Dancing with joy at a big Greek Festival!

Early this afternoon I headed to St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church on Park Boulevard to enjoy their annual Greek Festival. Wow!

Tables and tents in the parking lot behind the church were overflowing with yummy Greek food, laughter, smiles and good cheer. Under the big tent the music, song and dancing was nonstop. Everyone clapped to lively traditional Greek music as people spontaneously jumped up and joined hands to dance. The spirit of “Opa!” was alive!

Kids in colorful Greek costume also danced. I believe the group I watched were called the Delphinian Dancers. They were showered with money during the performance, flowing from the large audience’s sheer joy and gratitude.

The festival continues through the weekend. If you like good times, you must definitely go!

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!

Photos of archery range where Olympic athletes train!

If victory is your destination, make excellence your governing value and perform the work necessary to become great. Wisdom on a plaque outside Olympic archery training range in Chula Vista.
If victory is your destination, make excellence your governing value and perform the work necessary to become great. Wisdom on a plaque outside Olympic archery training range in Chula Vista.

It’s not often you get to visit where Olympic athletes train!

Today, my favorite part of the Celebration of Champions event at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center was checking out where Olympic archers hone their skills. There was more to see than the immense indoor and outdoor archery ranges. My eyes and mind were captivated by a large museum-like display of the history of archery at the Olympic Games.

Please enjoy the following photos. To learn more, read the captions!

A special public event is held at the Easton Foundations Archery Center of Excellence, part of the U.S. Olympic Training Center, now called the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
A special public event is held at the Easton Foundations Archery Center of Excellence, part of the U.S. Olympic Training Center, which is now called the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
Kids see what Olympic-level archery is like during the Celebration of Champions event.
Kids see what Olympic-level archery is like during the Celebration of Champions event.
Outdoor archery targets in a row. Some of the world's greatest athletes take aim at these!
Outdoor archery targets in a row. Some of the world’s greatest athletes take aim at these!
Words inside the archery building at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. To be disciplined athletes of great character; challenging ourselves to achieve excellence in the pursuit of glory.
Words inside the archery building at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. To be disciplined athletes of great character; challenging ourselves to achieve excellence in the pursuit of glory.
Photos on the wall inside the front door show Olympic archers together and in competition.
Photos on the wall inside the front door show Olympic archers together and in competition.
Bows await inside the immense indoor archery range at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
Bows await inside the immense indoor archery range at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
Participants and spectators against the back wall of the indoor archery range.
Participants and spectators against the back wall of the indoor archery range.
Youth learning archery skills check arrow positions on targets after a period of shooting.
Youth learning archery skills check arrow positions on targets after a period of shooting.
An Easton arrow flying through the air lit the Olympic flame in the 1992 Summer Games.
An Easton arrow flying through the air lit the Olympic flame at the 1992 Summer Games.
A display case shows artifacts relating to the history of organized archery and Easton bows and arrows.
A display case shows artifacts relating to the history of organized archery and Easton bows and arrows.
Along a corridor running the length of the Archery Center of Excellence are museum-like displays concerning archery during past Olympic Games. (Click image to enlarge.)
Along a corridor running the length of the Archery Center of Excellence are museum-like displays concerning archery during past Olympic Games. (Click image to enlarge.)
The first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece in 1896. Archery was featured in some of the early years.
The first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece in 1896. Archery was featured in some of the early years.
Photo of FITA President Mrs. Inger K. Frith who helped archery to become reestablished as an Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee.
Photo of FITA President Mrs. Inger K. Frith who helped archery to become reestablished as an Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee.
Early year displays include a 1904 program for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and an early version of archery competition where the bird target sat atop a 31 meter pole.
Early year displays include a 1904 program for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and an early version of archery competition where the bird target sat atop a 31 meter pole.
As one proceeds down the hallway, time moves forward. In 1972 John Williams became archery's first male gold medalist and Doreen Wilbur won the first gold for women's archery.
As one proceeds down the hallway, time moves forward. In 1972 John Williams became archery’s first male gold medalist and Doreen Wilbur won the first gold for women’s archery.
Walk down this hallway and you might rub shoulders with Olympic athletes!
Walk down this hallway and you might rub shoulders with Olympic athletes!
The 1972 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada saw the United States set new archery records.
The 1972 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada saw the United States set new archery records.
In 1984, at the Los Angeles games, New Zealand's Neroli Fairhall was the first paraplegic athlete to compete in Olympic archery.
In 1984, at the Los Angeles games, New Zealand’s Neroli Fairhall was the first paraplegic athlete to compete in Olympic archery.
The 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta based the competition on head-to-head single elimination, a change that proved very popular.
The 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta based the competition on head-to-head single elimination, a change that proved very popular.
In 1996 American and crowd favorite Justin Huish became first male to win individual and team gold.
In 1996 American and crowd favorite Justin Huish became first male to win individual and team gold.
In 2000 South Korea's women dominated archery at the Sydney Summer Olympic Games.
In 2000 South Korea’s women dominated archery at the Sydney Summer Olympic Games.
More fascinating Olympic Games history on display at the indoor archery range at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
More fascinating Olympic Games history on display at the indoor archery range at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
In 2004 the Olympic Games returned to its birthplace--Athens, Greece. The archers competed in Panathinaiko Stadium which is about 2300 years old!
In 2004 the Olympic Games returned to its birthplace: Athens, Greece. The archers competed in the marble Panathinaiko Stadium which is about 2300 years old!
Beijing, China hosted the 2008 Olympic Games where many records were broken.
Beijing, China hosted the 2008 Olympic Games where many records were broken.
And perhaps, one day, these young people will break world records!
And perhaps, one day, these young people will break world archery records!

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!

Early photos of San Diego’s big Greek Festival.

Classic images of Greeks and ancient Greece are sprinkled about the festival.
Classic images of Greeks and ancient Greece are sprinkled about the festival venue.

I enjoyed a wonderful long walk this morning. But it seems my poor old brain forgot some important information. Because when I arrived at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church at 3655 Park Boulevard, I learned that San Diego’s big annual Greek Festival wouldn’t begin for over an hour!

I was allowed to walk about the area behind the church where the festival takes place and snap a few photos. Folks were setting up tents and preparing food. All the people I spoke to were very friendly. According to one, this annual festival is about 40 years old! The three day event features Greek food, music and dancing, and draws thousands from around San Diego. It will be open until 10pm tonight, and again tomorrow from 11am to 8pm.

My legs wanted to continue walking, so here are some photos of morning preparations…

Each year a Greek Festival is held at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church.
Each year a big Greek Festival is held at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church.
An hour before the event opens, preparations are being made for coming crowds.
An hour before the event opens, preparations are being made for coming crowds.
Flags, decorations and colorful wares are a feast for the senses outside St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church.
Flags, decorations and colorful wares are a feast for the senses outside St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church.
Orthodox religious icons displayed by one tent include familiar Christian symbols.
Orthodox religious icons displayed by one tent include familiar Christian symbols.
Icons of Mary and infant Jesus appear as if they're gilded in the San Diego morning sunshine.
Icons of Mary and infant Jesus appear as if they’re gilded in the San Diego morning sunshine.
Looking up at the church from the parking lot behind it, where the festival is held each year.
Looking up at the church from the parking lot behind it, where the festival is held each year.
Lots of people will be following the arrow to Greek coffee and pastries.
Lots of people will be following the arrow to Greek coffee and pastries.
One fun area contains tables, umbrellas and eventually yummy food. Unfortunately, I was much too early!
One fun area contains tables, umbrellas and eventually yummy food. Unfortunately, I was much too early!
Pita bread is stacked up waiting at one end of this Greek Deli tent.
Pita bread is stacked up waiting at one end of this Greek Deli tent.
An ancient scene seems to have sprung from the pages of the Iliad. Are those Greek warriors stirring up some Nescafé?
An ancient scene seems to have sprung from the pages of the Iliad. Are those Greek warriors stirring up some Nescafé?

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