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!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

International Organ Festival begins with a Thank You!

The 34th San Diego International Organ Festival began this evening in Balboa Park.

It was the first festival concert of many to come this summer. They are free to the public on Monday evenings, beginning at 7:30 pm. See the full program here. Some of the world’s top organists will fill thousands of ears with dazzling sound from the incomparable Spreckels Organ.

But tonight, before San Diego Civic Organist Raul Prieto Ramírez began his magic, two people were brought to the pavilion stage for a special Thank You.

Past Spreckels Organ Society President Arlene Way and Civic Organist Emeritus Robert Plimpton spoke a few words–including doing good for the community and bringing happiness to people–then received applause.

I want to personally thank Robert Plimpton. He’s the one who “introduced” me to the Spreckels Organ. One day, I forget when, as a young man in Balboa Park, I sat down on one of those metal benches and listened. I hadn’t realized an organ could play so movingly, so exquisitely. Like poetry.

His energetic, elegant, precise play of the mighty Spreckels Organ made me a fan of the King of Instruments for life. Sitting on that bench, amazed, it might have been the first time I realized Balboa Park has a living heartbeat.

So, thank you to all who keep that heartbeat going.

And thank you Robert Plimpton.

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!

La Mesa celebrates freedom at inaugural Juneteenth event!

Today was the start of something big in La Mesa. This afternoon the inaugural La Mesa Juneteenth celebration kicked off in MacArthur Park!

I arrived shortly after the free public event opened at noon. Lots of people were already walking about, exploring the many canopies dotting the grass. I saw artists with crafts, vendors, community organizations . . . and lots of smiles!

There were families everywhere enjoying the sunshine. Kids were playing in a fun zone and learning about the history of the very first Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans in Texas finally heard of their freedom.

I missed some of the later entertainment. I’ll try to catch it next year.

Because I have no doubt next year’s La Mesa Juneteenth celebration will be even bigger and better!

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!

Induction Dance at the San Diego Fringe Festival!

Would it be silly? Serious? Amateurish? Professional?

I really didn’t know what to expect when I purchased a ticket today for the Induction Dance performance during the 2022 San Diego Fringe Festival.

I took my seat inside the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park and waited for the dance to begin. And what we got was a guy in a gorilla suit playing guitar! Then a clown on a tricycle!

Okay, I thought to myself. It’s the Fringe Festival. Only 10 bucks.

But then the performance changed dramatically.

And some good ballet dancing began. Really good!

I was blown away by the fluidity, sensuousness, and gorgeous moves by two dancers who obviously knew what they were doing!

Philip Amer, the Artistic Director of Induction Dance, danced with Saori Maeda. When each of several dances were completed, the audience applauded loudly. It was deserved.

Philip Amer hails from Escondido. Over the years he has performed with numerous ballet companies across the country. He also teaches dance.

Saori Maeda is 23 years old. She’s from Japan, now studying ballet and training in Southern California. Her moves were graceful and flawless. She is destined to be a star!

The performance today included several humorous skits that worked quite well, including a dance with a cloth dummy, and a mime-like ballerina trying to communicate words with particular movements.

Philip Amer stated his object is to make ballet entertaining and accessible for ordinary folk. I don’t know about the guitar playing gorilla and clown on a tricycle, but the rest of the act was original, witty, magical!

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!

Cool photo memories from June 2017.

A cattle drive through downtown San Diego!

That was probably the strangest event Cool San Diego Sights recorded during the month of June in 2017.

Five years ago there were other fascinating events, too, like the Wooden Boat Festival on Shelter Island, and the Ocean Beach Street Fair, and Flag Day in Old Town, and Family Day at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.

Plus, I saw indications that another San Diego Comic-Con was fast approaching!

I’ve selected nine very different blog posts from June 2017 that you might enjoy checking out…

Click the following links to see lots of photos!

Photos of cattle drive through downtown San Diego!

Photos of Family Day at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.

A glimpse of history at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Mormon Battalion celebrates Flag Day in Old Town.

Photos from Port of San Diego’s harbor tour.

First 2017 San Diego Comic-Con trolley: The Orville!

Photos of the San Diego Wooden Boat Festival!

Artists add life to the Ocean Beach Street Fair!

A walk through history in The Village of La Mesa.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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

The “berry” sweet Vista Strawberry Festival!

Could the Vista Strawberry Festival be the largest, most popular street festival in all of San Diego County? From what I saw today, it might well be! It is the largest strawberry festival in these parts!

All of downtown Vista–nearly every street it seemed–was closed to traffic and packed with excited families and smiling neighbors, all enjoying a sweet Memorial Day weekend Sunday!

Did you know Vista was once considered the Strawberry Capital of the World?

There was so much going on at the festival, so many happy people dressed as strawberries, or eating strawberries, or buying strawberry art, crafts and concoctions, that I thought I had entered strawberry heaven!

To kids the enormous fun zone, complete with a zip line, must’ve felt like heaven.

Those who raced in the morning 5K, having joined the crowd after the run, appeared to be enjoying themselves, too!

I met lots of great people during my visit and, of course, ate a few strawberries myself. (But I didn’t muster the courage to try the strawberry tamales.)

I was pleased to learn Vista’s Soroptimists (those three smiling faces in one of the photos coming up) have raised lots of money to help young women in difficult circumstances get an education! Visit their website 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!

Flags, flavor and fun at the Santee Street Fair!

The annual Santee Street Fair returned to East County today!

I rode the San Diego Trolley up to Santee Trolley Square to enjoy an event I hadn’t previously experienced.

The festival began with the presentation of colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. In addition to youthful dancing and martial arts demonstrations, a Gold Star family took to the main stage. They were thanked for their sacrifice with a standing ovation.

Lots of neighbors came out to enjoy food, fun and fellowship. The kid zone’s rides were whirling. Smiling artists, vendors and community organizations were plentiful. I’ve never seen so many prize wheels!

After a bit, the sun peeked out from the clouds above. And it felt like a perfect Memorial Day weekend had begun!

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!

Fun at Fiesta del Sol in Solana Beach!

Fiesta del Sol has returned to Solana Beach! The big event is bringing the community together this weekend on the streets above Fletcher Cove!

The annual spring festival always attracts huge crowds. There’s plenty of food, music, arts and crafts to keep families and fun lovers plenty busy.

I swung by in the afternoon to enjoy some of the 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!

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!