November 30, 2007

Balboa Park December Nights:

Celebrate 30 Years of Holiday Magic

Balboa Park December Nights presented by Barona, San Diego’s favorite kick-off to the holiday season, will take place for the 30th consecutive year on Friday, December 7, 5:00-10:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 8, noon-10:00 p.m. In the spirit of the holidays, participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. both evenings. The beloved San Diego event features sparkling lights, theatrical and musical entertainment, and food, food and more food throughout the Park.

Entertainment, wonderful food and holiday cheer are all part of this classic San Diego celebration. Long-standing traditions—including food from around the globe at the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages; the charming Santa Lucia Procession at the San Diego Museum of Man; unique gift shopping at the museum stores and with the artisans of Spanish Village; and musical and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree and more—fill the heart of Balboa Park.

December Nights also features culinary adventures from some of San Diego’s finest restaurants at the Plaza de Panama Holiday Taste of San Diego—with a central location and expanded dining and beverage area, and the new December Nights Taste of the Taste at the San Diego Museum of Art Sculpture Garden is a preview of the popular January Restaurant Week. The SDG&E Holiday Light Canopy again covers the center of the Plaza, welcoming visitors with dazzling holiday cheer. The Cascades Holiday Marketplace brings crafts, foods and entertainment from around the world; and the Palisades Midway harkens back to the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition–with carnival rides and games geared for younger children.

This year, Balboa Park December Nights goes “Green” in partnership with San Diego Storm Water Pollution Prevention Division “Think Blue”. The goal of Think Blue is to improve the quality of our recreational waters and educate the public about how they can keep San Diego green, blue and clean. Bring up to three strands of traditional holiday lights, per family, to the SDG&E booth in the Plaza de Panama beneath the light canopy and exchange them for more energy efficient and safer LED holiday lights (500 strands per night, while supplies last). Also visitors to December Nights can help keep Balboa Park “green” by taking the free shuttle from Petco Park–reducing vehicle emissions, while taking the stress out of parking and traffic at this major San Diego event.

The Barona Band of Mission Indians will contribute a unique cultural element to the events with My Ancestors’ Village, the re-creation of a traditional Native American village within the heart of Balboa Park. Artistically recreated full-size tule boats will float in Balboa Park’s historic Lily Pond. Ancestors of the Barona people used boats made out of tule reeds, as the boats were lightweight and sturdy. Produced by the Barona Cultural Center & Museum, this tribute to the local Tribes and the important role they have played in San Diego’s history will bring to life the food, culture, and lifestyle that is unique to Barona and the other Indians indigenous to the local region.

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