Cinco de Mayo fun in San Diego’s Old Town.

Lots of folks enjoying Cinco de Mayo in Old Town.
Lots of folks enjoying Cinco de Mayo weekend in Old Town.

Late this morning I took a long leisurely walk through San Diego’s Old Town, just to check out this weekend’s Cinco de Mayo festivities. Thousands of people had arrived already, and the crowd was rapidly growing!

People were excited to watch dancers and musicians performing on several stages. They enjoyed gobs of Mexican food, the Cantina Garden, a fun petting zoo, lots of very cool lowriders, and endless booths selling Mexican crafts and wares.

Mariachis play for huge crowd in Old Town's plaza.
Mariachis play for huge crowd in Old Town’s central plaza.
Posing in traditional Mexican garb at Cinco de Mayo.
Posing  for a fun Cinco de Mayo photo.
Colorful Mexican ornaments and gifts seemed to be everywhere.
Colorful Mexican ornaments and gifts seemed to be everywhere.
This barbeque smelled really good to the passing crowd.
This barbeque smelled really good to the passing crowd.
Curled mustache and prickly pear lemonade!
Curled mustache and old-fashioned prickly pear lemonade!
Fiesta de Reyes even more festive for Cinco de Mayo.
Fiesta de Reyes was more festive than usual for Cinco de Mayo.
One Mexican folk dancer watches another on stage.
One Mexican folk dancer watches another perform on stage.
Bright dress worn by lady walking behind Seeley Stable.
Bright yellow festival dress worn by lady walking behind Seeley Stable.
A petting zoo was set up in Old Town for the kids.
A petting zoo was set up in Old Town for the kids.
Dramatic end of long line of hydraulic lowriders.
There were dozens of amazing hydraulic lowriders.

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Bibbey’s crazy, cool pop culture mural!

Bibbey's mural includes Finding Nemo and SpongeBob.
Bibbey’s mural includes Finding Nemo and SpongeBob.

Bibbey’s gift shop, which sells sea shells, rocks and other great stuff, is located across the street from the Imperial Beach pier. It’s hard to miss. The building is one big crazy mural! Check out the wild creativity which blends images from television, movies and the popular culture.

Cosmic ocean imagery in an Imperial Beach mural.
Cosmic ocean fantasy and an Imperial Beach mural.
Fierce octopus guards door of cool gift shop.
Fierce octopus guards door of cool gift shop.
A mermaid, the Lorax and other fun elements.
A sexy mermaid, the Lorax and other fun elements.
Kung Fu Panda and a surfing dragon!
Kung Fu Panda and a surfing dragon!
Madagascar penguins and Patrick.
Madagascar penguins and Patrick.
Someone enters Bibbey's gift shop.
Someone enters Bibbey’s gift shop.
Another great section of Bibbey's crazy mural.
Another great section of Bibbey’s crazy mural.
Shark spotted on wall of Imperial Beach building!
Shark spotted on wall of Imperial Beach building!

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The Spirit of Imperial Beach surfer sculpture.

Bronze surfer holds surfboard in Imperial Beach.
Bronze surfer holds surfboard in Imperial Beach.

A short walk north of the Imperial Beach pier takes you to this delightful sculpture. The Spirit of Imperial Beach is 18 feet high and incorporates many fun elements. The sandcastle at its base and the child with a pail recall the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, which used to be held yearly in Imperial Beach. (Several years ago the competition was replaced by the Sun and Sea Festival.)

Child rides a fish near the beach.
Child rides a fish near the beach.
Spirit of Imperial Beach by James A. Wasil.
Spirit of Imperial Beach by James A. Wasil.
Crabs, shells, fish, sandcastle and girl with a pail.
Crabs, shells, fish, sandcastle and girl with a pail.
Closer look at amazing detail.
Closer look at amazing detail.
Spirit of Imperial Beach sculpture is north of the pier.
Spirit of Imperial Beach sculpture is just north of the pier.

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Escaped zoo animals roam Hillcrest street!

Two metal sculpture elephants on First Avenue.
Two metal sculpture elephants on First Avenue.

Several large and dangerous wild animals have escaped the San Diego Zoo and are running loose in nearby Hillcrest!

Huh?¬† You don’t believe me? I’ve got some photographic proof!

Okay, okay, I’m kidding. These super cool metal sculptures stand in front of a residence on First Avenue. They appear to be made of rusted steel, but I’m not sure. I spotted them during my walk to work this morning, so I whipped out my trusty old camera!

Animal sculptures in front of a residence in Hillcrest.
Animal sculptures in front of a residence in Hillcrest.
Handsome metal horse looks out toward street.
Handsome metal horse looks out toward street.
Funny gorilla poses in front of someone's window.
Funny gorilla poses in front of someone’s window.

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Lots of fun at Seaport Village’s Busker Festival!

Baard Kolstad drums like crazy near the Pier Cafe.
Baard Kolstad drums like crazy near the Pier Cafe.

This afternoon I checked out the Spring Busker Festival at Seaport Village. A huge crowd turned out to enjoy the sunny day and some amazing street performers! Enjoy a few cool pics!

Aerial silks dancer performs near Seaport Village carousel.
Aerial silks dancer performs near Seaport Village carousel.
Crowd gathers at West Plaza for a Busker Festival magic show.
Crowd gathers at West Plaza for a Busker Festival magic show.
Funny magician wows kids at Seaport Village.
Funny magician wows kids at Seaport Village.
Folks head toward busker stage in Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Folks head toward busker stage in Embarcadero Marina Park North.
The hilarious Skip Banks prepares to enter a huge balloon.
The crazy Skip Banks prepares to enter a huge balloon.
Skip Banks' head pops out of big balloon at Busker Festival.
Skip Banks’ head pops out of big balloon at Busker Festival.

Skip Banks was absolutely hilarious. His hyperactive routine, celebrating silly slices of our pop culture, was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long while! His website has some great videos.

Acrobatic juggler entertains crowd with spectator's help.
Acrobatic juggler entertains crowd with spectator’s help.
Baard Kolstad, of Norway, sets up in East Plaza at Seaport Village.
Baard Kolstad, of Norway, sets up in East Plaza at Seaport Village.

Baard Kolstad came all the way from Norway to participate in the Seaport Village Busker Festival. With his dazzling skills, he seems destined to be the next big rock drummer!

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People dance as Catillacs rock Seaport Village.

People dance as the Catillacs rock Seaport Village.
People dance as the Catillacs rock Seaport Village.

Whenever I take a weekend walk through Seaport Village, I always hope the Catillacs are playing their vintage rock and roll at the East Plaza Gazebo. Because nobody can resist dancing to those classic tunes!

There’s just something magical about the sunshiny, laid-back atmosphere. Everyone loses their inhibitions. Young and old alike are moved by the music, and twirl about like delighted maniacs!

People let loose and just enjoy the weekend.
People let loose and just enjoy the weekend.
Everyone is jamming to vintage rock and roll music.
Everyone is jamming to vintage rock and roll music.
Dancing to a live band near the East Plaza Gazebo.
Dancing to a live band near the East Plaza Gazebo.
Catillacs guitarist in Seaport Village gazebo.
Catillacs guitarist in Seaport Village gazebo.

Whirl of green life before St. Paddy’s parade!

St. Patrick's Day Parade participants with signs.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade participants with signs.

San Diego’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held this morning. It ran along Fifth and Sixth Avenue, on Bankers Hill just west of Balboa Park.

I captured a whole bunch of fun pics just prior to the parade’s start. There’s no shortage of the color green! All sorts of people and pets were gathering and preparing and positioning themselves for the exciting event!

People head up Sixth Avenue to watch the big annual parade.
People head up Sixth Avenue to watch the big annual parade.
Bagpipers in kilts assemble for the parade near Balboa Park.
Bagpipers in kilts assemble for the parade near Balboa Park.
A colorful calliope stands by near start of parade route.
A colorful calliope stands by near start of parade route.
Mounted participants in San Diego's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Mounted participants in San Diego’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Marines stand at the ready for the big event.
Cal Fire stands at the ready for the big event.
Girls anticipate marching on a sunny Saturday morning.
Girls anticipate marching on a sunny Saturday morning.
Junior Achievement kids hold THANK YOU spelled out for a photo.
Junior Achievement kids hold THANK YOU spelled out for a photo.
Hanging some Irish green tinsel.
Hanging some Irish green tinsel.
Last minute preparations on a School of Irish Dance float.
Last minute preparations on a School of Irish Dance float.
Another Smiling Irishman.
Another Smiling Irishman.
Gentlemen in capes and plumed hats hold flags.
Gentlemen in capes and plumed hats hold flags.
A band was playing on a float even before the parade started.
A band was playing on a float even before the parade started.
Kermit the Frog is proud to be green!
Kermit the Frog is proud to be green!
Big American Flag is ready on Sixth Avenue.
Big American Flag is ready on Sixth Avenue.
Another half hour until things really get rolling.
Another half hour until things really get rolling.
Clown's tie indicates Irish For a Day.
Clown’s tie indicates Irish For a Day.
Green-antlered hood ornament.
Green-antlered hood ornament.
Even dogs are wearing the green.
Even dogs are wearing the green.
San Diego Elks Lodge No. 168 and lots of shamrocks.
San Diego Elks Lodge No. 168 and lots of shamrocks.
A funny little wooden vehicle in line to start the parade.
A funny little wooden vehicle in line to start the parade.
Lincoln High School band members in green.
Lincoln High School band members in green.
St. Patrick's Day Parade in San Diego is a wonderful tradition.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in San Diego is a wonderful tradition.