Photos from 2018 San Diego Shaka Fest.

Canoes head out into Mission Bay during the 5th Annual San Diego Shaka Fest, a celebration of Hawaiian culture, arts, and athletics.
Canoes head out into Mission Bay during the 5th Annual San Diego Shaka Fest, a celebration of Hawaiian culture, arts, and athletics.

Yesterday I walked along the east side of Mission Bay. For a few minutes I lingered at De Anza Cove to take in the rich color and Hawaiian vibe at San Diego Shaka Fest.

Many youth were racing outrigger canoes out on the water, and entertainment on the grass included dance and music.

Here are some photos. Read the captions to learn more!

The San Diego Shaka Fest at De Anza Cove is hosted by the Na Koa Kai Canoe Club. There was a outrigger canoe regatta, stand up paddle race and Polynesian entertainment!
The San Diego Shaka Fest at De Anza Cove is hosted by the Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club. There was a outrigger canoe regatta, stand up paddle race and Polynesian entertainment!
Many youth would participate out on the water.
Many youth would participate out on the water.
Some stand up paddle boards are ready on the sand.
Some stand up paddle boards are ready on the sand.
A team walks their outrigger canoe out into Mission Bay.
A team walks their outrigger canoe out into beautiful Mission Bay.
The SUP Race Course in Mission Bay heads down to Fiesta Island.
The SUP Race Course in Mission Bay heads down to Fiesta Island.
Hundreds of visitors to the event enjoyed entertainment and an assortment of vendors.
Hundreds of visitors to the event enjoyed entertainment and an assortment of vendors.
Lots of crafts and colorful clothing could be found at Shaka Fest.
Lots of crafts and colorful clothing could be found at Shaka Fest.
Hawaiian music and dance in sunny San Diego!
Hawaiian music and dance in sunny San Diego!
Whether family by blood or friends by choice, we are ohana.
Whether family by blood or friends by choice, we are ohana.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Dance on Sunday afternoons in Balboa Park!

On Sunday afternoons I seem to be spending more and more time in the grand Ballroom of the Balboa Park Club. Cushioned chairs line the walls, and I can sit peacefully as I read or write, listening to gentle, sprightly folk music, occasionally looking up at happy people dancing.

I don’t do much in the way of dancing–not with my feet. But I’m sure some of you do! And I bet some of you’d like to learn all sorts of different folk dances!

I spoke to a nice lady who is a member of one of Balboa Park’s dance clubs, and she told me they are looking to grow their membership. There’s an opportunity for ordinary people with varying levels of experience to learn folk dances from many different cultures. And each lesson costs only a couple bucks!

As you can see from one of my photos, kids and parents can also learn how to dance the third Sunday of every month, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Sounds like fun!

Interested? Visit the International Dance Association of San Diego County website by clicking here!

If you can walk, you can dance!

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!

San Diego students learn STEM through aviation!

Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.
Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.

Today I headed to Gillespie Field in El Cajon and checked out an Expo organized by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force. As I walked among all sorts of restored World War II aircraft and a wide variety of fascinating exhibits, I made a very cool discovery!

Students in San Diego are invited by Air Group One to participate in a special aviation-themed STEM educational program! The special program is designed for middle and high school aged youth. Ricardo Sevilla, the friendly A-STEM Educational Officer, walked over to introduce himself to me, and I learned a little bit about this truly amazing opportunity.

S.T.E.M subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) can be taught to students in San Diego classrooms or at Air Group One’s super cool Gillespie Field headquarters, where there are a variety of potential hands-on activities. Topics that are featured include how to become a pilot, how to operate a drone, how to build a rocket, and the aerodynamics and design concepts that enable an airplane to fly. Potential careers in aviation and the aerospace industry are also introduced. Sounds like lots of fun!

Are you a teacher in San Diego who’d like to learn more? Wouldn’t your students be thrilled to visit an actual airfield? Check out this page of the Air Group One website!

Banner promotes Air Group One's Aviation Educational Programs.
Banner promotes Air Group One’s Aviation Educational Programs.
Air Group One's historic 1943 SNJ-5 "Sassy" on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.
Air Group One’s historic 1943 SNJ-5 “Sassy” on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.
Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.
Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.
If you're interested, use the email shown in this photograph.
If you’re interested, use the email shown in this photograph.
Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!
Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!

I’ll be blogging about today’s fantastic event at Gillespie Field as soon as I get my photographs together!

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!

Kids create Minecraft-style Mona Lisa mural!

Washington Elementary students create abstract Mona Lisa chalk art during 2014 Festa in Little Italy. It would later become the basis for some cool public art!
Washington Elementary students create abstract Mona Lisa chalk art during 2014 Festa in Little Italy. As you will see, it would later become the basis for a very cool public mural!

Students at Washington Elementary STEAM Magnet School in Little Italy have helped to produce a very cool public art mural! As motorists depart Little Italy, turning onto southbound Interstate 5 from Grape Street, they are greeted by a colorful Minecraft-style Mona Lisa along with the big word CIAO!

The abstract 20′ x 20′ Mona Lisa mural is based on chalk art that Washington Elementary School kids created for 2014 Festa, an annual Italian-themed festival in their very own Little Italy neighborhood.

I happened to blog about Festa that year, and took the above photo of the kids working on the original Mona Lisa chalk art. With the help of local artist Jayne Barnett, their completed work would eventually become a very large, very creative mural that thousands of delighted drivers pass every day!

Mine-A-Lisa's Salutation. The Little Italy mural is a much larger recreation of chalk art created by students at 2014 Festa. The Italian art-themed piece was rendered using "bricks" of color in the Minecraft style.
Mine-A-Lisa’s Salutation. The Little Italy mural is a much larger recreation of chalk art created by students at 2014 Festa. The Italian art-themed piece was rendered using “bricks” of color in the Minecraft style.
An abstract Mona Lisa mural greets cars with a large CIAO as drivers head onto southbound I-5 from Grape Street!
Mona Lisa says goodbye to everyone with a large CIAO as drivers head onto southbound I-5 from Grape Street!

If you’d like to see more chalk art created during 2014 Festa, including many amazing pieces produced by students from schools all around San Diego, click here!

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!

Science questions that curious kids can ask.

How was Earth made. How many skin cells do we have.
How was the Earth made? How many skin cells do we have?

Thousands of kids attended the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering EXPO Day event today at Petco Park. The annual festival of STEM learning features all sorts of fun activities and demonstrations presented by dozens of local schools, universities, businesses and organizations.

Kids wandering from booth to booth were encouraged to ask a variety of fascinating questions. Young minds learned about physics, medical research, information technology, space exploration, environmental science . . . The number of scientific subjects seemed unlimited.

Fun experiments were performed. Conclusions resulted. More questions arose.

That’s how science works!

As I wandered about the festival I discovered some questions that curious kids might ask…

Thousands of curious kids attend EXPO Day at Petco Park during the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.
Thousands of curious kids attended EXPO Day at Petco Park during the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.
To help support STEM learning in San Diego and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, read this banner.
To help support STEM learning in San Diego and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, read this banner.
How is curiosity a driving force behind human progress and development.
How is curiosity a driving force behind human progress and development?
What is in snot. How does mucus neutralize an invading virus.
What is in snot? How does mucus neutralize an invading virus?
How does a snake move.
How does a snake move?
Why is math important. Why are puzzles so much fun.
Why is math important? Why are puzzles so stimulating?
What are amino acids.
What are amino acids?
What is symmetry. Why is it found in plants and animals.
What is symmetry? Why is it found in plants and animals?
Can creative people and scientists be superheroes
Can creative people and scientists be real superheroes?
Can science be fun. Can you make a rap song about something scientific.
Can science be entertaining? Can you invent a rap song about something scientific?
What is a molecule.
What is a molecule? What is an atom? Is anything smaller than an atom?
What is oobleck. Where did the word come from. How do you make it.
What is oobleck? What Dr. Seuss book did the word come from?
How do you make a secret code. How do you decipher a code.
How do you make a secret code? How do you decipher a code?
Can little robots destroy cancer. Why do earthquakes become so strong in some cases.
Can little robots destroy cancer? Why do earthquakes become so strong in some cases?
What is light.
What is light?
How does a flamingo become pink.
How does a flamingo become pink?
What is static electricity.
What is static electricity?
What are comets made of.
What are comets made of?
How was the first cell created. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
How was the first cell created? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
What is the extracellular matrix.
What is the extracellular matrix?
How does your heart work. How do you keep it healthy.
How does your heart work? How do you keep it healthy?
How do we stop pollution.
How do we stop pollution?
Is fusion the energy for the future of mankind.
Is fusion the energy for the future of mankind?
How can we remember many things like language. Why are some people so tall when their parents are so short.
How can we remember many things like language? Why are some people so tall when their parents are so short?
Why does a jellyfish glow.
Why does a jellyfish glow?
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish.
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish?
How does the Earth stay in orbit. How can people help the Earth stay healthy.
How does the Earth stay in orbit? How can people help the Earth stay healthy?
What is it like to be in space. How do you become an astronaut.
What does it feel like to be in outer space? How do you become an astronaut?

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Help raise awareness for World Rare Disease Day.

World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.
World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.

I learned something important today. This coming Wednesday–February 28, 2018–is World Rare Disease Day.

I wouldn’t have known this had I not walked through Mission Beach’s Belmont Park and met some smiling volunteers. They are working to raise awareness about rare diseases. They had a table set up near the carousel and told me a little about this often overlooked problem.

Rare diseases are usually caused by faulty genes, and about half of the people affected by rare diseases are children. Almost a third of these children will not live to see their fifth birthday.

Sadly, about half of all rare diseases do not have a specific foundation supporting or researching the condition. As you can see, it’s critical for many kids that we spread the word and provide support for those who are sick, and fund research in the search for effective treatments.

Two websites where you can learn more and perhaps help are here and here.

Please click my photo of the information chart, and it will enlarge so you can read it. Feel free to share any of these images.

These cool volunteers at Mission Beach's Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
These cool volunteers at Mission Beach’s Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Fern Street Circus at Cesar Chavez Park!

A juggler belonging to the Fern Street Circus practices his balancing skills before a special performance.
A juggler belonging to the Fern Street Circus practices his balancing skills before a special performance.

My walk today included a short visit to the Carnival in the Park event hosted by the Port of San Diego. Lots of families came down to Cesar Chavez Park in Barrio Logan to enjoy a free performance by San Diego’s much-loved Fern Street Circus!

I arrived a few minutes early, stayed for a bit, got a yummy free hot dog and enjoyed watching several performers. I didn’t hang around to see the main act, but I bet it was terrific! As I departed, a whole bunch of people were still arriving!

This fun, kid-friendly event was put together by the Port of San Diego’s Tidelands Activation Program. The program celebrates all sorts of cool artwork around San Diego Bay and encourages creativity in the South Bay and other bayside communities.

Here are a few photos!

Cesar Chavez Park in Barrio Logan was the venue today for a fun show by the Fern Street Circus, hosted by the Port of San Diego.
Cesar Chavez Park in Barrio Logan was the venue today for a show by the Fern Street Circus, hosted by the Port of San Diego.
Friendly people from the Port of San Diego's Public Art Program look on as the crowd slowly grows at Cesar Chavez Park.
Friendly people from the Port of San Diego’s Public Art Program look on as the crowd slowly grows at Cesar Chavez Park.
This smiling lady was handing out Kinetic Sand to youth at the event. Young artists can mold it to express their creativity.
This smiling lady was handing out free jars of Kinetic Sand to youth at the event. Young artists can easily mold it to express their creativity.
Members of the Fern Street Circus ready props on the main stage as the kid-friendly community event gets underway.
Members of the Fern Street Circus ready props on the main stage as the kid-friendly community event gets underway.
An aerial silk performer takes to the air above the grassy park.
An aerial silk performer takes to the air above the grassy park.
A smile in the San Diego sky!
A smile in the San Diego sky!
The circus juggler and some kids play with colorful hula hoops.
The circus juggler and some kids play with colorful hula hoops.
A small circus school at the event showed people how to walk a tightrope!
A small circus school at the event showed people how to walk a tightrope!
Lots of smiles and fun were enjoyed today at Cesar Chavez Park, courtesy of the Port of San Diego and the Fern Street Circus!
Lots of smiles and fun were enjoyed today at Cesar Chavez Park, courtesy of the Port of San Diego and the Fern Street Circus!

There’s an author in San Diego by the name of Jack Tyler. He has published all sorts of steampunk fiction and offers great advice about how to write effectively. If this interests you, please follow his blog by clicking here!

You might recall Jack has written an exciting tale of adventure that takes place in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. To learn more about his novel Stingaree, click here!