The mission of the Cabrillo Festival, Inc. is “[t]o perpetuate and commemorate the contribution of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo in the exploration and settlement of New Spain and California, and celebrate the rich cultures of Native America, Mexico, Spain and Portugal that are part of San Diego’s diverse heritage”.
The annual September Cabrillo Festival at Naval Base Point Loma is a fun event for the entire family. Brightly colored clothing and dramatic music and dancing bring to life the traditions of the Native American, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cultures that are part of the Age of Exploration. The festival features food booths with delicious traditional Mexican, Native American, Portuguese and Spanish food. 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 San Salvador (The Californian), and once again claim the land for Spain.
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. They landed on September 28th 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 3rd 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 San Diego SAR Chapter and C.A.R. Red, White and Blue Society are invited to participate in this celebration by setting up a display tables in the bayside park where Spanish food is served and related activities occur. The flags and color guard at the tables attracts many of the celebrants to the tables to inquire about SAR and C.A.R. This affords both organizations an opportunity to inform the public about our interest in preserving the history of the American Revolution as well as Spain’s involvement in the war.