Colorful photos of Chicano Park Day celebration!

Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year's Chicano Park Day Celebration. Many of the cars were fitted with hydraulic systems.
Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year’s Chicano Park Day celebration.

I headed down to Barrio Logan this morning to enjoy a bit of the 47th Annual Chicano Park Day celebration!

The big festival celebrating Mexican and Chicano culture drew huge crowds as usual from all around Southern California. There was traditional folklorico dancing, Aztec indigenous dance, and a huge contingent of lowriders and motorcyclists who converged to enjoy the scene and showcase their cool rides. Families enjoyed great food, the park’s playground, and a look at artwork and unique gifts at the many vendor tents. It was fun to just hang around, absorbing San Diego’s warm sunshine and the lively entertainment. The famous murals of Chicano Park infuse the much-loved event with a sense of history and potent meaning. The murals tell of the hard-fought struggle for civil rights.

Chicano Park Day this year was dedicated to Ramón Chunky Sánchez, a very popular musician and a leader of San Diego’s Chicano community who passed away late last year. Speakers also provided emotional tributes to the four who died last year at the annual La Raza Run motorcycle festival in Chicano Park when a car tragically plummeted onto the crowd from a ramp to the Coronado Bay Bridge.

On a happier note, I must mention that in January Chicano Park was designated a National Historic Landmark! Chicano Park contains our nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals.

Please enjoy some colorful photos from this morning!

A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Many were fitted with hydraulics. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
Cool cars in a world-famous park.
Cool cars in Barrio Logan’s world-famous park.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park's picnic tables.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park’s picnic tables.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of Chicano Park.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of San Diego’s unique Chicano Park.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A large crowd had gathered around the pavilion to hear family members remember the deceased and thank the community for its undying love.
A large crowd gathered around the pavilion to hear surviving family members remember the deceased and thank the local community for its undying love.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
And then the entertainment began!
And then the entertainment began!
People enjoy Chicano Park Day Celebration among the many expressive murals.
People enjoy Chicano Park Day among the many expressive murals.  A beautiful image of Virgin Mary has a shrine at its base.
Another photo of the festival today.
Another photo of the festival today.
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park's pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park’s pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
And more cool stuff.
And more cool stuff!
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day Celebration wore resplendent Aztec costumes.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day celebration wore resplendent Aztec-inspired costumes.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Fun photos at the Red Bull Air Race!

Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.
Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course about an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.

Have fun checking out these photos! I took them during a long walk up and down the Embarcadero, before and during today’s Red Bull Air Race.

What did I see? Read the captions!

And if you happen to be in San Diego, the event continues tomorrow! There’s lots of cool sights to see!

Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell's spot--he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream looks pretty good.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell’s spot–he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream passing by looks pretty good.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign showed the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull planes and pilots.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign shows the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull race planes and pilots.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center...
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center…
...where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out in San Diego Bay!
…where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out on beautiful San Diego Bay!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!  I see the Coronado Ferry Landing across the water.
Lots of people were finding spots to watch the action.
Lots of people were finding spots along the water to watch the action.
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn't find a better workplace!
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn’t find a better workplace!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the sky high above marina masts!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the blue sky high above marina masts!
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you'll see.
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you’ll see.
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
Here's that sign again. I've been walking my way back north.
Here’s that sign again. I’ve been walking my way back north.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! You need to be on edge!
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! Because you need to be on edge!
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Just cleared that pylon!
Just cleared that pylon!
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them. Anyway, now it's being refilled with air.
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them and lose points. Anyway, now it’s being refilled with air.
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
Look at them go.
Look at them go.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
Made it!
Made it!
Young aircraft enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
Young flying enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
These kids simply like ice cream.
These kids simply like ice cream.
Now I'm out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
Now I’m out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
Here he goes!
Here he goes!
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons...
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons…
That's pretty darn fast!
That’s pretty darn fast!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Colorful stained glass windows of The Abbey.

Stained glass window and reflection in a mirror inside The Abbey on Fifth Avenue, originally the Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church.
Stained glass window, and its reflection in a mirror, inside The Abbey on Fifth Avenue.  The building was originally the Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church.

I’ve walked past The Abbey on Fifth Avenue many times over the years. I often pause to admire the monumental building’s Classical Revival style exterior and take a photo or two. But last weekend I finally ventured inside.

That’s because The Abbey was open to the public during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017. It was one of several fascinating places that I visited!

The Abbey on Fifth Avenue is utilized by Hornblower Cruises in San Diego for private parties, weddings and corporate events. In 1910, however, when its doors were first opened to welcome the people of San Diego, the building was a place of worship: the Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church. A gleaming gold leaf statue of the angel Gabriel stands atop the roof, blowing his horn, summoning eyes around Bankers Hill. Approach the building and one sees its dozen stained glass windows illustrating figures from the Bible.

Stained glass when viewed from outside a building can often appear a bit dull and unremarkable. When seen from inside, however . . . words can barely express the feeling. It’s like finding the end of a rainbow. It’s like stepping into a light-filled heaven.

Please enjoy some photos of The Abbey’s exterior and interior.

Today the Abbey on Fifth Avenue is operated by Hornblower Cruises and Events. Built as a church in 1910, the building has undergone various changes over the years. In 1984 it became a restaurant.
Today the Abbey on Fifth Avenue is operated by Hornblower Cruises and Events. Built as a church in 1910, the building has undergone various changes over the years. In 1984 it became a restaurant.
Photo of The Abbey taken from the intersection of Olive Street and Fifth Avenue in the Bankers Hill neighborhood, near downtown San Diego. A new building is under construction on its north side.
Photo of The Abbey taken from the intersection of Olive Street and Fifth Avenue in the Bankers Hill neighborhood. A new building is under construction on the north side.
Stained glass windows seen from the outside.
Stained glass windows seen from the street outside.
The 1910 Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church was built in the Classical Revival style, which is quite unusual in San Diego.
The 1910 Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church was built in the Classical Revival style, which is quite unusual in San Diego.
Gabriel blows his horn. Light reflecting from the gold leaf shines brightly like the sun.
Gabriel blows his horn. Light reflecting from the gold leaf shines brightly like the sun.
This gorgeous stained glass skylight and purple floor lights tinting the walls make a memorable dining experience at these tables on the second floor of The Abbey.
This gorgeous stained glass skylight and purple floor lights tinting the walls make a memorable dining experience at these tables on the second floor of The Abbey.
Another dome of stained glass in the ceiling.
Another dome of stained glass in the ceiling.
These doors on the second floor have beautiful floral stained glass panels.
These doors on the second floor have beautiful floral stained glass panels.
The interior of The Abbey on Fifth Avenue is a wonderland of colorful light.
The interior of The Abbey on Fifth Avenue is a wonderland of colorful light.
People pause by one of the south-facing stained glass windows.
People pause by one of the south-facing stained glass windows.
These tables along the second floor overlook a large space where people might dance or mingle during a special event.
These tables along the second floor overlook a large space where people might dance or mingle during a special event.
Stained glass shows classical columns and a cross in a crown.
Stained glass shows classical columns and a cross in a crown.
If I recall, this stained glass panel was in a door on the second floor. Those appear to be grapes.
If I recall, this stained glass panel was in a door on the second floor. Those appear to be grapes.
More stained glass behind dining tables on the north side of the second floor.
More stained glass behind dining tables on the north side of the second floor.
The many stained glass windows seem to fill the historic building with magic.
The many stained glass windows seem to fill the historic building with magic.
Close look at one window.
Close look at one window.
Christ portrayed in one radiant window.
Christ portrayed in one radiant window.
Religious figures near wine glasses hanging in a bar on the second floor. An interesting juxtaposition.
Religious figures near wine glasses hanging in a bar on the second floor. An interesting juxtaposition.
The beautiful stained glass is both mysterious and penetrating.
The beautiful stained glass is both mysterious and penetrating.
Another vibrant stained glass window portrays a risen Christ in heaven.
Another vibrant stained glass window portrays a risen Christ in heaven.
A scene from the Bible. One of many stained glass windows that fill The Abbey on Fifth Avenue with color and life.
A scene from the Bible. One of many stained glass windows that fill The Abbey on Fifth Avenue with color and life.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Fun pics from World Baseball Classic in San Diego!

Team USA fans in line to buy merchandise at Petco Park during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego.
Team USA fans in line to buy merchandise at Petco Park during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego.

Team USA beat Venezuela tonight in an exciting World Baseball Classic game in San Diego! The United States won 4-2 with an amazing come-from-behind victory! Today’s baseball game was the second in a round robin between four international teams– the Second Round’s Pool F.

I’ve got an assortment of fun photos! It was a perfect San Diego evening to take in the sights, sounds, pageantry and great play of what turned out to be classic baseball game!

Fans for the four different teams in the World Baseball Classic's Second Round Pool F could be seen all around San Diego's Petco Park.
Fans of the four different teams in the World Baseball Classic’s Second Round Pool F could be seen all around San Diego’s Petco Park.
Fans of all ages were having fun before the game began in the Park at the Park.
Baseball lovers of all ages were having fun before the game began in the Park at the Park.
Some outrageous costumes and lots of patriotic clothing could be seen all about the stadium.
Some outrageous costumes and lots of patriotic clothing could be seen all about the baseball stadium. And many Padres fans, too!
It's approaching game time. Fans walk up a ramp to the upper level.
It’s approaching game time. Families walk up a ramp to the upper level.
Fans at the World Baseball Classic in San Diego point to the outfield.
Fans at the World Baseball Classic in San Diego point to the outfield.
Fans of Team USA watch their baseball heroes warm up on the field before the game.
Young supporters of Team USA watch their baseball heroes warm up on the field before the game.
Players for Team USA come out of the dugout for the opening ceremony.
Players for Team USA come out of the dugout for the opening ceremony.
Players for both Venezuela and the United States were given a rousing introduction.
Players for both Venezuela and the United States were given a rousing introduction.
Fans watching the opening ceremony hold up an American flag.
Team USA fans watching the opening ceremony hold up an American flag.
The players for the United States and Venezuela shake hands at the end of the opening ceremony.
The players for the United States and Venezuela shake hands at the end of the opening ceremony.
The game has begun! It's a beautiful evening for baseball in San Diego, of course!
The game has begun! It’s a beautiful evening for baseball in San Diego, of course!  Even some Dodgers fans have come to Petco Park for the fun.
Venezuela is at bat as the sun sets and Petco's lights come on. They were first to score.
Venezuela is at bat as the sun sets and Petco’s lights come on. Venezuela has a great team and was first to score.
As I walked about the stadium, I took a photo of the Chair of Honor. The empty chair honors prisoners of war and those missing in action.
As I walked about Petco Park, which USA Today rated the finest stadium in Major League Baseball, I took a photo of the Chair of Honor. The empty chair represents Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.
Team USA loaded the bases in the early innings, but unfortunately failed to score.
Team USA loaded the bases in the early innings, but unfortunately failed to score.
These fans of Team USA scored, however, on the Kiss Cam!
These fans of Team USA scored, however, on the Kiss Cam!
George Washington was in attendance, rooting on Team USA during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego! And his team won!
George Washington was in attendance, rooting on Team USA during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego! And his team won!

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!

Dance, music, fun at International Mariachi Festival!

People watch the 5th Annual International Mariachi Festival in National City's Pepper Park.
People watch the 5th Annual International Mariachi Festival in National City’s Pepper Park.

I took a bunch of colorful photos today at one of San Diego’s most wonderful festivals! The 5th Annual International Mariachi Festival was held today at Pepper Park in National City. (Actually, as I post this blog, the event still has about an hour to go.)

So what does one see at a Mariachi Festival? Read the captions!

The first performance featured the colorful Azteca Dancers - Danza Mexi'cayotl.
The first performance featured the colorful Azteca Dancers – Danza Mexi’cayotl.
The Azteca Dancers file onto the stage to the beat of drums.
The Azteca Dancers file onto the stage to the beat of drums.
The audience watches the dancers perform on the Main Stage of the National City International Mariachi Festival.
The audience watches the dancers perform on the Main Stage of the National City International Mariachi Festival.
Dancers of all ages participate in several ancient Aztec dances, including a Rain Dance.
Dancers of all ages participate in several ancient Aztec dances, including a Rain Dance.
Energy and joy are expressed as cultural traditions live on.
Energy and joy are expressed as cultural traditions live on.
The first of many wonderful performances at the Mariachi Festival!
The first of many wonderful performances at the Mariachi Festival!
Now here comes Danza Folklorica Las Florecitas!
Now here comes Danza Folklorica Las Florecitas!
Another amazing dance begins!
Another amazing dance begins!
Smiles and brightly colorful dresses are both big parts of Mexican culture.
Smiles and brightly colorful dresses are both big parts of Mexican culture.
Dizzily spinning color and pure joy.
Dizzily spinning color and pure joy.
Life as it should be.
Life as it should be.
The happy, rhythmic music had lots of people in the audience clapping along.
The happy, rhythmic music had lots of people in the audience clapping along.
Here come some youthful musicians! I believe these are Mariachi Maya de Southwest Middle School.
Here come some youthful musicians! I believe this is Mariachi Maya de Southwest Middle School. You wouldn’t believe the lung power and vocal range of that gifted young singer!
Watching from the side of the Main Stage.
Watching from the side of the Main Stage.
Meanwhile lots of other fun stuff was going on at the festival, including this guy creating cool spray paint art.
Meanwhile lots of other fun stuff was going on at the festival, including this guy creating cool spray paint art.
Vendors had all sorts of stuff for sale, including colorful Mexican dresses and fun lucha libre masks.
Vendors had all sorts of stuff for sale, including colorful Mexican dresses and fierce lucha libre masks.
Speaking of lucha libre, there was some of that as well. (The blindfolded guy somehow won!)
Speaking of lucha libre, there was some of that as well. (The blindfolded guy somehow won!)
Wrestlers entertain a small crowd at the International Mariachi Festival.
Wrestlers entertain a small crowd at the International Mariachi Festival.
My favorite photo of the family event!
My favorite photo of the family event!
And the event this year was very big! People kept arriving right into the afternoon.
And the event this year was very big! More people kept on arriving right into the afternoon.
The excellent entertainment continued non-stop at the Main Stage.
The excellent entertainment continued non-stop at the Main Stage.
Many great mariachi groups would perform from around San Diego, Southern California and Mexico.
Many great mariachi groups would perform from around San Diego, Southern California and Mexico. Many middle school and high school groups participated.
At the opposite end of Pepper Park, on the Port Stage, kids of all ages performed.
At the opposite end of Pepper Park, on the Port Stage, kids of all ages performed.
On the grass off to the side of the Port Stage a bunch of young performers awaited their turn in the spotlight.
On the grass off to the side of the Port Stage a bunch of young performers awaited their turn in the spotlight.
Now I'm back at the Main Stage one last time. The crowd has grown!
Now I’m back at the Main Stage one last time. The crowd has grown!
Rousing, emotional, much-loved mariachi music brought loud applause throughout the event.
Rousing, emotional, much-loved mariachi music brought loud applause throughout the event.
This young man sang several songs, and finished with an exciting mariachi version of Sinatra's New York, New York!
This young man sang several songs, and finished with an exciting mariachi version of Sinatra’s New York, New York!
Here come some young couples dancing! I'm not sure who these performers are.
Here come some young couples dancing! I’m not sure who these performers are.
A dance filled with life.
A dance filled with life.
Youthful energy at the Mariachi Festival in National City.
Youthful energy at the Mariachi Festival in National City.
And now--I believe--Danza Folklorico Nanahuatzin.
And now–I believe–Danza Folklorico Nanahuatzin.
Colorful skirts whirling like kaleidoscopes.
Colorful skirts whirling like kaleidoscopes.
A traditional Mexican folk dance delighting both eyes and ears.
A traditional Mexican folk dance delighting both eyes and ears.
Pure joy.
Pure joy.
Many wonderful performances could be enjoyed at the 5th Annual International Mariachi Festival!
Many wonderful performances could be enjoyed at the 5th Annual International Mariachi Festival!

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Photos of the amazing Cherry Blossom Festival!

Walking through a profusion of pink flowers at the Japanese Friendship Garden during the 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival in Balboa Park.
Walking through a profusion of pink flowers at the Japanese Friendship Garden during the 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival in Balboa Park.

Wow! Here come photos of the amazing annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which is taking place this weekend at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

I recommend a visit! You’ll see lots of jaw-dropping beauty, devour lots of yummy food, and enjoy many fun and fascinating aspects of Japanese culture.

If you shy away from crowds, it’s probably best to arrive in the morning just as the festival opens. This event becomes more and more popular every year!

Tomorrow–Sunday–the festival is open from 10am to 6pm.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place all weekend. If you're in San Diego and you read this blog in time, make sure to go!
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place all weekend. If you’re in San Diego and you read this blog in time, make sure to go!
Japanese art, gifts and crafts can be found all around the garden during the festival.
Japanese art, gifts and crafts can be found all around the garden during the festival.
Many people gravitate toward the covered patio near the koi pond.
Many people gravitate toward the covered patio near the koi pond.
Colorful koi, symbols of longevity in Japan.
Colorful koi, symbols of longevity in Japan.
Some attending the Cherry Blossom Festival try their hand at the ancient game of Go.
Some attending the Cherry Blossom Festival try their hand at the ancient game of Go.
The strategic game of Go originated in China over 2500 years ago. Boards for the Japanese version are often prized for their beauty.
The strategic game of Go originated in China over 2500 years ago. Boards for the Japanese version are often prized for their beauty.
Some super smiles at this table!
Some super smiles at this table!
Gazing beyond the beautiful Light of Friendship at many vendor tents during the festival of cherry blossoms.
Gazing beyond the beautiful Light of Friendship at many vendor tents during the festival of cherry blossoms.
Lots of fun Japanese stuff is for sale at the event.
Lots of fun Japanese stuff is for sale at the event.
Yoshi's Jams are completely organic! So was that smile!
Yoshi’s Jams are completely organic! So was that smile!
This cool guy had genuine samurai swords for sale.
This cool guy had genuine samurai swords for sale.
Some ladies at one table were demonstrating Japanese brush painting. A special exhibition in Balboa Park's Casa del Prado will take place March 25 and 26.
Some ladies at one table were demonstrating Japanese brush painting. A special exhibition in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado will take place March 25 and 26.
Exquisite Japanese artwork created by a careful, inspired hand.
Exquisite Japanese artwork created by a careful, inspired hand.
People head through the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate and toward the Lower Garden, where most of the blossoming cherry trees await.
People head through the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate and toward the Lower Garden, where most of the blossoming cherry trees await.
We descend into beauty.
We descend into beauty.
Walking into heaven.
Walking into heaven.
Spring cherry blossoms line the walkways and the gentle stream that runs through the garden's canyon.
Spring cherry blossoms line the walkways and the gentle stream that runs through the Lower Garden.
A purple parasol and pink flowers.
A purple parasol and pink flowers.
Lots of food could be found around the Inamori Pavilion. These guys were preparing Okonomiyaki--yummy Japanese pancakes.
Lots of food could be found around the Inamori Pavilion. These guys were preparing Okonomiyaki–yummy Japanese pancakes.
Inside the Inamori Pavilion, a variety of marionettes are on display. The Edo Marionettes will perform at the Japanese Friendship Garden on April 30.
Inside the Inamori Pavilion, a variety of marionettes are on display. The Edo Marionettes will perform at the Japanese Friendship Garden on April 30.
I was drawn to these tents in the garden, where there was even more food!
I was drawn to these tents in the sun-splashed garden, where there was even more food!
Preparing Taiyaki, Japanese fish-shaped cakes.
Preparing Taiyaki–Japanese fish-shaped cakes.
I'd never eaten Taiyaki before, and it was really good!
I’d never eaten Taiyaki before, and it was really good!
But, of course, the Japanese cherry trees are the star of the show. Crowds walk through bursts of pink flowers and enjoy the green grass.
But, of course, the Japanese cherry trees are the star of the show. Crowds walk through bursts of pink flowers and rest on the green grass.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park enjoy the annual Cherry Blossom Festival!
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park enjoy the annual Cherry Blossom Festival!

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 might enjoy reading my new short story The Child and the Koi.

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!