Festivals, fun and blossoms in Balboa Park!

Dancers entertain visitors to Balboa Park as the House of China celebrates the New Year at the International Cottages.
Dancers entertain visitors to Balboa Park as the House of China celebrates Chinese New Year at the International Cottages.

It’s February already, and beginning to feel a tiny bit like spring!

Visitors to Balboa Park today could enjoy many wonderful experiences: the Chinese New Year Festival . . . the International Dance Festival . . . and even a few early cherry blossoms!

As I walked in sunshine and scattered sprinkles, I took many photos.

Colorful young dancers on stage celebrate the Chinese New Year in San Diego.
Colorful young dancers on stage celebrate the Chinese New Year in San Diego.
Food, culture and sunshine (and some sprinkling clouds) at the Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.
Food, culture and sunshine (and scattered, sprinkling clouds) at the Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.
A glimpse of the El Cid statue in Balboa Park on a spring-like Sunday in February.
A glimpse of the El Cid statue in Balboa Park on a springlike Sunday in February.
Sunshine on bubbles.
Sunshine on bubbles.
There's plenty of bright green down in the Balboa Park Rube Powell Archery Range.
There’s plenty of bright green down in the Balboa Park Rube Powell Archery Range.
A beautiful photo between the House of Hospitality and Casa de Balboa.
A beautiful photo between the House of Hospitality and Casa de Balboa.
Prado Perk's chalkboard indicates it's almost Valentine's Day!
Prado Perk’s chalkboard indicates it’s almost Valentine’s Day!
Athletes in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association gather during a time out during the Third Annual Brad Rich Invitational at Balboa Municipal Gymnasium.
Athletes in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association gather during a time out during the Third Annual Brad Rich Invitational at Balboa Municipal Gymnasium.
The ornamental pear trees are blooming near the Plaza de Balboa.
The ornamental pear trees are blooming near the Plaza de Balboa.
Members of the San Diego Bonsai Club work on small olive trees in the Casa del Prado.
Members of the San Diego Bonsai Club work on small olive trees in the Casa del Prado.
I spotted Captain America in the cafe of the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum! (He's actually a cool member of San Diego's Science Fiction Coalition!)
I spotted Captain America in the cafe of the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum! (He’s actually a member of San Diego’s Science Fiction Coalition.)
A beautiful spring-like day on El Prado.
A beautiful springlike day on El Prado.
I was welcomed to the International Dance Festival in the Balboa Park Club.
I was welcomed to the International Dance Festival in the Balboa Park Club.
Flags of many nations follow a bagpiper through Balbo Park as the annual International Dance Festival is about to begin.
Flags of many nations follow a bagpiper through Balboa Park as the annual International Dance Festival is about to begin.
Colorful banners approach the Balboa Park Club.
Colorful banners approach the Balboa Park Club.
Folk dancing begins!
Folk dancing is ready to begin!
A banner of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
A banner of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
Meanwhile, folks walk through the always beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Meanwhile, folks walk through the always beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Looks to me like spring is coming!
Looks to me like spring is coming fast!
A few early cherry blossoms are blooming in February at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A few early cherry blossoms are blooming in February at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Spring is around the corner!
Yes! Spring is around the corner!

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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A fun Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park!

A demonstration of martial arts by members of the San Diego Wushu Center during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.
A demonstration of martial arts by members of the San Diego Wushu Center during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.

Today I experienced two fantastic cultural events in Balboa Park. The first was the Chinese New Year Festival hosted by the House of China at the International Cottages.

2018 is the Year of the Dog, and a huge crowd turned out to enjoy Chinese food, entertainment and a whole lot of good fun. I stayed for a while and watched talented performers dance, demonstrate Kung fu, and fling bright Yo-Yos into the sunny San Diego sky to the delight of all! It was great!

The 2018 Chinese New Year Festival continues Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm. You really should go!

Just in case you can’t make it, I took some colorful photos…

Tents in the lawn area of the International Cottages featured food, unique crafts and many fascinating aspects of Chinese culture.
Tents in the lawn area of the International Cottages feature food, unique crafts and many fascinating aspects of Chinese culture.
Cheerful artwork and entertainment were plentiful at the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival, hosted by the House of China in Balboa Park.
Cheerful artwork and entertainment are plentiful at the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival, hosted by the House of China in Balboa Park.
Young students working with the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University dance during the program.
Young students working with the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University dance during the program.
Some traditional Chinese food being served included egg rolls, dumplings and bao--steamed buns with several different tasty fillings.
Some traditional Chinese food being served included egg rolls, dumplings and bao–steamed buns with several different tasty fillings.
I spotted one table with clever cards that open to colorful pop-up bouquets.
I spotted one table with clever cards that open to colorful pop-up bouquets.
Anyone could check the year of their birth against this Chinese horoscope. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
Anyone could check the year of their birth against this Chinese horoscope. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
These cool kids of the Riverview International Academy Yo-Yo Team wowed the crowd with their amazing skill.
These cool kids of the Riverview International Academy Yo-Yo Team wowed the crowd with their amazing skill.
I discovered a fascinating book about the history of the Chinese in San Diego. It's title is In Search of Gold Mountain.
I discovered a fascinating book about the history of the Chinese in San Diego. It’s title is In Search of Gold Mountain.
Some beautiful Chinese brush art and ink drawings were being displayed by friendly local artists.
Some beautiful Chinese brush art and ink drawings were being displayed by friendly local artists.
Energetic martial artists demonstrated various forms of Kung fu. Many routines seemed like precise athletic dances.
Energetic martial artists demonstrated various forms of Kung fu. Many routines seemed like precise athletic dances.
A graceful performance by members of the UCSD Chinese Dance Association.
A graceful performance by members of the UCSD Chinese Dance Association.
Many smiles and delightful surprises awaited visitors to Balboa Park during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival.
Many smiles and delightful surprises await visitors to Balboa Park during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival.

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A wonderful Chinese Moon Festival in Balboa Park!

A beautiful dance on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage in Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival.
A beautiful dance on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage in Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival.

A truly wonderful Chinese Moon Festival is being held this evening in Balboa Park! I took photos before the sun set that provide a sense of how fantastic and entertaining this annual event is.

The Moon Festival is co-sponsored by the House of China in Balboa Park and the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Every year, the festival seems to grow and grow!

A very large crowd turned out this year for the Chinese Moon Festival in Balboa Park. The benches in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion were packed.
A very large crowd turned out this year for the Chinese Moon Festival in Balboa Park. The benches in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion were packed.
Table provides info about the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. They co-sponsored the Moon Festival, along with the House of China in Balboa Park.
Table provides info about the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. They co-sponsored the Moon Festival, along with the House of China in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum was having a book sale!
The San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum was having a book sale!
Huge Chinese Crepes were being prepared near the entertainment.
Huge Chinese Crepes were being prepared near the entertainment.
A half moon hangs above the ornate colonnade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Very appropriate!
A half moon hangs above the ornate colonnade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Very appropriate!
The Moon Festival would provide lots of colorful entertainment into the evening. I took photos while the sun was still up.
The Moon Festival would provide lots of colorful entertainment into the evening. I took photos while the sun was still up.
Thunder drums!
Thunder drums!
Followed by youthful Chinese acrobats!
Followed by youthful Chinese acrobats!
These energetic acrobats were amazingly talented. They performed feats that seemed impossible.
These energetic acrobats were wonderfully talented. They performed feats that seemed impossible.
A fluid, colorful dance that mimics the motions of an exotic fish. Everyone in the audience seemed mesmerized.
A fluid, colorful dance that mimics the motions of an exotic fish. Everyone in the audience seemed mesmerized.
A truly fantastic Chinese dance in San Diego's Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival!
A truly wonderful Chinese dance in San Diego’s Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of Chinese New Year celebration in Balboa Park.

A special House of China lawn program at Balboa Park's International Cottages celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year with music and dance.
A special House of China lawn program at Balboa Park’s International Cottages celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year with food, music and dance.

Today I headed to Balboa Park hoping to catch part of the House of China’s lawn program at the International Cottages. The cultural event celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year, which occurs on February 8. It’s the Year of the Monkey!

I wasn’t the only one who thought of attending! An unusually big crowd turned out for the colorful festivities.

Here come a few cool pics!

Many displays were at the Chinese New Year event in Balboa Park. This gentleman wrote people's names using Mandarin characters.
Several fascinating displays were at the Chinese New Year event in Balboa Park. This gentleman wrote people’s names using Mandarin characters.
Lots of authentic Chinese food was being gobbled up, including these Green Onion Pancakes!
Lots of authentic Chinese food was being gobbled up, including these Green Onion Pancakes!
Many Balboa Park visitors were heading into the House of China cottage today.
Many Balboa Park visitors were heading into the House of China cottage today.
Fine exhibits inside the House of China include this interesting carp made of animal horn.
Fine exhibits inside the House of China include this interesting carp made of animal horn.
Kids look into a display case containing many porcelain dolls.
Kids look into a display case containing many porcelain dolls.
A colorful collection of beautiful porcelain dolls inside the House of China in San Diego's always wonderful Balboa Park!
A colorful collection of beautiful porcelain dolls inside the House of China in San Diego’s always wonderful Balboa Park!

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