A fun Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.
A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.

I enjoyed my walk today through the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park. The event was sponsored by the House of Chamorros, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Those who spent the day had much to experience, including Chamorro food, music, dance, crafts and cultural demonstrations.

I personally enjoyed listening to a talk about the outrigger canoe Sakman Chamorro and its crew of misfits. This traditional Chamorro canoe, built from a northern California redwood tree, used to be based in San Diego’s South Bay, but is now in Guam. I remember seeing the vessel docked by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and also at the 2015 Pacific Islander Festival in Mission Bay, which I blogged about here.

It appeared to me that everyone at today’s event was having a lot of fun! Hopefully this is the first of many Chamorro festivals in Balboa Park!

Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
The flag of Guam flies at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The flag of Guam flies proudly at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Balboa Park becomes more beautiful one Friday morning.

San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall one Friday morning in Balboa Park.
San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall in Balboa Park one Friday morning.

During my walk through Balboa Park this morning, I saw lots of people out and about working to beautify the park. It’s Friday, which means another busy weekend is just around the corner…

Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Another worker clears leaves with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Another worker clears leaves and litter with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord's sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord’s iconic sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama near the Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden Court.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the weekend.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the inevitable weekend crowds.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year's winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year’s winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages one quiet Friday morning.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Fun photos of Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

A dog that resembles a lion with a wild mane is a crowd pleaser during Balboa Park's very popular Halloween Family Day.
A dog that resembles a lion with a shaggy mane gets a lot of attention during Balboa Park’s popular Halloween Family Day.

Please enjoy these fun photos that I took this afternoon during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

As you can see, thousands of people turned out, and I spotted a variety of colorful costumes. There was plenty to see and do throughout the park. Trick-or-treating and having a good time at the annual Halloween celebration in Balboa Park has become a family tradition for many!

A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
Two trick-or-treaters check out one of the many attractions on Balboa Park's El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
Two trick-or-treaters look at one of the attractions along Balboa Park’s El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park's annual Halloween celebration.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park’s annual Halloween celebration.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein's monster.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein’s monster.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass for Halloween. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A fun peek at the Tartan Day San Diego festival.

Gentleman at Tartan Day San Diego gets help putting on his kilt. The festival took place in Balboa Park on the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages lawn.
Gentleman at Tartan Day San Diego gets help putting on his kilt. The festival took place in Balboa Park on the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages lawn.

Yesterday morning I walked through Balboa Park before heading to the San Diego Padres FanFest downtown. At the International Cottages, folks were preparing for Tartan Day San Diego, an annual festival and celebration of Scottish heritage.

In addition to displays within the House of Scotland, many tables were being set up in the large lawn area for afternoon visitors to enjoy. I took a few photos that provide a fun peek!

Welcoming banner above one tent proclaims Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center. The Stewart Society, Edinburgh.
Welcoming banner above one tent proclaims Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center. The Stewart Society, Edinburgh.
The standard of Clan MacDuff, with their crest and motto Deus Juvat.
The standard of Clan MacDuff, with their lion crest and motto Deus Juvat.
The standard of Clan Grant, with their crest and motto Stand Fast.
The standard of Clan Grant, with their flaming crest and motto Stand Fast.
This smiling Scot informed me the clans buried the hatchet long ago. Everyone is on a friendly basis now!
This smiling Scot informed me the clans buried the hatchet long ago. Everyone is on a friendly basis now!
A variety of colorful woolen tartans on display. Each pattern represents a different clan.
A variety of colorful woolen tartans on display. Each pattern represents a different clan.
One table for Tartan Day is dedicated to Scotland's great national poet Robert Burns.
One table for Tartan Day is dedicated to Scotland’s great national poet Robert Burns.
Lots of Scottish gifts on one table include plush bears with tam o' shanters and dolls wearing Scottish dress.
Lots of Scottish gifts on one table include plush bears with tam o’ shanters and dolls wearing Scottish dress.
Two Scottish gentlemen in kilts pass the time at Balboa Park's International Cottages before the Tartan Day festivities begin in earnest.
Two Scottish gentlemen in kilts pass the time at Balboa Park’s International Cottages before the Tartan Day festivities begin in earnest.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A new dawn of hope at the International Cottages.

Early morning light upon the House of Scotland, in Balboa Park's harmonious House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Early morning light upon the House of Scotland, a member of Balboa Park’s harmonious House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

Every morning in Balboa Park brings beauty. At the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, near the center of the park, the sun rises on the participating member nations in a new dawn of optimism and hope.

The theme of the International Cottages is world peace, harmony and mutual understanding. The cultures of different nations are celebrated, and people welcome each other with smiles and goodwill.

Nine new cottages are being built. Among the nations who will enjoy their own cottage is the House of Korea. On a recent Sunday, they displayed examples of their culture in the Hall of Nations. They’re optimistic funds can be raised to build their cottage, and usher in a new dawn.

Sweeping in front of the small national cottages in the morning, before Balboa Park visitors arrive.
Sweeping in front of the small national cottages in the morning, before many Balboa Park visitors arrive.
The House of Korea is one of nine nations that are building new cottages. On a recent Sunday they exhibited in the Hall of Nations.
The House of Korea is one of nine nations that are building new cottages. On a recent Sunday they exhibited in the Hall of Nations.
The House of Korea displays national pride, and honors Korean war veterans. They seek new members. Anybody can join.
The House of Korea displays national pride. They seek new members. Anybody can join.
A table contains objects and books that celebrate Korean culture.
A table contains objects and books that celebrate Korean culture.
Colorful small versions of Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress.
Colorful small versions of Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress.
Raising the flag at the House of Sweden. Another day of hope, optimism and mutual understanding begins.
Raising the flag at the House of Sweden. Another day of hope, optimism and mutual understanding begins.

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