Photos of Navy Band Southwest Alumni Concert.

I enjoyed another special event today during my visit to Balboa Park. As I walked past the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I was surprised and happy to learn there would be a Navy Band Southwest Alumni Concert in the afternoon.

When I returned to the pavilion to listen to the concert, many present and past members of Navy Band Southwest were posing for a group photo by the colonnade. The concert soon began, and I snapped a few photos as I listened to the often rousing music, played with perfect precision.

All stood for the National Anthem. A few minutes later those braving the hot sun directly in front of the stage were privileged to hear an extremely talented duet sing a superb rendition of The Prayer by David Foster. What amazing voices. Personally, I got goosebumps. Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli have nothing on those two!

I’m sorry to say Cool San Diego Sights does not feature sound. But here are a few 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!

US National Beat Poet Laureate in Balboa Park!

Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.

Tomorrow you have a chance to hear US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, Chris Vannoy, read live poetry in Balboa Park! He’ll be performing with local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. (Poetic Expeditionary Nation of Semanticists) in the Zoro Garden beginning at 2 pm.

Today during my extensive walk through Balboa Park, I happened to stumble upon this summer’s weekend Garden Theatre Festival. As I entered the stony, amphitheater-like Zoro Garden, live poetry readings were underway. Everyone in the audience was invited up to the microphone to read poetry!

And wouldn’t you know it, I was fortunate to enjoy several readings by Chris Vannoy, who will soon be named the United States Beat Poet Laureate by the National Beat Poetry Foundation!

I’d heard Chris perform with The Mightier P. E. N. S. a couple years ago, and blogged about that event here.

His hard-hitting beat poetry is vivid and resonant. His words are like the many butterflies that flit through the garden–bright sparks in the sunlight–burning red hot for just a moment–each a revelation–a brief glimpse of something elemental. Delicate words, transient words, an incantation of power spoken briefly into the wind.

Congratulations to a local poet whose voice is now magnified! And whose smile appears to be indomitable!

The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park's Zoro Garden.
The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden.
Chris Vannoy of the local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Chris Vannoy of the San Diego poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses complex thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Two in the audience listen to powerfully spoken truth.
Two in the audience listen to a poet’s powerfully spoken truth.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes and earns enthusiastic applause.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes his reading and earns enthusiastic 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!

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!

Californio history celebrated again in Old Town!

Today, after I checked out the San Diego Cup racing at Mission Bay, I headed to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to see if anything interesting was going on. Somehow I’d forgotten that Stagecoach Days are celebrated in Old Town on summer Saturdays, and so I was surprised and happy to stumble upon Days of the Vaqueros!

I blogged about this exact same event last year, and took lots of photos and provided a fair amount of description and background. I saw many of the same participants again this year, and debated whether I should take more photos.

I love Old Town so much I couldn’t resist. If you want to learn more about life in San Diego when Southern California was a part of Spain, then Mexico, and large ranches employed the original cowboys, or vaqueros, then visit my blog from last summer’s event here.

You might also enjoy reading my blog post about Old Town’s McCoy House Museum, which includes many displays that concern San Diego’s fascinating early history.

Meanwhile, here are a few uncaptioned photographs of what I experienced today…

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!

Photos of RC boats racing for San Diego Cup!

Today I headed over to Mission Bay’s large model yacht pond, located near the center of Vacation Isle Park, to watch gasoline-powered high speed RC boats race for the San Diego Cup!

The exciting annual event is hosted by the San Diego Argonauts, who sail and race a variety of model boats on the saltwater pond. I blogged about the San Diego Argonauts and hobbyists maneuvering remote control sailboats out on the pond here.

San Diego Cup weekend features over 160 RC powerboats in dozens of classes, brought in by groups from all over Southern California and Arizona. The local group is called SD Gassers.

I spoke to a few people and watched several races. I learned that the model speedboats are built from kits, and that the different classes are determined by the size of the boat. I observed that after contestants are told to start their engines (which at times is problematic) there is a countdown to the beginning of the race. After tossing their boats into the water, it appeared that getting in optimal position for the start was an important aspect of the strategy.

These amazing little powerboats can go over 60 miles per hour! Boats are readied and repaired on the shore and good times are had by all contestants.

It definitely appears to be a fun hobby!

The racing continues through Sunday and anybody can watch from the grassy shore. If you’re in San Diego, head over to the model yacht pond in Mission Bay and check it out!

I took some photos of the action…

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 taste of the Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!
A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

I’ve never been to Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival before. So this year I thought I’d take the trolley down to the South Bay to experience this big annual event!

Not only is the Lemon Festival, which takes place along a stretch of Third Avenue, a whole lot of fun, but visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history of Chula Vista and how it once was a major center of the Southern California citrus industry.

With construction of the Sweetwater Dam completed in 1888, and the arrival of the railroad in the South Bay, Chula Vista became the perfect place to grow sun-loving lemons. At one point in the early 20th century there were nearly two thousand acres of lemon groves in the area. Chula Vista even called itself the Lemon Capital of the World.

Today lemon trees are chiefly found in backyards. After World War II, the large groves began to make way for houses. Some of the developers would leave one lemon tree in the backyard of new homes.

I did see loads of lemons during the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival: lemon art, lemon costumes, lemons in treats, lemonade . . . Lemon yellow everywhere!

See for yourself!

About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their booth.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their Lemon Festival booth.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego's South Bay.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego’s South Bay.
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
Their display showed Chula Vista's agricultural past. Many packing companies once exported lemons around the world.
Their display showed Chula Vista’s agricultural past. Many growers and packing companies once exported lemons around the world. Some of the beautiful old crate labels have become valuable collectibles.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other by-products.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other lemon by-products.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were putting the finishing touches on their booth.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were almost done decorating their booth.
Another booth at the Lemon Festival had lots of old historical photographs.
Another booth at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival featured lots of interesting historical photographs.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920's.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920’s.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920's.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920’s.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
That great music has people dancing!
That great music has people smiling and dancing!
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
All that fun made me thirsty for some lemonade!
All that fun has made me thirsty for some lemonade!

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First Responders to be honored in Little Italy.

First Responders in San Diego will be celebrated this Saturday, August 4th in Little Italy. The event will be held in Piazza Della Famiglia beginning at 5pm, and a special concert at 6pm will feature Marine Band San Diego.

This morning as I walked through Little Italy, I happened to see several banners stretched above the piazza honoring our community’s First Responders, including our Lifeguards, Sheriff, Firefighters and Police.

A big thank you to all of our heroes!

Trevor Time returns to Petco Park!

Padres fans enter Petco Park before a home game against the Diamondbacks to watch the induction of Trevor Hoffman into the baseball Hall of Fame live on the big video board.
Padres fans enter Petco Park before a home game against the Diamondbacks to watch the induction of Trevor Hoffman into the baseball Hall of Fame live on the big videoboard.

Trevor Hoffman was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame today. I headed down to Petco Park before the early afternoon game to watch the induction ceremony in Cooperstown live on the big Petco Park videoboard.

As game time approached, more and more fans filled the seats. All eyes were watching the live ceremony. Then Trevor took to the podium to accept the highest honor in all of baseball.

It was Trevor Time once again!

Trevor spoke many moving words during his speech. He remembered and thanked his family and his past teammates. He honored members of the Padres family who have passed into history, including Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman. He thanked the military, an important part of our city, and reminded all that freedom is not free. He closed by telling his sons that character is more important than reputation.

Thank you Trevor, not only for being a Padres baseball hero, but for being a hero for all of San Diego.

Another beautiful, sunny day in San Diego at Petco Park. Today is particularly special.
Another beautiful, sunny day in San Diego at Petco Park. Today is particularly special.
San Diego Padres legendary closer Trevor Hoffman is inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame on July 29, 2018.
San Diego Padres legendary closer Trevor Hoffman is inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, 2018.
Six great MLB players form the Class of 2018 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Six great MLB players form the Class of 2018 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Cooperstown, New York is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Cooperstown, New York is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Trevor Hoffman, who spent his career as closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres, is part of the Class of 2018.
Trevor Hoffman, who spent his record-breaking career as closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres, is part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
As Hoffman is introduced during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, video is shown of Padres fans holding a banner proclaiming Trevor Time.
As Hoffman is introduced during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, video is shown of Padres fans holding a banner proclaiming Trevor Time.
The MLB Network live feed on the Petco Park videoboard shows Trevor Hoffman shortly before he gives his speech at the Hall of Fame.
The MLB Network live feed on the Petco Park videoboard shows Trevor Hoffman shortly before he gives his speech at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The determined eyes of the Major League Baseball pitcher who was first to achieve 500 and 600 saves.
The determined eyes of the Major League Baseball pitcher who was first to achieve 500 and 600 saves.
Footage shows Trevor during a game with his Padres teammates on the field.
Footage shows Trevor during a game with his Padres teammates on the field.
Trevor doffs his cap to his San Diego fans as he achieves a baseball pitching milestone.
Trevor doffs his cap to his San Diego fans as he achieves a baseball pitching milestone.
The face of Trevor William Hoffman immortalized in bronze at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The face of Trevor William Hoffman immortalized in bronze at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Trevor Hoffman, master of a mystifying change-up, became the first pitcher to reach the 500 and 600 save milestones.
Trevor Hoffman, master of a mystifying change-up, became the first pitcher to reach the 500 and 600 save milestones.
Trevor Hoffman poses during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with other legendary baseball players all around him.
Trevor Hoffman poses during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with other legendary baseball players all around him.
It's Trevor Time one more time at Petco Park.
It’s Trevor Time one more time at Petco Park!
Thanks for the memories Hoffy.
Thanks for the memories Hoffy.
Trevor begins his acceptance speech. He thanks his dad and mom.
Trevor begins his acceptance speech. He thanks his dad and mom.
He adresses his brothers, who are watching the ceremony at Cooperstown.
He addresses his brothers, who are watching the ceremony at Cooperstown.
Padres fans enter Petco Park as an historic event occurs on the other side of the country.
Padres fans enter Petco Park as an historic event occurs on the other side of the country.
Trevor Hoffman thanks Bruce Bochy, and his past teammates. Those teams had great chemistry--a special bond.
Trevor Hoffman thanks his old manager Bruce Bochy, and his past teammates. Those teams had great chemistry–a special bond.
Trevor thanks his wife.
Trevor thanks his wife.
Fans thank Trevor.
Fans applaud Trevor.
Another day, another game of wonderful baseball. Young and old fill the Park at the Park beyond the outfield.
Another day, another game of wonderful baseball. Young and old now fill the Park at the Park beyond the outfield.
Trevor is honored on the video board in the Park at the Park.
Trevor is honored on the video board in the Park at the Park.
Meanwhile, kids who might not know who Trevor is simply love playing baseball.
Meanwhile, kids who might not know who Trevor is simply love playing baseball.
My soda cup with Trevor Hoffman's impressive baseball achievements.
My soda cup with Trevor Hoffman’s impressive baseball achievements.
The game will soon start. Trevor's induction speech is repeated on video screens throughout Petco Park.
The game will soon start. Trevor’s induction speech is repeated on video screens throughout Petco Park.
I saw many Hoffman jerseys.
I saw many Hoffman jerseys.
Trevor Time has returned to Petco Park on a summer's day in 2018.
Trevor Time has returned to Petco Park on a summer’s day in 2018.
Fans were posing by some new Trevor Hoffman Hall of Fame graphics on a wall along the Petco Park concourse.
Fans were posing by some new Trevor Hoffman Hall of Fame graphics on a wall along the Petco Park concourse.
Trevor graphics ascend the side of an escalator.
Trevor graphics ascend the side of an escalator.
Hoffman jerseys were a hot item today.
Hoffman jerseys were a hot item today.
Trevor Hoffman's plaque in the Breitbard Hall of Fame. A sports legend in San Diego, among many others.
Trevor Hoffman’s plaque in the Breitbard Hall of Fame. A sports legend who made San Diego his home, among many other world-class athletes.
Photo of Trevor Hoffman achieving his 479th save, surpassing Lee Smith, in the Padres Hall of Fame in Petco Park.
Historic photos of Trevor Hoffman in the Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park. When he achieved his 479th save, he surpassed Lee Smith as Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader.
A boy looks up at a Trevor Hoffman jersey in the Padres Hall of Fame.
A boy looks up at a Trevor Hoffman jersey in the Padres Hall of Fame.
The smile of Trevor Hoffman.
The smile of Trevor Hoffman.
The smile of a San Diego baseball hero.
The smile of a San Diego baseball hero.

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!