Fun photos from a Sunday walk in Balboa Park.

Tourists are shown magic by a fun busker near the reflecting pond in Balboa Park.
Tourists are given a magic show by a busker near the reflecting pond in Balboa Park.

I took a Sunday stroll through Balboa Park. Here are some fun pics!

Duck enjoys the pool of water at the San Diego Museum of Art's outdoor May S. Marcy Sculpture Court.
Duck enjoys the pool of water at the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor May S. Marcy Sculpture Court.
Kid with painted face examines Man in White. This cool busker appears to be made of marble. He was entertaining surprised visitors on El Prado.
Kid with painted face examines Man in White. This cool busker appears to be made of marble. He was entertaining surprised visitors on El Prado.
Kid walks through a hula hoop on a stretch of grass.
Kid walks through a hula hoop on a stretch of grass.
Guy shows some people his stuff in the Plaza de Panama.
Guy shows some people his stuff in the Plaza de Panama.
Folks wait on a bench for the free Balboa Park tram, which I call the green caterpillar.
Folks wait on a bench for the free Balboa Park tram, which I call the green caterpillar.
The San Diego Automotive Museum is having a food drive inside their front entrance. Stop on by!
The San Diego Automotive Museum is having a food drive inside their front entrance. Stop on by!
Happy dogs, walkers and a cool guitar-playing musician on a sunny Sunday in San Diego.
Happy dogs, walkers and a cool guitar-playing musician on a sunny Sunday in San Diego.
Who doesn't love colorful, twisted balloons and gigantic soaring bubbles?
Who doesn’t love colorful twisted balloons and soaring bubbles?

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Veteran’s Day celebrated in Balboa Park.

Getting ready for the Veteran's Day Memorial Program at the House of USA Cottage in Balboa Park.
Getting ready for the Veteran’s Day Memorial Program at the House of USA Cottage in Balboa Park.

Today I enjoyed a special Veteran’s Day program in Balboa Park. It was held on the lawn at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. The City Guard Band of San Diego played some great music, including a composition titled San Diego Exposition March, written by Gunner Tolbert for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition held in Balboa Park. Some other pieces I heard were selections from South Pacific, Victory at Sea, and, of course, the Star Spangled Banner.

I took a number of photos, and ventured into the House of USA Cottage to absorb some of the atmosphere. I thought you’d might like to have a look. Please read the captions for some more interesting information.

The band is ready to play as people gather around the stage in the lawn area of the International Cottages. It's a Sunday afternoon in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
The band is ready to play as people gather around the stage in the lawn area of the International Cottages. It’s a Sunday afternoon in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park.
City Guard Band of San Diego plays during a special Veteran's Day program. The band originated in 1880, when members were part of a local volunteer militia.
City Guard Band of San Diego plays during a special Veteran’s Day program. The band originated in 1880, when members were part of a local volunteer militia.
Old plaque at base of large tree in the middle of the surrounding cottages. Dedicated in honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Old plaque at base of large tree near the center of the surrounding cottages. Dedicated in honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
A small Veteran's Day gathering in Balboa Park's friendly House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
A relaxed Veteran’s Day gathering at Balboa Park’s peaceful House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Folks at a table in front of the House of USA Cottage listen to the band play patriotic and other popular tunes.
Folks at a table in front of the House of USA Cottage listen to the band play patriotic and other popular tunes.
These fine ladies smiled for my camera! Those treats on the table are well known to this blogger!
These fine ladies smiled for my camera! Those treats on the table are well known to this blogger!
American flag and a Welcome at the front door of the USA cottage in Balboa Park.
American flag and a Welcome at the front door of the USA cottage in Balboa Park.
Inside the USA cottage. Welcome home all the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
Inside the USA cottage. Welcome home all the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
Famous portraits and memorabilia from American history cover walls and fill shelves in the House of USA Cottage.
Famous portraits and memorabilia from American history cover walls and fill shelves in the House of USA Cottage.
Playing the piano for anyone who wanders in on another perfect sunny San Diego day. Someone was whistling nearby.
Playing the piano for anyone who wanders in on another perfect sunny San Diego day. Someone was whistling nearby.
The Stars and Stripes and books concerning Americana.
The Stars and Stripes and various books celebrating Americana.
Playing joyful music, from marches to musicals, celebrating those who've served to protect our freedom.
Playing sparkling music, from marches to musicals, celebrating those who’ve served to protect our freedom.

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Sailboats fly before the wind on blue San Diego Bay.

Sailboats fly before the wind on blue San Diego Bay.
Sailboats fly before the wind on blue San Diego Bay.

I’m getting some photos ready for a blog I’ll post in a couple days. But this image seemed perfect for a sunny blue Sunday. So here it is!

Now it’s time for an afternoon walk…

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House of Scotland Pipe Band in Balboa Park.

House of Scotland Pipe Band performs at Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
House of Scotland Pipe Band performs at Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

Today’s free Sunday organ concert at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion featured the amazing House of Scotland Pipe Band! The House of Scotland makes its home in the International Cottages just steps away from the pavilion.

I’ve always loved bagpipe music. It’s even better, if that’s possible, when accompanied by Dr. Carol Williams, San Diego’s famous Civic Organist, on the majestic Spreckels Organ. The large-lunged instruments combine their resonance, and with the addition of a booming drum, the melodies that are produced really stir the blood. I wish the concert had gone on all afternoon!

Songs included Highland Cathedral, Flower of Scotland, Blue Bells, Amazing Grace, Scotland the Brave, and The Ballad of Glencoe.

Raising and twirling the baton in time with great bagpipe music.
Raising and twirling the baton in time with great bagpipe music.
Dr. Carol Williams accompanies bagpipes with Spreckels Organ.
Dr. Carol Williams accompanies bagpipes on the Spreckels Organ.
The big booming drum of the House of Scotland!
The big booming drum of the House of Scotland!
Balboa Park visitors mingle with musicians after the stirring concert.
Balboa Park visitors mingle with musicians after the stirring concert.

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Folks enjoy House of Austria lawn program.

Dancers from House of Austria in Balboa Park.
Dancers from House of Austria in Balboa Park.

I got a few pics of another Sunday afternoon lawn program at Balboa Park’s International Cottages. This weekend it was Austria’s turn!

Dancing, singing and food were abundant for the entertainment of anyone interested in Austrian culture.  Many in the crowd wore traditional folk costumes.  There was a beauty queen and opera performances and it all concluded with many participants singing the popular favorite Edelweiss.

Austrian beauty queen smiles for my camera!
Austrian beauty queen smiles for my camera!
Folks watch lawn program of House of Austria.
Folks watch lawn program of House of Austria.
Food tent has sausage and other tasty Austrian food.
Food tent has sausage and other tasty Austrian food.
Everyone applauds a fantastic operatic duet.
Everyone applauds a fantastic operatic duet.

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Dogs have their day at 2014 Bark in Balboa Park.

Dogs and humans head toward Bark in Balboa Park.
Dogs and humans head toward the 2014 Bark in Balboa Park.

The Eighth Annual Bark in Balboa Park was a triumphant success this afternoon. Hundreds of furry, tail-wagging best friends got to join in the festivities, and nearly all become instantly famous. How does an ordinary, easy-going, everyday dog get 15 seconds of fame? You’re about to find out!

A few early arrivals at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
A few early arrivals at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Friendly pooch near Spreckels Organ Society donation box.
Friendly pooch near Spreckels Organ Society donation box.
Some furry attendees await the free dog-themed organ concert.
Some furry attendees await the free dog-themed organ concert.
San Diego Humane Society has volunteers at the event.
San Diego Humane Society has volunteers at the event.
Lovable dogs await adoption at Bark in the Park.
Lovable dogs await adoption at Bark in the Park.
Great dane takes a nap while a huge crowd gathers.
Great Dane takes a nap while a huge crowd gathers.
People and pooches enjoy the organ concert from the colonnade.
People and pooches enjoy the organ concert from the colonnade.
A baby stroller makes a prime seat for the big event.
A baby stroller makes a prime seat for the big event.
Activity is non-stop even during the fun concert.
Activity is non-stop even during the fun concert.
The unconditional love that dogs give.
The unconditional love that dogs give.
Spreckels Organ Society photographer hard at work.
Spreckels Organ Society photographer hard at work.
The eighth annual parade of dogs in front of the organ begins!
The eighth annual parade of dogs in front of the organ begins!
Dr. Carol Williams plays a march as pooches pass by.
Dr. Carol Williams plays a rousing Sousa march as pooches pass by.
This funny beagle was a real crowd pleaser.
This funny beagle was a real crowd pleaser.
A dainty dog in pink enjoys fame on the big stage.
A dainty dog in pink enjoys momentary fame on the big stage.

Spreckels Organ Scholarship recipients play!

spreckels organ society volunteer at concert

This Sunday afternoon’s free concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion featured two of this year’s Spreckels Organ Scholarship winners! The scholarship is provided by the Spreckels Organ Society to promising young organists. Both young ladies who played were terrific!

This photo was taken as I entered the pavilion. Lots of folks were out and about on this beautiful sunny day, and a fair number of people were enjoying the music on the benches.

trinity schulz speaks at spreckels organ concert

Here’s a pic of Trinity Schulz speaking to the crowd. She then went on to play “How Firm a Foundation”.

suzy webster plays at spreckels organ pavilion

This pic shows Suzy Webster. She played a fun “Chopsticks for Organ”, and then Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, by J.S. Bach.

Lawn bowlers enjoy Sunday in Balboa Park.

san diego lawn bowling club in balboa park

Every weekend, folks dressed in white are out on the bowling green near the west end of Balboa Park. The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club must have a pretty good membership, because I’ve seen scores of players all out enjoying the sport at the same time.

I usually linger for a couple minutes to watch a game unfold. Excellent accuracy is required to win.

A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.

House of Turkey fiddler in Balboa Park.

house of turkey fiddler in balboa park

Last Sunday in Balboa Park, after checking out the free organ concert, I ventured across the street to the International Cottages. The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages were built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition and represent 32 member countries. The little houses, situated in a picturesque cluster, are decorated and furnished in a way that recreates the unique culture of each nation.

Every Sunday (except during winter) one of the member nations features food and entertainment in the central grassy area. Last weekend it was the House of Turkey.

As I arrived, a Turkish fiddler was on stage fiddling away a merry tune while the audience clapped in rhythm. Here he is!

Turkey is one of several nations waiting to build their own cottage in Balboa Park. Here’s a pic of the nearby United Nations Building…

The United Nations Building among the International Cottages.
The United Nations Building among the International Cottages.

Umbrellas add color to Sunday organ concert.

colorful umbrellas at sunday organ concert

It must be around two o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Time for the weekly free concert at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion!

Crowds gather in the sun under colorful umbrellas to listen to the majestic sound of the Spreckels Organ, one of the largest outdoor organs in the world. The city of San Diego employs an official Civic Organist, none other than Dr. Carol Williams, one of the top performing organists in the world! Each Sunday she plays classical music, jazz, marches . . . and occasionally one of her excellent original compositions. The Spreckels Organ Society helps to raise funds to keep the tradition of free public concerts alive. It’s a tradition that has lasted a hundred years!

The beautiful Spreckels Organ Pavilion is used for various concerts and events throughout the year, including the yearly December Nights festival around Christmas. It’s also a favorite venue for wedding photography. The ornate, elegant architecture makes it interesting to visit even when the stage and benches are empty.

Organ lovers enjoy shade under the San Diego sun.
Organ lovers enjoy shade under the San Diego sun.