Photos of Tanabata Festival in Balboa Park!

Late this afternoon I stepped into the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park to enjoy their first ever Tanabata Festival!

I arrived half an hour before the festival officially opened, and as time progressed more and more people arrived for this joyful summer event. I lingered for a while to enjoy the sights, smells and tastes, and to learn about various aspects of Japanese culture and the Tanabata holiday.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden website: “Originating from Chinese folklore, Tanabata is a holiday that celebrates the meeting of Orihime and Hikoboshi. Separated by the Milky Way, the stars Orihime and Hikoboshi are able to meet once per year on the seventh day of the seventh month. On Sunday, July 7th, JFG has partnered with the Minatomo Japanese Community to have their inaugural Tanabata Festival in San Diego!”

As I walked randomly about I learned about the Tanabata tradition of tanzaku: wishes are written on small pieces of paper which are then hung with other happy decorations on bamboo. I paused to admire some living moss art–kokedama. I then walked down into the Lower Garden.

Outside the Inamori Pavilion yummy Japanese food was being prepared. Inside the elegant pavilion there was artwork, including some bright, very colorful fluorescent paintings. I caught the first scheduled performance in the pavilion, which was an onigiri (rice ball) preparation demonstration. I was shown how to easily fold a paper flower.

I then headed back to the Upper Garden and listened as Write Out Loud presented a Japanese fairy tale. I paused to admire a bunch of origami artwork that was being created.

Every person I met was smiling.

I hope this is the first of many wonderful Tanabata Festivals at the Japanese Friendship Garden. That is my wish.

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!

San Diego Fringe Festival in Balboa Park!

Look what I discovered today!

The San Diego International Fringe Festival has moved this year from its old downtown location inside the Spreckels Theater Building to Balboa Park. As I walked past the Starlight Bowl this afternoon, I was surprised to stumble upon Fringe City, the festival’s box office and cool outdoor public lounge!

If you’re into weird, experimental, absolutely unique alternative entertainment, including live, uncensored comedy, dance, satire and even circus acts, head to Balboa Park’s Palisades area to check out the Fringe Festival. Performance venues in Balboa Park include the nearby Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, the Centro Cultural de la Raza and the WorldBeat Cultural Center. Come on out and support visionary artists!

Read the poster and the signs to learn a bit more. (Click the photos and they will enlarge.) Better yet, go to the event website here!

The San Diego International Fringe Festival continues through June 16, 2019.

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, food and fun at the Greek Festival!

My adventures today included a brief visit to the San Diego Greek Festival at the Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church. It’s their 50th Annual Greek Festival!

I was heading down Park Boulevard when I suddenly remembered the festival was this weekend. So I pulled the cord on the bus and jumped off to enjoy a little of the fun!

I saw Greek dancing, some folk costumes and people enjoying authentic Greek food. It’s a wonderful San Diego tradition that everyone should experience!

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!

Memorial Day weekend at Festival of the Sea!

As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.
As I arrived at the Festival of the Sea, the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival was already underway.

There’s a great festival going on this Memorial Day weekend at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The new, family-friendly waterfront event, sponsored by the Port of San Diego, is called Festival of the Sea!

I headed to the Maritime Museum late this morning to see what was going on!

On the deck of the Star of India, I listened to the 27th Annual San Diego Sea Chantey Festival sponsored by San Diego Folk Heritage. Inside the steam ferry Berkeley, I got to see lots of art by local artists, then peruse books, prints and other used items that are being sold in a kind of nautical rummage sale. From the museum’s barge behind the Berkeley, I viewed a cannon battle out on San Diego Bay, then enjoyed free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream!

The Festival of the Sea also includes kids’ educational activities, costumes galore, and the opportunity to enjoy adult beverages while taking in amazing views of San Diego Bay.

Here come a few photos!

A friendly guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
A smiling guy with a wooden leg welcomes me aboard Star of India for the new waterfront event, Festival of the Sea!
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego's barge.
Gazing out at San Diego Bay from the back of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s barge.
You just knew there would be a pirate!
You just knew there would be a pirate!
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy.
The free samples of Tillamook Ice Cream were super yummy. (Yes, that tray you get holds four different flavors!)
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Lots of artists had their work on display inside the elegant passenger deck of the Berkeley.
Friendly author Joseph O'Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher's Prize is the first book of a series!
Friendly author Joseph O’Loughlin has written an action-packed historical novel that takes place in the Age of Sail. Gallagher’s Prize is the first book of a series!
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
Photographer David J. Shuler has spent many years capturing beautiful images. You can check out his fine work at NauticalVisions.com
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much!
A large selection of art was being displayed aboard the Berkeley. I was surprised to see so much variety!
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Norm Daniels was getting started on a new piece. He does a lot of plein air painting. His website is NormHere.com
Examples of Norm Daniel's surf and island themed work.
Examples of Norm Daniel’s surf and island themed work.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego's unique Model Shop is busy during the festival.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s unique Model Shop is also active during the festival.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
All sorts of used museum items are for sale during the Festival of the Sea. Not shown are numerous unique books about maritime history.
Beyond the museum's Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Beyond the museum’s Soviet submarine, tall ships sail on San Diego Bay.
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
Californian and Bill of Rights exchange a broadside!
The Martime Museum's beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
The Maritime Museum’s beautiful Californian is the official tall ship of California.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
A picturesque scene out on the nearby water.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which you might remember seeing in the great movie Master and Commander.
Looking beyond HMS Surprise, which starred with Russell Crowe in the great movie Master and Commander.
Back on the Star of India, people enjoy live entertainment.
Back on the Star of India, more people are gathering to enjoy live entertainment.
A kid explores the workings of the world's oldest active sailing ship!
A kid explores the workings of the world’s oldest active sailing ship!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous tunes during the Festival of the Sea!
The Jackstraws sing lively, often humorous nautical tunes during the Festival of the Sea!

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!

Street art painted live at North Park festival!

Nick McPherson (a.k.a. Nicholas Danger) paints a cool mural on a North Park wall during the 23rd Annual San Diego County Credit Union Festival of Arts.
Nick McPherson (a.k.a. Nicholas Danger) paints a cool mural on a North Park wall during the 23rd Annual San Diego County Credit Union Festival of Arts.

Today I headed over to the 23rd Annual San Diego County Credit Union Festival of Arts in North Park. (Say that ten times fast!) My favorite part of this huge, super popular street festival is its emphasis on local artists and their amazing creativity.

Friendly artists were at work all over the place!

In the Live Art Block, a series of large canvases were being colorfully painted, including the wall of one building!

The Live Art Block at the North Park festival was presented by VISUAL.
The Live Art Block at the North Park festival was presented by VISUAL.
VISUAL helps connect local artists to public art projects. They also feature a gallery in North Park and sell art supplies.
VISUAL helps connect local artists to public art projects. They also feature a gallery in North Park and sell art supplies.
A number of local artists were creating new art to the delight of those walking about the festival.
A number of local artists were creating new art to the delight of those walking about the festival.

At this very popular festival in North Park, people steered their feet past food, vendors, and a happy crowd of art-loving neighbors.
At this very popular festival in North Park, people steer their feet past yummy food, assorted vendors, and a happy crowd of art-loving neighbors.
A live music performance at the San Diego County Credit Union Festival of Arts.
A live music performance at the San Diego County Credit Union Festival of Arts.
The Gallery in the Street featured lots of artwork for sale, plus artists working live on amazing pieces.
The Gallery in the Street featured lots of artwork for sale, plus artists working live on amazing pieces.

Creativity thrives in North Park!
Creativity thrives in North 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!

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Waterfront Park!

Today is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s wonderful Waterfront Park!

A special event celebrating the anniversary will be held today on the park’s south side lawn from 3 pm to 10 pm. There will be live music, kids activities, food trucks, and a whole lot of family fun!

Waterfront Park remains one of my favorite spots in San Diego. It’s a sunny place where I can sit on a bench to eat or read a book. Fountains splash, people play on the grass, and sails move gracefully in the distance on San Diego Bay.

Five years ago I attended the big grand opening of Waterfront Park and took loads of photographs. To see them, click here!

UPDATE!

I swung by Waterfront Park this evening to experience a little of the anniversary event!

I checked out a couple of information tables and learned about San Diego County Parks and Recreation, and the supportive non-profit San Diego County Parks Society. Both are looking for volunteers!

I saw food trucks, bounce houses, kids running wild through the huge, awesome Waterfront Park playground, and lots of happy people by the splashing fountains and on the grass. I saw a red-tailed hawk, the Pad Squad and the Swinging Friar, and the 80s pop music cover band FlashPants.

Great fun!

IMG_4713z

IMG_4714z

IMG_4715z

IMG_4717z

IMG_4719z

IMG_4722z

IMG_4724z

IMG_4725z

IMG_4756z

IMG_4760z

IMG_4762z

IMG_4766z

IMG_4841z

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!

Fun photos of Cinco de Mayo in Old Town!

This afternoon I strolled through Old Town and captured photos of the big 10th Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. I began in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, headed south along San Diego Avenue, then turned to make my way back to the State Park.

According to a Park Ranger, Cinco de Mayo is by far the most popular event in Old Town San Diego. I saw many families strolling about enjoying the colorful sights, Mexican food and cultural entertainment.

There was a folklorico competition and lucha libre demonstrations (which I missed), giant puppets, Aztec dancers, kids’ crafts, mariachi music, and authentic Mexican food at every turn. There were many people in traditional Mexican dress and others in period costume from the early days of San Diego. I enjoyed checking out a bunch of sweet lowrider cars and a row of shiny, customized kids’ bikes that were definitely super cool. I paused to visit the donkeys near Seeley Stable, guys hammering red hot iron in the blacksmith shop, a silly street performer with a plunger on his head, and a gentleman in La Casa de Estudillo who was playing frontier games of chance against all comers. As I walked about I even spotted some chalk art.

There was so much to see, I didn’t know where to turn next!

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!