contribute to life in our city.

Many organizations were present that work to improve the community, plus all sort of vendors and great entertainment. Please read the photo captions to learn more about a few of the festival participants! You might feel inspired!

The 2017 Multicultural Festival in Ruocco Park had many diverse activities and interesting things for visitors to experience.
The 2017 Multicultural Festival in Ruocco Park had many diverse activities and interesting things for visitors to experience.
Some of the vendors had colorful artwork for sale.
Some of the vendors had colorful artwork for sale.
Entertainment on the main stage included the Micronesia dance group, Taico Japanese Drums and Soaring Eagles Native American Pow Wow.
Entertainment on the main stage included the Micronesia dance group, Taico Japanese Drums and Soaring Eagles Native American Pow Wow.
These nice ladies with EF Education First are looking for families to host of international students. Interested?
These nice ladies with EF Education First are looking for local families to host international students. Interested?
The San Diego International Sister Cities Association had a a couple of cool displays showing our 16 sister cities around the world.
The San Diego International Sister Cities Association had a couple of cool displays showing our 16 sister cities around the world. Participant cities often engage in cultural exchanges, including sporting events.
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Balboa Park had something super fun at the festival. Kamizumo!
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Balboa Park had something super fun at the festival. Kamizumo!
Kamizumo--paper wrestler--is a Japanese game in which folded paper sumo wrestlers are placed in an arena and controlled by vibrating the platform with finger taps.
Kamizumo–paper wrestler–is a Japanese game in which folded paper sumo wrestlers are placed in an arena and controlled by vibrating the platform with finger taps. (Click this image and the next to enlarge for easy reading.)
If you make these moves you lose: You accidentally step out of the ring while pushing your opponent! If you fall over! If you step backward out of the ring!
If you make these moves you lose: You accidentally step out of the ring while pushing your opponent! You fall over! You step backward out of the ring!
Another exciting kamizumo match is ready to begin!
Another exciting kamizumo match is almost ready to begin!
Cool guys with the Pazzaz Educational Enrichment Center had some Soap Box Derby gravity cars on display. Kids from the community are encouraged to participate in local races!
Cool guys with the Pazzaz Educational Enrichment Center had some Soap Box Derby gravity cars on display. Kids from the community are encouraged to participate in local races! I blogged about one such race in Sherman Heights a couple years ago!
A friendly face painter! I captured this same enormous smile a year or two ago!
A friendly face painter! Some things never change! I captured this same enormous smile a year or two ago!

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!

Mormon Battalion Commemoration coming in January!

The annual Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day is coming to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on January 27, 2018.

Anyone interested in the long march of the Mormon Battalion from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego and their important contributions to our city’s early history should put the event on their calendar!

I’ve been informed by the commemoration day organizer that entertainment will include a Native American dance group featuring drums and singers, some colorful ballet folklorico dancers, and an old time fiddler’s group!

To get a taste of the many interesting things you might see, view photos of past Mormon Battalion Commemoration Days here and here!

I recently finished writing a short story about generosity and the true spirit of Christmas. To read it, click here!

The tasty ingredients of La Mesa Oktoberfest.

What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?
What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?

It seems the tasty ingredients that make La Mesa Oktoberfest so awesome aren’t very secret. Because I recorded them with very little effort this afternoon.

La Mesa Oktoberfest is said to be the largest Oktoberfest in San Diego County. It’s held each year in historic La Mesa Village. Thousands turn out to enjoy the fun.

So what are those tasty ingredients?

Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Sausages.
Sausages.
Cool cars.
Cool cars.
Colorful dance.
Colorful dancing.
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
More sausages.
More sausages.
Lederhosen.
Lederhosen.
Thrilling rides.
Thrilling rides.
Inspiration.
Inspiration.
Cuckoo clocks.
Cuckoo clocks.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
More sausages.
More sausages.
A huge container of mustard.
A huge container of mustard.
Smiles.
Smiles.
Family.
Family.
And more sausages!
And more sausages!

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!