Well before 1849, when the California Gold Rush inspired a steady trail of settlers to move to California, Father Junipero Serra had established the first Spanish settlement in what is now known as Old Town, San Diego. Father Serra’s Mission was built in 1769 and is considered the Birthplace of California. Several hundred years later, in 1968, the State of California Parks and Recreation Department established Old Town Historic Park to preserve this historically significant part of San Diego.
Today, Old Town is the Hot Spot in the city. There are festivals, special events and celebrations every month. Weekends are a great time to enjoy shopping and fine restaurants. Everyone loves the art, music, and of course, the tequila. Tequila is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant. It is said that more tequila is served in Old Town than in any other place in the world.
To celebrate the heritage of San Diego and the important role that tequila and other spirits have played in the city’s history, an Annual Spirits of Mexico Festival is held each year in Old Town. This year’s 9th Annual Spirits of Mexico Festival will be held Sunday, September 9 – Saturday, September 15, 2012. Immediately following the Celebration of the Spirits, there will be several additional events that are fun and exciting for the whole family. www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com
Tequila Trail – Sunday, September 9
Opening day ceremonies for the Spirits of Mexico Festival are scheduled for 2:30pm, and then, at 3:00pm, the fun begins with the Tequila Trail. Experience the many fine types of tequila, mescals and other intriguing Mexican spirits from a host of area eateries. This year, 12 local establishments will be participating. Bill Walton, a graduate of UCLA and a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, will be on hand to greet the attendees. Walton is also associated with ultra-premium tequila brand Azuñia Tequila. Enjoy opening day and get in the spirit of the festivities.
Spirits of Mexico San Diego Dinner – Friday, September 14
This special event takes place at the Barra Barra Saloon and runs from 6:00pm-10:00pm.
Things kick off with a tasting reception and dinner. That will be followed by a live auction, where attendees can bid on rare bottles of the finest spirits donated by the event’s sponsors. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Sky Ranch Foundation, an organization that helps give troubled kids a second chance at life. Emmy-Award winner and comedian, Mark DeCarlo, will assume the role of master of Ceremonies during the evening. Chef Jose Pulido and his talented assistants will create a special dinner that will feature dishes infused with agave spirits. Eat, drink and enjoy a memorable evening in the heart of Old Town.
Spirits of Mexico San Diego – Main Tasting Event – Saturday, September 15
Head on over to the McCoy Garden Courtyard and sample all of the world class agave spirits. Some, but not all of the different types of spirits ready to be savored will include, tequila, mezcal, sotol, bacanora and raicilla. Master Distillers and Blenders will be on hand to guide you along your tasting adventure and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Area restaurants will provide culinary treats to enjoy with the spirits. You can participate in the silent auction that benefits the Sky Ranch Foundation and also attend one of the interesting and informative seminars. Author and Emmy-Award winner, Mark DeCarlo will autograph copies of his book A Fork on the Road: 400 Cities 1 Stomach.
Fiestas Patrias – Sunday, September 16
Fiestas Patrias celebrates Mexican Independence Day that marks the beginning of Mexico’s fight against Spain for sovereignty and independence on September 16, 1810. The Fiesta features traditional activities from the 1800s, a female equestrian group, music, dance and public participation in a parade of pride.
Santa Fe Market – at Bazaar del Mundo – Friday, September 21
Enjoy a warm and wonderful display of art, culture and entertainment at this family friendly fun celebration. Native American and Southwestern arts and crafts will be offered for sale.
San Diego is such a fantastic place to have family fun. Enjoy the festivities in Old Town, spend a day at the beach and just relax in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world.
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