August 30, 2017 (SAN DIEGO, CA) – History comes to life at this FREE, family-friendly event, Saturday, September 30, 2017. The 54th annual Cabrillo Festival celebrates and recreates the voyage of 16th century explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who, sailing under the flag of Spain, landed on the shore of San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542, discovering San Diego, California and all of the West Coast. This makes San Diego the Plymouth Rock of the West! This pivotal moment in history is remembered every year with a series of events hosted by the Cabrillo Festival Inc. and the National Park Service.
The festival will be held at Ballast Point on Naval Base Point Loma on Saturday, September 30 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Admission is FREE. There will be music, dancing, children’s activities and foods of Native Americans, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. There will be Kumeyaay basket making, knot tying and a 16th Century Spanish soldiers living history encampment. Re-enactment of Cabrillo’s landing from San Diego’s historically accurate replica of the San Salvador on Ballast Point begins at 1:00 PM. Guests
are advised to bring identification for entry onto the navy base.
On June 27, 1542, Cabrillo set sail from Navidad on Mexico’s west coast with three vessels; San Salvador, La Victoria and San Miguel in search of gold and a route to the Orient and the Spice Islands. Sailing northwest into uncharted waters, they explored the west coast of Baja California. On September 17 they anchored at San Mateo, known today as Todos Santos Bay, Ensenada. A few days later they departed. Sailing north they landed on September 28 at “an enclosed harbor, which was very good.”
Cabrillo named it San Miguel. We know it today as San Diego. Cabrillo and his men remained for six days, trading with the native Kumeyaay people living around the bay, exploring and taking on supplies and fresh water. On October 3 they departed, continuing their voyage northward along the coast of Alta California. Although Cabrillo died of an injury before completing his journey, he is one of the most
recognized figures of the Age of Exploration.
The highlight of the Cabrillo Festival is the re-enactment of Cabrillo’s landing on the shores of San Diego Bay. “Cabrillo,” his soldiers and a priest sail into the bay on The San Salvador, and once again claim the
land for Spain.