Photos of Massing of the Colors in San Diego.

The 62nd Annual Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance was held this morning at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The stirring, patriotic event is organized by the San Diego Chapter of The Military of the World Wars. Its purpose is to honor the flag and support and remember those who have served our country and defended liberty, including those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The parade of color guards this year included about 30 groups, from a variety of local organizations representing ordinary Americans, the military, veterans, law enforcement, JROTC and ROTC, and scouting.

The annual Massing of the Colors has been held at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion for 62 years without interruption. During a speech, special recognition was given to the Daughters of the American Revolution, who have faithfully participated in this patriotic celebration every single year.

When I arrived at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, a practice run was just finishing up. After a short wait, the parade of color guards commenced.

I will let my photographs tell the story.

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!

Art, Color and Fiesta in Balboa Park!

The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.
The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

This evening I enjoyed a special event at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The House of Mexico presented Arte, Color y Fiesta, a cultural program rich with dance, music and patriotism celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

I successfully photographed the first few groups that provided entertainment before daylight waned. Many smiles shined into the evening.

To learn more about the House of Mexico, and perhaps become a member, or provide a donation as they prepare to build their new cottage among the existing House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, visit their website here!

The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico's cottage in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico’s new cottage in Balboa Park.
Los Chinelos De Morelos dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes Carnival-like costumes and masks.
Los Chinelos Unidos por Siempre de San Diego dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes fantastic Carnival-like costumes and masks.
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego perform during an event that celebrates Mexico's independence from Spain.
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, a musical group composed of local high school students, perform during an event that celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park's Food Truck Friday.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego at Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego’s amazing Balboa 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!

Scenes at Spreckels Organ on Silent Movie Night.

People gather in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion well before the start of Silent Movie Night.
People begin to gather in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion well before the start of the Silent Movie Night concert.

This evening I headed into Balboa Park to enjoy Silent Movie Night at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. This special annual event, featuring a silent movie accompanied by the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ, is part of every International Summer Organ Festival.

The organist this evening–for the second year in a row–was Steven Ball, who plays the world’s largest indoor pipe organ at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Among his many accomplishments, he might be best known for being the organist at the Miss America beauty pageant!

The hilarious movie tonight was Safety Last (1923), starring physical comedy genius Harold Lloyd, who ranks with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular silent movie stars. I was interested to learn Harold Lloyd graduated from San Diego High School, which is located in Balboa Park, less than a mile from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion!

About an hour before the concert, I watched people arrive and claim their spots around the pavilion. Unable to sit still that long, I spent a few minutes wandering around nearby areas of Balboa Park, photographing the sun’s last rays in trees and on beautiful buildings.

The screen is set up. The concert will begin with selections by organist Steven Ball. Once darkness falls, the silent movie Safety Last will begin, accompanied by the Spreckels Organ.
The screen is set up. The concert will begin with selections by organist Steven Ball, including Hooray for Hollywood. Once darkness falls, the silent movie Safety Last will begin, accompanied by the Spreckels Organ.
The 31st Annual International Summer Organ Festival in Balboa Park features many of the world's top organists.
The 31st Annual International Summer Organ Festival in Balboa Park features many of the world’s top organists.
Safety Last, 1923, is a comedy that features silent screen star Harold Lloyd, who graduated from nearby San Diego High School.
Safety Last, 1923, is a hilarious, crazy, heartwarming comedy that features popular silent screen star Harold Lloyd, who graduated from nearby San Diego High School.
Lots of people have already staked out their spots on benches and lawn chairs over an hour before the program begins.
Lots of people have already staked out their spots on benches and lawn chairs over an hour before the program begins.
The Spreckels Organ Society Beer Fest inside the nearby Japanese Friendship Garden raised funds to help keep free organ concerts alive.
The Spreckels Organ Society Beer Fest inside the nearby Japanese Friendship Garden raised funds to help keep free organ concerts alive.
I heard bagpipes at the nearby International Cottages. When I investigated, I discovered the House of Scotland Pipe Band was outside practicing.
I heard bagpipes at the nearby International Cottages. When I investigated, I discovered the House of Scotland Pipe Band was outside practicing.
Meanwhile, more people were streaming into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion with about an hour still to go.
Meanwhile, more people were streaming into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion with about an hour still to go.
Some folks are already getting some snacks to enjoy during the concert and silent movie.
Some folks are already getting some snacks to enjoy during the concert and silent movie.
As late light illuminated the buildings of Balboa Park, I walked about to take photos. Here's the House of Hospitality from the Plaza de Panama.
As late sunlight slanted onto the buildings of Balboa Park, I walked about taking a few photos. Here’s the House of Hospitality from the Plaza de Panama.
Here's the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Here’s the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Here's the Bea Evenson Fountain and Fleet Science Center.
Here’s the Bea Evenson Fountain and Fleet Science Center.
When I returned, the crowd had grown! Every year Silent Movie Night draws about 3000 people.
When I returned, the crowd had really grown! Every year Silent Movie Night draws somewhere around 3000 people.
Ten minutes to go, and on come the magical lights of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion! I put my camera away and enjoyed a great time.
Ten minutes to go, and on come the magical lights of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion! As twilight arrived in Balboa Park, I put my camera away and enjoyed a great time.

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 Navy Band Southwest Alumni Concert.

I enjoyed another special event today during my visit to Balboa Park. As I walked past the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I was surprised and happy to learn there would be a Navy Band Southwest Alumni Concert in the afternoon.

When I returned to the pavilion to listen to the concert, many present and past members of Navy Band Southwest were posing for a group photo by the colonnade. The concert soon began, and I snapped a few photos as I listened to the often rousing music, played with perfect precision.

All stood for the National Anthem. A few minutes later those braving the hot sun directly in front of the stage were privileged to hear an extremely talented duet sing a superb rendition of The Prayer by David Foster. What amazing voices. Personally, I got goosebumps. Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli have nothing on those two!

I’m sorry to say Cool San Diego Sights does not feature sound. But here are a few photos!

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!

Another glorious spring Sunday in Balboa Park!

People walk through Balboa Park's sunlit Alcazar Garden on a beautiful spring Sunday.
People walk through Balboa Park’s sunlit Alcazar Garden on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon.

I blog about Balboa Park frequently. I hope you’re not getting tired of it. I’m not.

I live downtown, very close to San Diego’s crown jewel, so I walk up to Balboa Park most Sundays. That’s what I did this afternoon.

It truly felt like spring today. The sun was out, the air was warm, flowers were blooming, fountains were splashing, and Balboa Park sparkled in its full glory.

I took so many photos, I’ll be posting many of them on my other website, Beautiful Balboa Park. Those upcoming posts will concern the amazing art collection of the San Diego History Center, and loads of fun artwork that I spotted in Spanish Village. Look for those photos in the next couple days.

Have a great week ahead!

The Southern California Plumeria Society was having their annual cutting sale inside the Casa del Prado. I learned they'll have many more cuttings at the upcoming Fiesta Botanica event in Balboa Park.
The Southern California Plumeria Society was having their annual cutting sale inside the Casa del Prado. I learned they’ll have many more cuttings at the May 26th Fiesta Botanica event in Balboa Park.
Someone plays with a hula hoop in the Casa del Prado's outer courtyard.
Someone plays with a hula hoop in the Casa del Prado’s outer courtyard.
Bright yellow sunflowers in hand blown glass vases in Spanish Village Art Center.
Bright yellow sunflowers in hand blown glass vases in Spanish Village Art Center.
A park squirrel seemed fascinated by this dragonfly sculpture at the edge of a rooftop in Spanish Village.
A park squirrel seemed fascinated by this shiny dragonfly sculpture at the edge of a rooftop in Spanish Village.
Playing sprightly music for passersby near the House of Hospitality.
Playing sprightly music for passersby near the House of Hospitality.
A clay female figure on display in one glass case outside the entrance to the Mingei International Museum.
A clay female figure on display in one glass case outside the entrance to the Mingei International Museum.
A family walks toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. It's a perfect spring day to be outside in San Diego.
A family walks toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. It’s a perfect spring day to be outside in San Diego.
A bicyclist has arrived for the two o'clock Sunday organ concert in Balboa Park, which is always free.
A bicyclist has arrived for the two o’clock Sunday organ concert in Balboa Park, which is always free.
A gorgeous spring bloom in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A gorgeous spring bloom in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Some people emerge from a walk through green Palm Canyon.
Some people emerge from a walk through green Palm Canyon.
I watched a bit of folk dancing by the Cabrillo Dancers inside the Balboa Park Club.
I watched a bit of folk dancing by the Cabrillo Dancers inside the Balboa Park Club.
2018's youthful House of Pacific Relations queens line the stage during a program at the International Cottages.
This year’s youthful House of Pacific Relations queens stand on stage during a program at the International Cottages.
It seems there is now limited time to save the historic Starlight Bowl. If you want to help, please take action and visit savestarlight.org today!
It seems there is now limited time to save the historic Starlight Bowl. If you want to help, please take action and visit savestarlight.org today!
I'm a big supporter of restoring the Palisades section of Balboa Park. Learn more at the Committee of One Hundred's c100.org website.
I’m a big supporter of restoring the Palisades section of Balboa Park. Learn more at the Committee of One Hundred’s c100.org website.
Looking down at the fountain inside the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Looking down at the fountain inside the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Thousands of beautiful spring roses are in bloom.
Thousands of beautiful spring roses are in bloom.
Walking over the Park Boulevard pedestrian bridge from the rose and desert gardens, back toward the San Diego Natural History Museum and Plaza de Balboa.
Walking over the Park Boulevard pedestrian bridge from the rose and desert gardens, back toward the San Diego Natural History Museum and Plaza de Balboa.
A guitarist plays in some shade near the splashing Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa.
A guitarist plays in some shade near the Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa.

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!

Culture, sunshine and life in Balboa Park.

Riding bicycles one sunny Sunday over the Cabrillo Bridge into the heart of Balboa Park.
Riding bicycles over the Cabrillo Bridge into the heart of Balboa Park.

Here are some photographs from my Sunday walk through Balboa Park. I enjoyed plenty of culture, sunshine and life. That’s why I go there so often.

Visitors enjoy the quiet, sunlit beauty of the Alcazar Garden.
Visitors enjoy the quiet, sunlit beauty of the Alcazar Garden.
Rise Up For the Arts and Culture. Preserve Penny For the Arts. A sign in Spanish Village, where the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition recently held an event.
Rise Up For the Arts and Culture. Preserve Penny For the Arts. A sign in Spanish Village, where the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition recently held an event.
Lots of fun balloons on El Prado on another perfect Sunday afternoon.
Lots of fun balloons on El Prado on another perfect Sunday afternoon.
A green banner near the entrance to the Balboa Park Visitors Center anticipates St. Patrick's Day. A banner with bright flowers and a hummingbird anticipates the arrival of spring.
A green banner near the entrance to the Balboa Park Visitors Center anticipates St. Patrick’s Day. A banner with bright flowers and a hummingbird anticipates the arrival of spring.
People relax at a table under a red umbrella in the Plaza de Panama. The House of Charm rises in the background.
People relax at a table under a red umbrella in the Plaza de Panama. The House of Charm, home of the Mingei Museum, rises in the background.
Trombonist Eric Starr joins Robert Plimpton on the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. They are practicing before the Sunday afternoon concert.
Trombonist Eric Starr joins Robert Plimpton on the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. They are practicing before the Sunday afternoon concert.
The free concert begins. Sweet music fills the park.
The free concert begins. Sweet music fills the park.
The House of Chamorros hosted this Sunday's International Cottages lawn program.
The House of Chamorros hosted this Sunday’s International Cottages lawn program.
Many wonderful Chamorro arts and crafts displayed at the event.
Many wonderful Chamorro arts and crafts were displayed at the event.
People converge in Balboa Park to celebrate culture, sunshine and life.
People converge in Balboa Park to celebrate culture, sunshine 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 photos for you to enjoy!

Exciting debut of San Diego’s new Civic Organist!

Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego's new Civic Organist, raises his arms in greeting.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego’s new Civic Organist, raises his arms in greeting.

I’m still in a state of elation after experiencing the exciting debut this afternoon of San Diego’s new Civic Organist!

The first appearance of Raúl Prieto Ramírez as official organist for the city of San Diego was nothing less than phenomenal. He performed in Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where the public will now enjoy his free performances every Sunday at two o’clock.

His great love of music, his energy, his vivaciousness and his extraordinary skill were apparent from the start. An enormous audience filled the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and welcomed him warmly. At the conclusion of the exciting concert, he received a well-deserved standing ovation.

San Diego is so fortunate. The shoes of previous Civic Organist, Dr. Carol Williams, would be difficult for anyone to fill, but Raúl Prieto Ramírez seems definitely up to the task. His playing is crisp, nimble, precise, and full of expression. His smile is enormous. His mission in life, he told the audience, was to bring to the world great music. That makes him happy.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez comes to San Diego from Barcelona, Spain. He is internationally acclaimed, the founder of the Barcelona-Mataró International Organ Festival. Now he will perform his magic in Balboa Park as Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society. I can tell you right now the future of the 103-year-old Spreckels Organ is incredibly bright.

My photos of today’s concert captures a true artist’s unbounded passion. That passion translates into musical gold.

Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society, welcomes new San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez to the world's largest outdoor organ in Balboa Park.
Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society, welcomes new San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez to the world’s largest outdoor organ in Balboa Park.
A sparkling debut concert is about to begin.
A sparkling debut concert is about to begin.
A tradition for the Sunday organ concerts in Balboa Park, Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays America to get things started.
A tradition for the Sunday organ concerts in Balboa Park, Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays America to get things started.
The San Diego audience loved our new Civic Organist from the word go.
The San Diego audience loved our new Civic Organist from the word go.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about coming to San Diego, before his brilliant performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about coming to San Diego, before his brilliant performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
Playing the Spreckels Organ with style and passion.
Playing the Spreckels Organ with style and passion.
There were many smiles throughout the large audience at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Every bench was full.
There were many smiles throughout the large audience at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Every bench was full.
Finishing a difficult Classical piece with a triumphant flourish.
Finishing a difficult Classical piece with a triumphant flourish.
With theatrical flair, Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about the next piece, Danse Macabre.
With theatrical flair, Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about the next piece, Danse Macabre.
Concentration.
Concentration.
Feeling.
Feeling.
Intensity.
Intensity.
More smiles.
More smiles.
After a great organ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Spreckels Organ Society's Executive Director Ross Porter announces kids are needed for the next number.
After a great organ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Spreckels Organ Society’s Executive Director Ross Porter announces kids are needed for the next number.
Kids from the audience take the stage right next to the Spreckels Organ console.
Kids from the audience take the stage right next to the Spreckels Organ console.
Here comes a fifth kid.
Here comes a fifth kid.
Instructions are secretly given.
Instructions are secretly given.
While Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays Batalla Famosa, the kids read a short sentence that introduces each part of the music.
While Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays Batalla Famosa, the kids read a short dramatic sentence that introduces each part of the music.
Too much fun!
Too much fun!
Meet the new San Diego Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!
Meet the new San Diego Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!

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!