skip navigation and jump to page content The Library of CongressThe American Folklife Center 
Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Actor portrays Cabrillo each year when his 1542 landing at San Diego bay is enacted
An actor portrays Cabrillo each year at re-enactment of his landing at San Diego bay, September 28, 1542 Photo: Barbara Martin

San Diego's Annual Cabrillo Festival

Created in 1964 to share the story of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and his 1542 voyage of exploration along what is now the West Coast of the United States, San Diego's Annual Cabrillo Festival is one of the oldest festivals of its kind in San Diego and Southern California, now in its 36th year. The mission of the Festival is to perpetuate and commemorate the contribution of Cabrillo in the exploration of New Spain and the settlement of the Californias, and to celebrate the rich cultures of Native America, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain that are part of San Diego's diverse heritage.

Official representatives of the governments of Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the United States regularly attend the Cabrillo Festival. Cabrillo Festival week encompasses September 28, the date in history in which Cabrillo arrived in San Diego. The main event of the Festival is the Open House at Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, which overlooks Cabrillo's probable landing site on Ballast Point in San Diego Bay. 1999 Open House activities included a re-enactment of Cabrillo's landing on Ballast Point; 16th-century-soliders living history encampment and arquebus firing demonstrations; performances by Native American, Aztec and Mexican folklorico dancers; basket-weaving and acorn-grinding demonstrations; visits by "Cabrillo," the priest and his soldiers, and by Miss Cabrillo Festival; children's activities on Cabrillo and the Age of Exploration.

Project documentation includes three pages of text and brochures from the 1993 through 1999 Festivals.

Originally submitted by: Brian P. Bilbray, Representative (49th District).

link to www.loc.govMore Local Legacies...

The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

disclaimer for external linksLearn More About It...
  The Library of Congress 
The American Folklife Center
Contact Us
AFC Icon