Music and fun at San Diego Multicultural Festival!

This super nice lady posed while blowing some bubbles! And I got photobombed! What fun!
This super nice lady posed while blowing some bubbles! And I got photobombed! What fun!

Lots of photos today!

Let’s start out with the fun San Diego Multicultural Festival, which was held in sunny Ruocco Park, downtown near Tuna Harbor. I always enjoy walking through the annual event, taking in the cool, happy vibe and listening to some great live music. Here are a few pics!

Remember–tomorrow is the big MLK parade which goes down Harbor Drive along the Embarcadero! It begins at 2 o’clock!

Folks were at the San Diego Multicultural Festival in Ruocco Park listening to lots of great live music.
Folks were at the San Diego Multicultural Festival in Ruocco Park listening to lots of great live music.
This smiling lady representing the WorldBeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park had a table full of beautiful crafts. They'll be having a Let Freedom Ring event on MLK Day.
This smiling lady representing the WorldBeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park had a table full of beautiful crafts. They’ll be having a Let Freedom Ring event on MLK Day.
Super colorful art and wares at the WorldBeat table. Celebrating life, diversity and Martin Luther King Jr. Day in San Diego!
Super colorful art and wares at the WorldBeat table. Celebrating life, diversity and Martin Luther King Jr. Day in San Diego!
People were enjoying drumming on the grass in Ruocco Park, near Seaport Village.
People were enjoying drumming on the grass in Ruocco Park, near Seaport Village.
This cool musician on the stage saw me taking a photo! Hello!
This cool musician on the stage saw me taking a photo! Hello!

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Veteran’s Day celebrated in Balboa Park.

Getting ready for the Veteran's Day Memorial Program at the House of USA Cottage in Balboa Park.
Getting ready for the Veteran’s Day Memorial Program at the House of USA Cottage in Balboa Park.

Today I enjoyed a special Veteran’s Day program in Balboa Park. It was held on the lawn at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. The City Guard Band of San Diego played some great music, including a composition titled San Diego Exposition March, written by Gunner Tolbert for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition held in Balboa Park. Some other pieces I heard were selections from South Pacific, Victory at Sea, and, of course, the Star Spangled Banner.

I took a number of photos, and ventured into the House of USA Cottage to absorb some of the atmosphere. I thought you’d might like to have a look. Please read the captions for some more interesting information.

The band is ready to play as people gather around the stage in the lawn area of the International Cottages. It's a Sunday afternoon in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
The band is ready to play as people gather around the stage in the lawn area of the International Cottages. It’s a Sunday afternoon in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park.
City Guard Band of San Diego plays during a special Veteran's Day program. The band originated in 1880, when members were part of a local volunteer militia.
City Guard Band of San Diego plays during a special Veteran’s Day program. The band originated in 1880, when members were part of a local volunteer militia.
Old plaque at base of large tree in the middle of the surrounding cottages. Dedicated in honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Old plaque at base of large tree near the center of the surrounding cottages. Dedicated in honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
A small Veteran's Day gathering in Balboa Park's friendly House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
A relaxed Veteran’s Day gathering at Balboa Park’s peaceful House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Folks at a table in front of the House of USA Cottage listen to the band play patriotic and other popular tunes.
Folks at a table in front of the House of USA Cottage listen to the band play patriotic and other popular tunes.
These fine ladies smiled for my camera! Those treats on the table are well known to this blogger!
These fine ladies smiled for my camera! Those treats on the table are well known to this blogger!
American flag and a Welcome at the front door of the USA cottage in Balboa Park.
American flag and a Welcome at the front door of the USA cottage in Balboa Park.
Inside the USA cottage. Welcome home all the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
Inside the USA cottage. Welcome home all the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
Famous portraits and memorabilia from American history cover walls and fill shelves in the House of USA Cottage.
Famous portraits and memorabilia from American history cover walls and fill shelves in the House of USA Cottage.
Playing the piano for anyone who wanders in on another perfect sunny San Diego day. Someone was whistling nearby.
Playing the piano for anyone who wanders in on another perfect sunny San Diego day. Someone was whistling nearby.
The Stars and Stripes and books concerning Americana.
The Stars and Stripes and various books celebrating Americana.
Playing joyful music, from marches to musicals, celebrating those who've served to protect our freedom.
Playing sparkling music, from marches to musicals, celebrating those who’ve served to protect our freedom.

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Getting ready for Fourth of July on the Embarcadero.

Flags are already out up and down San Diego's Embarcadero the day before the Fourth of July.
Flags are already out up and down San Diego’s Embarcadero the day before the Fourth of July.  This gentleman was taking a break near the fishing pier behind the convention center.

I noticed today that folks are already in the Fourth of July spirit. During my walk along the Embarcadero, I saw flags everywhere. Tomorrow the waterfront will be jammed with hundreds of thousands of San Diegans and tourists, especially during the Big Bay Boom fireworks show which takes place at 9 o’clock. I’ll be watching, too! Don’t expect any photos of fireworks, however, because my modest camera isn’t quite up to that task!

Should you happen to stroll through Seaport Village on Saturday, Alamo Flags will be handing out 1000 actual American flags for free! I was once honored to receive one, and they’re great! Giving away flags is a tradition carried on by the owner, Mike Ismail. Because of his personal experiences, he’s very grateful to live in the Land of the Free.

Port of San Diego's Big Bay Boom, an Independence Day Spectacular, will take place at 9 o'clock July 4. Several barges on the bay will launch synchronized fireworks.
Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom, an Independence Day Spectacular, will take place at 9 o’clock July 4. Several barges on the bay will launch synchronized fireworks.
American flag on a pedicab waiting for passengers by the USS Midway Museum.
American flag on a pedicab.  The driver is waiting for passengers on the Embarcadero, near the USS Midway Museum.
Flagship's Patriot speed boat is ready to take folks on a thrill ride! Get ready to be splashed!
Flagship’s Patriot speed boat is about to take folks on a thrill ride! Get ready to be splashed!
A street performer wears the Stars and Stripes. Looks like he's ready to go this Fourth of July weekend.
A street performer wears the Stars and Stripes. Looks like he’s ready to go this Fourth of July weekend.
Window at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village has patriotic displays. Mike Ismail, the owner, is proud and grateful to be a free American.
Window at Alamo Flags in Seaport Village has a patriotic display. Mike Ismail, the owner, is proud and grateful to be a free American.
Banners near front of Alamo Flags. The shop will give away 1000 free actual United States flags on the Fourth of July!
Banners near front of Alamo Flags. The shop will give away 1000 actual United States flags on the Fourth of July!
Tourists wearing Old Glory have disembarked from a San Diego SEAL Tours cool Hydra-Terra vehicle at Seaport Village.
Tourists wearing Old Glory have disembarked at Seaport Village from a San Diego SEAL Tours cool Hydra-Terra vehicle, after taking a bay cruise.

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Quotes on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Walking past a plaque which is engraved with one of many important quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.
Walking past a plaque which is engraved with one of many important quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.

I frequently walk along the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in downtown San Diego. Whenever I do, I like to randomly read some of the historic MLK quotes that are engraved in plaques along the long pathway. I’ve never counted the number of quotes. There are easily dozens. Every quote on every plaque is important and powerful, and reflects the intelligence, energy, optimism and wisdom of America’s great civil rights leader.

Here are photos taken at different times of a few of Dr. King’s quotes…

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.
The deep rumbling of discontent that we hear today is the thunder of disinherited masses, rising from dungeons of oppression to the bright hills of freedom in one majestic chorus.
The deep rumbling of discontent that we hear today is the thunder of disinherited masses, rising from dungeons of oppression to the bright hills of freedom in one majestic chorus.
Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.
Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.
We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the Earth like brothers.
We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the Earth like brothers.
Two people walk side-by-side down the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in downtown San Diego.
Two people walk side-by-side down the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in downtown San Diego.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
The democratic ideal of freedom and equality will be fulfilled for all--or all human beings will share in the resulting social and spiritual doom...
The democratic ideal of freedom and equality will be fulfilled for all–or all human beings will share in the resulting social and spiritual doom…
The greatest victory of the civil rights period was something internal...We armed ourselves with dignity and self-respect...We straightened our backs up...
The greatest victory of the civil rights period was something internal…We armed ourselves with dignity and self-respect…We straightened our backs up…
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Any law that uplifts human personality is just, any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
Any law that uplifts human personality is just, any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Breaking the Chains sculpture, by Melvin Edwards, reminds people on MLK Promenade of the positive legacy of a great civil rights leader.
Breaking the Chains sculpture, by Melvin Edwards, reminds people on MLK Promenade of the positive legacy of a great civil rights leader.

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