A festive summer Sunday in Balboa Park!

Summertime? A sunny Sunday? San Diego’s always amazing Balboa Park?

Combine these three to discover lots of fun, festive stuff!

Come with me. Let’s walk around Balboa Park this afternoon, taking in various cool sights…

Performers on and off stage in Balboa Park at the 35th Philippine Cultural Arts Festival.

A big outdoor audience enjoys Filipino culture in Balboa Park.

Kids dance on outdoor stage at the SAMAHAN Filipino American Performing Arts and Education Center’s annual festival in Balboa Park.

Filipino food was plentiful at the 35th Philippine Cultural Arts Festival, in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Walking around Balboa Park at the Plaza de Panama.

Super cool guys promote the San Diego Loyal soccer team. They’ve got a home game coming up on August 24th versus Oakland. The team is currently in second place!

An amazing film about Balboa Park plays in the auditorium at the San Diego History Center.

A beautiful summer day near the Japanese Tea Pavilion.

Visitors walk toward the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden. There’s a new exhibition concerning Japanese dolls that I will blog about soon.

People sit in the shade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade during the Sunday two o’clock concert.

Colorful rented umbrellas provide more shade for the pavilion benches.

Organist Amanda Mole plays a musical piece on the Spreckels Organ. It’s a preview of her Monday night performance for the 34th San Diego International Organ Festival.

A variety of lowriders were parked between the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and the Plaza de Panama.

Taking photos near flowers at one end of the Balboa Park Lily Pond.

A Spanish speaking church group sings joyfully along El Prado, hoping to attract passersby.

Dancers in folk costume perform for the House of Panama lawn program at the International Cottages.

Cultural lawn programs can be enjoyed almost every weekend in Balboa Park during summer months!

If you’d like to see more colorful photographs from today’s House of Panama lawn program, 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!

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!

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!

Fun photos at Chula Vista Lemon Festival!

Huge crowds converged today in downtown Chula Vista for the big 25th Annual Lemon Festival!

Families were walking along Third Avenue enjoying the lemony sights and tasty smells.

Musicians performed on the Zesty Stage. Kids played and made crafts in the Lil’ Lemons zone. Vendors had all sorts of lemon-themed goodies on display, and it seemed that fresh lemonade could be found every few steps! Many neighbors were wearing bright yellow!

Why a big Lemon Festival in Chula Vista?

Once upon a time, before asphalt streets crisscrossed the sunny landscape, agriculture in San Diego’s South Bay was famous for its abundant lemon production. Our climate is perfect to grow citrus.

In the early 20th century there were almost two thousand acres of lemon groves around Chula Vista, which called itself the Lemon Capital of the World.

Enjoy the following fun photos! I walked up and down Third Avenue a couple times, taking in the festive scene, before I headed off to another cool Chula Vista location, as you will see in an upcoming blog post!

This super nice lady handed me some literature concerning the Arts in the Park festival, which is coming up in Chula Vista on August 27th from 10-5 in Memorial Park.

Mark it on your calendar!

If you’d like to see a few more photographs these great chalk art murals, 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!

Chalk art at Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

Around noon today, chalk artists were doing their thing at the 25th Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

The enormously popular community event is taking place today in Chula Vista’s historic downtown, along Third Avenue.

I paused to admire the half dozen creative works, most of which were in progress.

As you might expect, all this lemony artwork required a fair amount of yellow chalk!

Sweet!

Chalk art by Dorothy Corona.

Chalk art by Brenda Mora.

Chalk art by Eric Arcala.

Chalk art by Colin Moyer.

Chalk art by Meg Canilang.

Chalk art by Cecilia Linayao.

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!

Free ice cream and concert in Balboa Park!

What’s better than free ice cream and a free concert?

Free ice cream and a fantastic free concert in beautiful Balboa Park!

A huge crowd came out to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion this evening to smile, laugh, sing, and dance to the music of San Diego’s own The Moonlight Serenade Orchestra. And, of course, to devour ice cream!

The annual Ice Cream Social concert, one of many free summer Twilight in the Park concerts, was made possible by the awesome folks of Forever Balboa Park!

The music was infectious. The vibe was energetic. The audience was often clapping, and couples were swaying and spinning on the outdoor dance floor. Tunes included Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Dancing Queen, Old Time Rock and Roll, Respect, In the Mood, Over the Rainbow, and a variety of others, including many big band classics.

The highlight for me–and it appeared to be for many–was the solo drumming performance by D. J. Jackson in the encore song Sing, Sing, Sing. He was a magician whose magic seemed limitless. I didn’t want his inspired wizardry to end.

A long standing ovation resulted!

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!

Cool photo memories from August 2017.

History was made on Tuesday in San Diego. The Padres made what some are calling the most important trade in baseball history. But, of course, history is made every single day.

Let’s relive a few cool memories from five years ago!

Back in August 2017, events in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park recreated life in our city a century and a half ago; a fun community festival celebrated Logan Heights; and a couple of big Labor Day festivals–the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and the Festival of Sail–were almost ready to open!

If you’d like to experience a little bit of San Diego history, click the upcoming links!

Click the following links to enjoy many photographs…

Trades That Shaped the West demonstrated in Old Town!

History at the Los Peñasquitos adobe ranch house.

Days of the Vaqueros in Old Town San Diego!

Cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

Cool photos of the Imperial Avenue Street Festival!

Three cool sand sculptures at the Broadway Pier!

Natural beauty at the West Coast Shell Show!

Festival of Sail tall ships at sunset!

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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To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A musician’s triumphant return to San Diego!

Many years ago I happened to attend a Spreckels Organ concert featuring an up-and-coming young organist who’d recently attended La Jolla High School. Her name was Chelsea Chen.

This evening, Chelsea Chen, now an internationally renowned organist, who has played in more famous venues and won more prizes than I can mention, returned triumphantly to San Diego, receiving loud and sustained applause for her performance during the 2022 International Summer Organ Festival.

Her fingers easily mastered Verdi, Bach, an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley, and many more–even a jazz piano piece based on the theme of The Flintstones. And, of course, she played her own stirring composition Taiwanese Suite, which incorporates beautiful folk music from Taiwan.

Her warm, graceful notes filled many ears.

As I listened I thought: That concert long ago feels like yesterday. How did the years fly by so quickly?

Enjoy the special moments.

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!

Celebrating life at the 2022 Transplant Games!

A big celebration of life is taking place this week in San Diego. People from around the United States have gathered at the San Diego Convention Center for the 2022 Transplant Games!

Organ transplant recipients and living donors are participating in a variety of fun sports competitions. As you can see in the above photograph, cycling 5 km and 20 km road races along Harbor Drive were part of today’s activities!

Through this Wednesday, the public is welcome to visit the Transplant Games Village and Expo, located in Exhibit Halls A and B at the convention center. There you can watch some indoor competitions, such as basketball and table tennis. For a schedule of events, click here.

Many organizations that help those in the transplant community are also present.

I met authors who’ve written books describing the whole transplant process, making it all easier to understand. Other creators have produced videos featuring loved ones who were helped, or who helped to save a life by making an organ donation.

I saw organizations that create online community, gather inspirational stories, or offer practical guidance and mental health services. Medical providers and pharmaceutical companies also had tables. All of these smiling people were there to offer critical help.

Near the entrance to the Transplant Games Village and Expo, several beautiful quilts remembered loved one.

Everywhere I turned, I observed people full of happiness, gratitude and hope, and a strengthened love of life.

I came away feeling inspired.

Smiles from The Mended Hearts. The non-profit works to inspire hope and improve the quality of life of heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support, education, and advocacy.

Robert Horsey has written the book Gifted and is producing a video concerning the complex topic of organ donation. According to his website: Even the largest football stadium in the U.S. could not fit the number of people on the national transplant waiting list.

Many transplant stories pinned to a board, courtesy Balboa Nephrology and Evergreen Nephrology.

Author Brenda Cortez is a living kidney donor. She has written a series of Howl the Owl books making transplant and medical procedures less scary for kids.

The Joe 238 documentary celebrates the decision to donate. According to the website: Through multiple stories of grief and recovery, we learn about healthy grieving, what it means to be a donor family and plant the seed for an honest conversation about organ donation every family needs to have.

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!

Stories, woven and Unwoven at the Timken.

An exhibition of fine tempera paintings created by San Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz is now on view at the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

Destejidas – Unwoven showcases the carefully crafted work of the Mexican born painter, who was an artist in residence at the Timken earlier this year. Visitors to the museum had the ability to watch her complete the piece Penelope’s Hands.

Marianela de la Hoz incorporates surprising symbols in her very personal artwork. Figures taken from literature, mythology, fairy tales, world history and religion are often inserted into more contemporary scenes. The many disparate elements can be jolting. They reveal the inner character of her subjects. The strange combinations might make us consider our own lives.

Human experiences in this complex world are cleverly combined with well known stories that were first told long ago. Our own secret stories are unwoven, then rewoven.

Destejidas – Unwoven can be enjoyed at the Timken Museum of Art through September 4, 2022.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad World, 2015.
Lilith, the Other Letter of God, 2019.
Mary Magdalene, 2019.
The Hands of Penelope, 2022.

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!

Transplant Games come to San Diego!

The 2022 Transplant Games are being held this week in San Diego!

A big parade was held for participants this morning along Harbor Drive. (Which I just missed!)

This evening the Opening Ceremony will be held at the San Diego Convention Center.

As their website explains: Every two years the Transplant Games of America gathers together thousands of transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, individuals on the waiting list, caregivers, transplant professionals, supporters and spectators for the world’s largest celebration of life.

Transplant recipients and donors will compete in many different sporting events through this Wednesday. Most of the competition will be at the Convention Center. It will also be the location of the Transplant Games of America Village, and according to the Schedule of Events, the public is welcome!

I think I’ll go tomorrow. I’d like to watch a bicycling competition that will be held Sunday morning at Embarcadero Marina Park South, just behind the Convention Center.

Would you like to become involved–perhaps by becoming an organ donor yourself? Check out the 2022 Transplant Games web page 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!