Photos of Cinco de Mayo in Balboa Park!

Talented floreador Miguel Bautista performs rope tricks in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo!
Talented floreador Miguel Bautista performs rope tricks in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo!

Today was the first time I’ve gone to a big, festive Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park. What fun!

In the early afternoon I wandered down El Prado to absorb the general flavor of the event, but I spent most of my time watching cultural performances in the Plaza de Panama. The day’s highlight in my opinion was the noontime equestrian parade and rope handling entertainment.

I’ve included some fascinating info in my photo captions!

The festive 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park was the scene of great pageantry and life today!
The festive 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park was the scene of great pageantry and life today!
Many traditional Mexican costumes, crafts and entertaining activities filled the Plaza de Panama.
Many traditional Mexican costumes, crafts and entertaining activities filled the Plaza de Panama.
Ballet folklorico dancers with the community group La Fiesta Danzantes de San Diego entertain a crowd in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo.
Ballet folklorico dancers with the community group La Fiesta Danzantes de San Diego entertain a crowd in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo.
Buoyant traditional Mexican music is provided by City Heights Mariachi, an ensemble that welcomes all ages. They are actively seeking trumpet players!
Buoyant traditional Mexican music is provided by City Heights Mariachi, an ensemble that welcomes all ages. They are actively seeking trumpet players!
Many people in diverse and colorful garb were in the audience.
Many people in diverse and colorful garb were in the audience.
The noon Equestrian Procession is entering the Plaza de Panama! The group is called Escaramuza Charra las Golondrinas.
The noon Equestrian Procession is entering the Plaza de Panama! The group is called Escaramuza Charra las Golondrinas.
Riders on horseback wear various traditional costumes. The caballero with the American flag is in the gala dress of a charro.
Riders on horseback wear various traditional costumes. The caballero carrying the American flag is in the gala dress of a charro.
Circling in the Plaza de Panama so that all can enjoy.
Circling in the Plaza de Panama so that all can enjoy.
The equestrian group's floreador performs elaborate rope tricks for the crowd.
The equestrian group’s floreador performs elaborate rope tricks for the crowd.
Great agility and showmanship on display.
Great agility and showmanship on display.
Performing more amazing rope tricks up on the back of his horse!
Performing more amazing rope tricks up on the back of his horse!
This cool lowrider was on display. It's a 1958 Chevy Del Ray Sedan Delivery painted with cool flames!
This cool lowrider was out in the plaza. It’s a 1958 Chevy Del Ray Sedan Delivery painted with flames!
Several Balboa Park museums and organizations had tables in the plaza where kids could create Cinco de Mayo-themed artwork.
Several Balboa Park museums and organizations had tables in the plaza where kids could create Cinco de Mayo-themed artwork.
Many food trucks were lining El Prado!
Many food trucks were lining El Prado!
When not on the main stage, City Heights Mariachi did some more entertaining along El Prado.
When not on the main stage, City Heights Mariachi did some more entertaining along El Prado.
At one o'clock there was a Traditional Dress Showcase with models wearing regional attire from different Mexican states.
At one o’clock there was a Traditional Dress Showcase with models wearing regional attire from different Mexican states.
The various traditional Mexican dresses were from the Olga de la Vega private collection.
The various traditional Mexican dresses were from the Olga de la Vega private collection.
I believe this was said to be a dress from the Michoacán region. The shawl is an important aspect of the attire--it is used to send social signals.
I believe this was said to be a dress from the Michoacán region. The shawl is an important aspect of the attire–it is used to send social signals.
Dress from the Mexican state of Guerrero, if my notes are correct. Images in the fabric include flowers and jaguars.
Dress from the Mexican state of Guerrero, if my notes are correct. Images in the fabric include flowers and jaguars.
Color and pageantry filled the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park!
Abundant color and pageantry filled the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park!

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Breeders’ Cup horses race on a Del Mar street!

Hang On To Your Hats! Art of the Horse, created by artist Daphne Gaylord.
Hang On To Your Hats! Art of the Horse, created by artist Daphne Gaylord.

Breeders’ Cup racehorses are running down a street in Del Mar–and through several nearby cities, from La Jolla to Cardiff-by-the-Sea!

These horses–fiberglass sculptures to be precise–are life size versions of the Torrie Horse used for the Breeders’ Cup Trophy. Each one has been painted by a local artist and placed along a stretch of coastal San Diego County for the upcoming event, which will be held on November 3 and 4 at the Del Mar Racetrack. The project is called Art of the Horse. There are a total of 20 statues.

You might recall I saw one of these horses being creatively painted in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center earlier this year.

I’ve spotted four more Breeders’ Cup horses racing down Camino del Mar, south of the racetrack!

Milliner's Joy. Art of the Horse, created by artist Robin Raznick.
Milliner’s Joy. Art of the Horse, created by artist Robin Raznick.
Banner proclaims that The Best Are Coming. The Breeders' Cup will be held at the Del Mar Racetrack in 2017, November 3-4.
Banner proclaims that The Best Are Coming. The Breeders’ Cup will be held at the Del Mar Racetrack in 2017, November 3-4.
La Mare De La Mer. Art of the Horse, created by artist Nancy Fraser.
La Mare De La Mer. Art of the Horse, created by artist Nancy Fraser.
American Flag. Art of the Horse, created by artist Vincent Dalmaso.
American Flag. Art of the Horse, created by artist Vincent Dalmaso.
The Breeders' Cup is coming to Del Mar in less than two weeks!
Hang on for the ride of your life! The Breeders’ Cup is coming to Del Mar in less than two weeks!

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!

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Trades That Shaped the West demonstrated in Old Town!

A Wells Fargo stagecoach takes a turn around La Plaza de Las Armas in San Diego's historic Old Town.
A Wells Fargo stagecoach takes a turn around La Plaza de Las Armas in San Diego’s historic Old Town.

Here come photos from today’s Trades That Shaped the West event, which took place in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!

A wide variety of demonstrations drew curious visitors to a cluster of tents in the park’s grassy plaza. Early San Diego in the 1800’s was completely different from our modern city of gleaming skyscrapers. In many ways, life back then was both simpler and more difficult. Many household objects that are manufactured today were crafted using raw muscle and sweat. Most ordinary tasks were neither easy nor automated.

One hopes that historical reenactments like this continue for generations, so that people don’t forget the unique and meaningful lives of our ancestors.

You might notice this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about this annual event. I’m so fascinated by San Diego’s history, I decided to experience Trades That Shaped the West again!

Stagecoach Days is celebrated every Saturday in Old Town during the summer. There’s a different themed event every week!

Aspects of frontier life were reenacted today in Old Town San Diego. Visitors watch in amazement as a stagecoach passes by!
Aspects of frontier life were reenacted today in Old Town San Diego. Visitors watch as a stagecoach passes by!
History comes to life during Stagecoach Days in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. There's a different theme each Saturday in July and August.
History comes to life during Stagecoach Days in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. There’s a different theme each Saturday in July and August.
Many fascinating demonstrations could be viewed by the public at the Trades That Shaped the West event.
Many fascinating demonstrations could be viewed by the public at the Trades That Shaped the West event today.
Young and old alike watched two blacksmiths at work with an anvil and small portable forge.
Young and old alike watched two blacksmiths at work with an anvil and small forge.
A wheelwright explains his craft. Wagon wheels were difficult to create, but a necessity of life in the 1800's.
A wheelwright explains his craft. To make wagon wheels required great skill. Like cars today, wagons were an important part of life in the 1800’s.
The bent metal band tyre would be expanded with heat, then contracted using cold water once carefully placed around the wooden wheel.
The bent metal band tyre would be expanded with heat, then contracted using cold water once carefully placed around the wooden wheel.
We take laundry machines for granted today. In the Old West, cleaning clothes took a whole lot more work.
We take laundry machines for granted today. Years ago in the Old West, cleaning clothes required a whole lot more work!
Irons, washboards and other objects from daily life generations ago are on display.
Irons, washboards and other objects from daily life generations ago were on display.
These ladies were weaving baskets. Basket-weaving is said to be the oldest of all human crafts.
These ladies were weaving baskets. Basket-weaving is said to be the oldest of all human crafts.
The local Kumeyaay would use willow baskets to protect their gathered acorns and other food from insects.
The local Native American Kumeyaay would use willow baskets to protect their gathered acorns and other food from insects.
This portable green forge is being used for the first time. The handle turns a belt which operates an air blower. I recognized this blacksmith from the Fall Back Festival in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter.
This portable green forge is being used for the first time. The handle turns a belt which operates an air blower. I recognized this blacksmith from the Fall Back Festival in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
Local blacksmith hobbyists made all the items you see here, including the ornamental snake (which takes about an hour and a half to make) and the huge padlock!
Local blacksmith hobbyists created all the items you see here, including the ornamental snake (which took about an hour and a half to make) and the huge padlock!
This crafty gambler tried to entice me into playing a game of chance. Nice try!
This crafty gambler tried to entice me into playing a game of chance. Nice try!
A gentleman had a table containing old tintype photographs. He also had antique cameras on display that produce daguerreotype photographs.
A gentleman had a table containing old tintype photographs. He also had antique cameras on display that were used for daguerreotype photographs.
A new wheel is being produced by several wainwrights, trades people who make and repair wagons and carts.
A new wheel is being produced by several wainwrights, trades people who craft and repair wagons and carts. These guys belong to the California Historical Artillery Society.
A variety of useful tools and devices. Many look familiar today.
A variety of useful tools on their table. Many look familiar today.
Friendly members of the California Historical Artillery Society were demonstrating at the annual Old Town event for the first time.
The members of the California Historical Artillery Society were attending the annual Trades That Shaped the West event for the first time.
Approximate blacksmithing prices in the mid 1800's.
Sign shows average blacksmithing prices in the mid 1800’s. The prices were much higher in Northern California during the Gold Rush.
These guys also had a traveling battery forge, used by the Army long ago. Today they are often used in Civil War reenactments.
These guys also had a traveling battery forge, used by the Army long ago. Today they are often used in Civil War reenactments.
I noticed that the snake oil salesman had drawn a crowd!
I noticed that a snake oil salesman had drawn a crowd!
An old lady with a bad case of lumbago was eager to try Dr. Montbank's Tonic Elixir.
An old lady with a bad case of lumbago was eager to try Dr. Montbank’s Tonic Elixir.
I'm not sure it helped much.
I’m not sure it helped much.
A guitar, fiddle, banjo and a bottle. These frontier musicians were getting ready to provide a bit of Western entertainment.
A guitar, a fiddle, and a bottle. These frontier musicians were getting themselves ready to provide a bit of Western entertainment.
Visitors to Old Town were walking in front of the Colorado House and enjoying a sunny San Diego weekend.
Visitors to Old Town were walking in front of the Colorado House and enjoying a sunny San Diego weekend.
Look what's coming! These pack animals have transported the mail all the way from San Antonio!
Look what’s coming! These pack animals have transported the mail all the way from San Antonio!
The Overland Mail Delivery arrived exactly at one o'clock!
The Overland Mail Delivery arrived exactly at one o’clock!
I guess this would qualify as Ground Mail.
I guess this would qualify as Ground Mail.
The small Old Town encampment excitedly greets the four-legged mail carriers.
The small Old Town encampment excitedly greets the four-legged mail carriers.
Mail is handed out to many event participants!
Mail is handed out to many of the event participants!
The young folk don't seem to notice.
These creative young folk are too busy writing their own letters to notice.
An educational slice of history could be enjoyed today in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!
An educational reenactment of history was enjoyed today in Old Town San Diego State Historic 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!

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Photos of cattle drive through downtown San Diego!

Cowboys on horseback drive cattle down Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego. They are promoting this year's San Diego County Fair.
Cowboys on horseback drive cattle down Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego. They are promoting this year’s San Diego County Fair.

This morning there was a big cattle drive through downtown San Diego!

Huh? What?

It’s true! About 200 head of cattle were driven by cowboys on horseback and herding dogs down Harbor Drive, then up Fifth Avenue, then back west along Market Street. The intention of this unusual spectacle was to promote the San Diego County Fair, whose theme this year is How the West is Fun!

I followed along much of the way! Here are some photos!

At Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, everybody gets ready for the big cattle drive!
At Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, police escorts gets ready for the big cattle drive!
The 2017 theme for the San Diego County Fair, which just opened at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, is Where the West is Fun.
The 2017 theme for the San Diego County Fair, which opened yesterday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, is Where the West is Fun.
Excitement mounts nearby as the cattle drive is about to get underway.
Excitement mounts nearby as the cattle drive is about to get underway.
A temporary corral set up by Ruocco Park contained about 200 head of cattle.
A temporary corral set up by Ruocco Park contained about 200 head of cattle.
Here they go, starting down Harbor Drive!
Here they go, starting down Harbor Drive!
Lots of cowboys on horses and some excited herding dogs lead the cows along the downtown street.
Lots of cowboys on horses and some excited herding dogs start the cows along the street.
Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the unusual spectacle. It seemed like the Old West was being relived in San Diego!
Hundreds of people lined the sidewalk to watch the unusual spectacle. It seemed like the Old West was being relived in San Diego!
The downtown cattle drive will head along Harbor Drive, turn north up Fifth Avenue, then back head west along Market Street.
The downtown cattle drive will head along Harbor Drive, turn north up Fifth Avenue, then head back west along Market Street.
You don't see this every day!
You don’t see this every day!
Neither does this city dog! What is going on?
Neither does this city dog! What is going on?
A guy in a crazy cow costume gets a photograph of the cattle drive.
A guy in a crazy cow costume gets a photograph of the cattle drive.
Cowboys keep a close eye on the cattle as they head along San Diego's waterfront.
Cowboys keep a close eye on the cattle as they head along San Diego’s waterfront.
Not your ordinary Saturday morning in the big city!
Not your ordinary Saturday morning in the big city!
Skyscrapers in the background. The cows didn't seem to notice.
Skyscrapers in the background. The cows didn’t seem to notice.
The cattle drive heads past the San Diego Convention Center. So does a disinterested jogger.
The cattle drive heads past the San Diego Convention Center. So does a jogger.
The downtown cattle drive has turned onto Fifth Avenue. Here they come!
The downtown cattle drive has turned onto Fifth Avenue. Here they come!
Cowboys ride under the Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign.
Cowboys ride under the famous Gaslamp Quarter landmark sign.
The Gaslamp hasn't seen so many cowboys on horseback in a good century and a half!
The Gaslamp hasn’t seen so many cowboys on horseback in a good century and a half!
The cattle are driven up Fifth Avenue into the heart of San Diego.
The cattle are driven up Fifth Avenue into the heart of San Diego.
Folks ride in a wagon that promotes the 2017 San Diego County Fair - Where the West is Fun!
Folks ride in a wagon that promotes the 2017 San Diego County Fair – Where the West is Fun!
A rather unusual sight proceeds north up through San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter.
A rather unusual sight proceeds north up through San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter.
The Old West has come back to life in downtown San Diego!
The Old West has come back to life in downtown San Diego!

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San Diego Harbor and Backcountry: Reiffel paintings.

A small part of a large, dynamic painting of San Diego's working waterfront.
A small part of a large, dynamic painting of San Diego’s working waterfront.

Yesterday I enjoyed a visit to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. In addition to checking out various fascinating exhibits, I paused for a moment to gaze upon two large murals on display that were painted in 1936 by Charles Reiffel.

Charles Reiffel was a renowned Post-Impressionist landscape painter who was sometimes referred to as the American Van Gogh. Looking at these truly impressive paintings, one can understand why! The viewer enters his color-splashed, dreamy world and simply wants to linger.

Two more wonderful Reiffel paintings can be seen in Balboa Park inside the Casa de Balboa. I have photos of them here!

Charles Reiffel, San Diego Harbor, 1936. Oil on canvas. WPA mural inside the San Diego History Center that was originally commissioned for San Diego High School.
Charles Reiffel, San Diego Harbor, 1936. Oil on canvas. WPA mural inside the San Diego History Center that was originally commissioned for San Diego High School.
This part of the fantastic oil painting depicts a pier and activity on San Diego Bay.
This part of the fantastic oil painting depicts a pier and activity on San Diego Bay.
Boats and buildings along San Diego's colorful harbor.
Boats and buildings along San Diego’s colorful harbor.
Charles Reiffel, San Diego Backcountry, 1936. Oil on canvas. WPA mural inside the San Diego History Center that was originally commissioned for San Diego High School.
Charles Reiffel, San Diego Backcountry, 1936. Oil on canvas. WPA mural inside the San Diego History Center that was originally commissioned for San Diego High School.
This part of the oil painting shows homes in the hills of San Diego.
This part of the oil painting shows homes in the hills of San Diego.
First introduced by Spanish explorers and missionaries, horse riding has become a popular activity in the country surrounding San Diego.
First introduced by Spanish explorers and missionaries, horse riding has become a popular activity in the country surrounding San Diego.
A farmer plows a field somewhere in beautiful San Diego.
A farmer plows a field somewhere in beautiful San Diego.

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Balboa Park artist paints life size Breeders’ Cup horse!

Artist in Balboa Park's Spanish Village tells visitors about her very unique work of art.
Artist in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village tells visitors about her very unique work of art.

I discovered something very cool during my walk through Balboa Park this evening. Bonnie Chance, an artist in Spanish Village Art Center, was applying paint to a life size fiberglass racehorse!

This artfully painted horse will be displayed prominently in San Diego with various others during the upcoming Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. The project is called Art of the Horse. The painted and decorated horses will be part of a dinner and auction prior to the Breeders’ Cup. Money raised will assist various local charities.

I believe the artist said her creation’s name is Biscuit.

Spanish Village Art Center is hosting two life size race horses being painted for the 2017 Breeders Cup at Del Mar.
Spanish Village Art Center is hosting two life size race horses being painted for the 2017 Breeders Cup at Del Mar.
This impressive, lifelike horse sculpture is painted with images of underwater ocean life.
This impressive, lifelike horse sculpture is painted with images of underwater ocean life.
A large seahorse on a horse named Sea Biscuit. The famous Sea Biscuit ran a legendary race at Del Mar in 1938.
A large seahorse on a horse named Biscuit. The legendary Sea Biscuit won a famous race at Del Mar in 1938.

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Horses and riders gather for St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

A horse is prepared in a corner of Balboa Park for San Diego's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade along Sixth Avenue.
A horse is prepared in a corner of Balboa Park for San Diego’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade along Sixth Avenue.  San Diego Bay and Point Loma can be seen in the distance.

Here are some fun photos!

Look what I discovered this morning as I walked through Marston Point, heading into the heart of Balboa Park. Horses and riders had gathered in the southwest corner of the park and were preparing for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Every year the big parade heads down nearby Sixth Avenue.

Both horses and riders would be wearing green today during the parade.
Both horses and riders would be wearing green today during the parade.
Horse and rider get ready in Balboa Park's Marston Point parking lot.
Horse and rider get ready in Balboa Park’s Marston Point parking lot.
Folks dressed in cowboy attire watch the proceedings.
Folks dressed in cowboy attire watch the proceedings.
A couple of horses from Valley Center wait by a trailer for the start of the parade.
A couple of horses from Valley Center wait by a trailer for the start of the parade.
A nice smile from a rider!
A nice smile from a rider!
Law enforcement would ride in the parade, too. These two horses were wearing some green shamrocks.
Law enforcement would ride in the parade, too. These two horses were wearing some green shamrocks.
A horse and rider with fancy braids.
A horse and rider with braids and curls.
This elegant carriage would soon be watched by thousands during the big parade.
This elegant carriage would soon be watched by thousands during the big St. Patrick’s Day parade.
A rider heads across the grass of Balboa Park's lush green Marston Point.
A rider heads across the grass of Balboa Park’s beautiful green Marston Point.

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!