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San Diego’s Traditional ‘Blessing of the Animals’ Goes Wild in Old Town

December 30, 2010

Food Page/Tid Bits

—A Modern Twist on a Historical Event—

    Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is hosting a Blessing of the Animals event on Sunday, Jan.16, from noon to 3:00 p.m. Led by Monsignor Mark Campbell from the historic Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Old Town, this event will have a decidedly wild personality.

    The Chula Vista Nature Center will be bringing native animals to the event and the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital will educate the public about rescuing, rehabilitating and supporting wild animals. On hand will be many native animals that are rarely viewed up close that have been rescued but are now unable to return to the wild. Also participating in the event is the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego, Shelly’s Shelter and Friends of Cats.

    There will also be a pet expo with treats for pets and owners as well as games for kids. Sponsors and exhibitors are now being sought. 

    This event has been happening for more than 300 years – dating back to the 1700s. In San Diego the annual Benediction of the Beasts celebrates St. Anthony of the Desert, the Patron Saint of Animals, and honors San Diego’s own Father Anthony Ubach. Because of his hard work, in 1886 a school for Native Americans was established in Old Town.  It was named St. Anthony’s after Father Ubach. All faiths and convictions are welcome to attend this event to celebrate the animals that make our lives so special. Activities for both animals and families make this celebration both unique and very moving to all who participate.

    Admission to this event is free.

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