Culture and History unite at the 42nd Annual Cabrillo Festival at Cabrillo National Monument. The main event of the festival, one of the oldest cultural events in San Diego, is the Open House on Sunday, October 2, from 10 AM 5 PM. Taken from the pages of history, the Cabrillo Festival brings to life the story of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, an explorer sailing for the King of Spain in search of new lands and wealth who helped establish trade routes between Asia and the Americas.
The festival opens with a Navy Band Concert and Commemorative Ceremony on Friday, September 30, beginning at 5:30 PM at the Cabrillo Statue in Cabrillo National Monument, and continues with the 16th-century Spanish Soldier’s Living History Encampment on Saturday, October 1 from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM leading up to the big day.
Traveling along the West Coast of Baja California, Cabrillo and his crew eventually reached what is now known as San Diego on September 28, 1542, where they were met by the native Diegueño/Kumeyaay Indians, also known as Iipay or Tipay. Unaware of the historical significance of his voyage, Cabrillo secured his place in history and now thousands journey to Cabrillo National Monument each year to commemorate the explorer who touched so many of the cultures of present day San Diego.
The Cabrillo Festival Open House features colorful displays of dancing, storytelling and music from Mexico, Native America, Portugal and Spain. This free event also features Mexican, Native American, Portuguese and Spanish food, Kumeyaay basket making, flint knapping and acorn grinding demonstrations, a living history encampment where 16th-century Spanish soldiers demonstrate the arms, armor, implements and daily life, and children’s activities. A highlight of the festival is the re-enactment of Cabrillo’s historic landing at Ballast Point. Narrated by TV personality Jack White, re-enactors dressed as Cabrillo and his crew sail into San Diego Bay and “claim the land” for the King of Spain.
Cabrillo National Monument, located on Point Loma at the south end of Catalina Boulevard, is open daily from 9:00 AM until 5:15 PM. For additional information call 619-557-5450, extension 0 or TTY 619-222-8211, or visit our web site at http://www.nps.gov/cabr/.