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    Bali Hai slates Polynesian blowout in honor of its 60th anniversary
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 24, 2014 | 12268 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Bali Hai restaurant, an iconic Polynesian-theme dining getaway on Shelter Island, is poised to celebrate 60 years of idyllic views and sumptuous food and drinks.    Courtesy photo
    The Bali Hai restaurant, an iconic Polynesian-theme dining getaway on Shelter Island, is poised to celebrate 60 years of idyllic views and sumptuous food and drinks. Courtesy photo
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    One of Point Loma’s high-profile restaurants and an iconic destination for locals and visitors alike, the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island will host a 60th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 6 to 10 p.m. The Polynesian-theme restaurant at 2230 Shelter Island Drive is throwing a party with live entertainment, including performances by Creepxotica, Desi Realtor, Pride of Polynesian and live painting by Norm Daniels. “There are two generations who have done really well, and we have a legacy to uphold,” said Tommy Baumann, Bali Hai general manager and son of owners Susie and Larry Baumann. “My brothers Andy and Grant and I enjoy that challenge, and we know how lucky we are to be the third generation to continue the success.” Baumann also touted the success of the Bali Hai over six decades in the Point Loma community. “There weren’t very many restaurants in neighborhoods back 60 years ago; we were one of a handful of the restaurants people went to,” said Larry Baumann. “This gave us the opportunity to become woven in the fabric of these people’s lives. These families have allowed us to be a part of every special occasion including weddings, graduations, anniversaries, etc. over the years.” The landmark restaurant, located on the northern tip of Shelter Island, is a chic, sleek Polynesian paradise opened in 1954 by San Diego restaurateur Tom Ham. Bali Hai was the island’s first “tiki temple” and remains one of the largest remaining original tiki temples in the United States.  Family owned and operated for more than five decades, Ham’s vision continues through his daughter, Susie Baumann, her husband, Larry, and sons Grant, Andy and Tommy. Generations of diners come for the delicious food, spectacular views and the restaurant’s world-famous Bali Hai mai tais. Its Asian-inspired food features farm fresh ingredients with Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese influences.  The structure, originally built with more than 15 types of wood, some very rare, has been restored to its natural, original sheen. The interior design and décor includes Bali Hai’s collection of more than 100 Polynesian artifacts, including tiki figures, antique tapa cloths, wood weapons, ocean charts, maps and native pictures — all creating a museum-like space for guests to explore. The venue’s outdoor waterfront Hawaiian Village pavilion — the only one of its kind on San Diego Bay – has hosted scores of weddings, graduations, reunions and other celebrations in its special-event spaces featuring stellar San Diego bayside views and lush landscaping. Bali Hai’s dining boat dock caters to Bali Hai’s “dock and dine” guests. Tickets to Bali Hai’s 60th Anniversary Celebration are $40 per person, which includes one limited release anniversary tiki mug, one drink ticket and a ton of fun. Join the festivities and rub elbows with longtime customers, Tiki “fanatics,” friends and family and community dignitaries while dining on succulent roasted pig, fried rice, poke and a beverage of choice. For more information, visit http://www.zvents.com/san_diego_ca/venues/show/53851-bali-hai-restaurant.
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    How it all began ... Cabrillo Festival will re-create his historic landing, celebrate cultural melting pot
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 24, 2014 | 5378 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Among the highlights of the annual Cabrillo Festival is the re-enactment of his landing at what is now Ballast Point in Point Loma. Actors in period garb will help bring the historic moment to life for visitors.
    Among the highlights of the annual Cabrillo Festival is the re-enactment of his landing at what is now Ballast Point in Point Loma. Actors in period garb will help bring the historic moment to life for visitors.
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    The festival also celebrates a mix of cultures with dancing, song and food, left.  Photo by Paul Hansen
    The festival also celebrates a mix of cultures with dancing, song and food, left. Photo by Paul Hansen
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    The cultures of Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Native America will be on full display at the 2014 Cabrillo Festival with food, dancing and historical narrations. 	                   Photo by Paul Hansen
    The cultures of Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Native America will be on full display at the 2014 Cabrillo Festival with food, dancing and historical narrations. Photo by Paul Hansen
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    What must it have been like for famed Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to discover America’s West Coast, to step foot on Ballast Point in Point Loma on Sept. 28, 1542 and plant a flag claiming it for Spain? Now you can stop imagining and re-experience the event the way it actually happened. Fast-forward 472 years to the 51st annual two-day Cabrillo Festival in Point Loma on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28. The highlight of the annual historic festival, of course, is the re-enactment of Cabrillo’s landing on the shores of San Diego Bay with actors in period garb representing Cabrillo, his soldiers and priests landing and claiming the land. A Portuguese navigator sailing under the flag of Spain, Cabrillo discovered San Diego Bay while searching for the Strait of Anian, a mythical all-water route across North America. Shortly after he left what would become San Diego, Cabrillo died of an infection on the islands outside Santa Barbara. “We’re going back in time and commemorating the voyages of exploration along the coast of California and Cabrillo’s arrival in San Diego,” said Idalmiro Manuel da Rosa, president of the Cabrillo Festival. Da Rosa said the two-day festival also highlights the culture and traditions of San Diego’s 15,000 to 20,000 Portuguese. “We have banners up and down Rosecrans Street,” said da Rosa. “The festival has the support of all local organizations, including the Point Loma Association, as well as the tremendous support of Naval Base Point Loma, which hosts the festival’s events on Sunday.” Da Rosa said the festival is a microcosm of the American melting pot. “It’s multi-cultural, multi-ethnic,” he said noting the event is done in conjunction with the local Native American Kumeyaay tribe. “It’s also important to the Spanish and Mexican communities,” said da Rosa. He said, though, that while the Portuguese community remains “the backbone of the Cabrillo Festival,” its influences embrace much of San Diego’s historic and ethnic cultures. The two-day festival kicks off Saturday, Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. with a commemorative ceremony and wreath laying honoring Cabrillo at the Cabrillo National Monument. The keynote speaker for the wreath ceremony will be Dr. Nuno Mathias, consul general of Portugal. The commemorative ceremony will be followed later that day from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with a Cabrillo Discovery Celebration Dinner-Dance at the Portuguese S.E.S. Hall, 2818 Avenida de Portugal in Point Loma. Sponsored by Cabrillo Civic Club No. 16 of San Diego and Portuguese-American Social and Civic Club, the event costs $50 per person. Tickets are available by calling (619) 426-0769 or (619) 221-8084. On Sunday, Sept. 28, festivities continue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a free Cabrillo Festival at Ballast Point, Naval Base Point Loma, at the south end of Rosecrans Street. The multi-faceted festival features music, dancing, children’s activities and ethnic foods of Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Native America. The Cabrillo Festival is a fun, family-oriented event with educational activities, cultural demonstrations and exciting folkloric performances celebrating Native American, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish traditions from the Age of Exploration. When Cabrillo landed in Point Loma in 1542, he had little or no inkling of its historical significance or that it would be celebrated forevermore as a landmark event or that Sept. 28 would be recognized as Cabrillo Day throughout what would become California. For more information, visit www.cabrillofestival.org.
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    Replica of Cabrillo’s ship, San Salvador, nearly ready to sail
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 24, 2014 | 565 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    After four years, the San Salvador scaffolding has started to come down. Over the next few months, preparations for her launch will take place. Then the rigging process will begin. 		           Courtesy photo
    After four years, the San Salvador scaffolding has started to come down. Over the next few months, preparations for her launch will take place. Then the rigging process will begin. Courtesy photo
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    Visitors at the annual Cabrillo Festival can take another nostalgic journey back in time by heading down to The Maritime Museum of San Diego to check out a replica of the famed Portuguese explorer’s vessel. A full-size, fully functional and historically accurate $6.2 million replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship, San Salvador, is under construction at Spanish Landing Park on Harbor Drive and nearing completion. San Salvador was a 100-foot, full-rigged galleon with a 10-foot draft and a capacity of 200 tons. She carried officers, crew, slaves and a priest. Being built for the San Diego Maritime Museum, the replica will launch soon. The construction site, called “San Salvador Village,” opened in June 2011 and is accessible to the public. The project gives people the opportunity to see an example of 16th-century shipbuilding, which was the first modern industrial activity in the Americas. The replica galleon is 92 feet long with a beam of 24 feet. When construction is completed, San Salvador will be launched on San Diego Bay and will become part of the museum's fleet of historic and replica ships. After four years of work by some 200 volunteers, the scaffolding around the ship has started to come down. Over the next few months, preparations for her launch will take place. Then the rigging process will begin. The San Salvador was the flagship of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 when he sailed into San Diego Bay. Cabrillo was the first European to explore the coast of California. Once it’s finished, the full-size galleon will be opened to visitors and for educational programs. Museum officials said it would also sail to ports throughout the state “as a traveling learning platform and symbol of our region’s Pacific origins and maritime heritage.” The project is partly funded by a grant from the Coastal Conservancy, a state agency established in 1976 to purchase, protect, restore and enhance California's coastal resources. The San Salvador construction site is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at Spanish Landing Park south of the airport. You can also watch construction progress on a 24-hour webcam at anr.ucsd.edu/cam-eras/SLC.html. In all, Cabrillo’s expedition fleet had three ships: the 200-ton galleon San Salvador, the 100-ton La Victoria and the lateen-rigged, 26-oared San Miguel. The two other ships were not the square-rigged galleons commonly used for crossing open ocean. Rather, they were built in Navidad, Mexico, especially for exploration along the coast.
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    THUNDER ON THE BAY: Bayfair powerboat races mark 50 years of thrills, spills
    by JOHNNY MCDONALD
    Sep 17, 2014 | 26853 views | 0 0 comments | 125 125 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Hydroplanes launch into action from the starting line during the 50th anniversary race weekend of Bayfair San Diego from Sept. 12-14 along the Bill Muncey Cup course on the waters of Mission Bay.   		  	 Photo by Jim Grant
    Hydroplanes launch into action from the starting line during the 50th anniversary race weekend of Bayfair San Diego from Sept. 12-14 along the Bill Muncey Cup course on the waters of Mission Bay. Photo by Jim Grant
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    J. Michael Kelly, in the Graham Trucking hydroplane, left, and Jimmy Shane, in the Oberto boat, fight for position. 	        Courtesy photo by John Jones
    J. Michael Kelly, in the Graham Trucking hydroplane, left, and Jimmy Shane, in the Oberto boat, fight for position. Courtesy photo by John Jones
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    Bayfair San Diego hydroplane race safety officials inspect a boat that flipped multiple times during the race. 	        Photo by Jim Grant
    Bayfair San Diego hydroplane race safety officials inspect a boat that flipped multiple times during the race. Photo by Jim Grant
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    Jimmy Shane’s Oberto hydroplane was the first across the finish line, but, instead, runner-up J. Michael Kelly got the checkered flag, signaling that he was the Bayfair race victor for the coveted Bill Muncey Cup during the weekend of Sept. 12-14. Race officials ruled that Shane crossed in front of Kelly at the start of the five-lap feature. Shane was penalized a lap and later fined for the infraction. However, Shane earlier posted two convincing wins in heat races to maintain his points lead for the championship heading into the season finale at Doha, Qatar from Nov. 20-22. An emotional Kelly soaked in the victory that became official about 30 minutes after the final was completed along the 2 1⁄2-mile Bill Muncey course. Fran Muncey, wife of the late Bill Muncey, presented the trophy to Kelly on the 50th anniversary of the Bayfair races.  “It’s very cool to be a part of the history of Bill Muncey,” Kelly said. “Knowing I’ll never have what he’s done, but to be part of it all.” It was a bizarre conclusion to the three-day festival that included other class speedboats, a car show and bands on three stages. The weekend began when the board of governors was advised that the city would not lift its order to ban spectators from bringing alcohol in to the event. Board members said they felt this will create a future financial hardship and affect the number of recreational vehicles that normally circle the course.  Also, in a surprise move, the sanctioning H1 Hydroplane series announced that chairman Sam Cole was being replaced by Steve David on an interim basis. David, a Florida real-estate executive, is a former hydroplane champion. Cole had been chairman for 10 years. Board president Jeff Thomas said the board of governors would conduct a post-race meeting in a few weeks to discuss the future of Bayfair and to discuss a possible meeting with the San Diego City Council over the alcohol issue. Thunderboats Inc. is a nonprofit organization to promote powerboat racing in San Diego and tourism in the beach area. Bayfair is funded in part by the San Diego Tourism Marketing District Corporation with tourism marketing district assessment funds. Although final attendance figures have yet to be compiled, organizers report a strong turnout over the three-day race period.  “We’re thankful to the 700-plus volunteers that come together each year to stage this family event,” said Thomas. “Mission Bay Park was built for hydro-plane racing, and we’re proud to showcase it.” 
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    Packed house expected for MB centennial finale
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 17, 2014 | 726 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Though with a different configuration and a bit more barren, the area around the Giant Dipper is still quite recognizable in this historic photo of Belmont Park. 					Courtesy photo
    Though with a different configuration and a bit more barren, the area around the Giant Dipper is still quite recognizable in this historic photo of Belmont Park. Courtesy photo
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    The boardwalk area of South Mission Beach has always been a popular spot for sunbathers and people-watchers, as shown in this undated historic photo. 						              Courtesy photo
    The boardwalk area of South Mission Beach has always been a popular spot for sunbathers and people-watchers, as shown in this undated historic photo. Courtesy photo
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    Mission Beach has always held an allure for funseekers, like these involved in a tug-of-war likely in the 1920s or ’30s. 	             Courtesy photo
    Mission Beach has always held an allure for funseekers, like these involved in a tug-of-war likely in the 1920s or ’30s. Courtesy photo
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    What would Mission Beach be without an impromptu volleyball game in the sand? 				             Courtesy photo
    What would Mission Beach be without an impromptu volleyball game in the sand? Courtesy photo
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    San Diego lifeguards, who are also celebrating 100 years of service this year, stand perched atop a lookout station in this historic photo. 	        Courtesy photo
    San Diego lifeguards, who are also celebrating 100 years of service this year, stand perched atop a lookout station in this historic photo. Courtesy photo
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    It’s been a year of great celebrations as Mission Beach caps its 100th anniversary observance this month with a Centennial Festival & BBQ Competition between Belmont Park and Ventura Boulevard — an event that will spill out onto the streets Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More than 15,000 people are expected to swell the centennial festival, which will take San Diegans “through the decades” of this beach community, starting from the roaring 1920s. Guests will enjoy a “Bathing Beauties Fashion Show” with swimsuits from the ’20s, sponsored by Pilar’s Beachwear. The event will also feature a walking museum filled with Mission Beach memorabilia. Entertainment in and around 3146 Mission Blvd. will include local live music performed by Split Finger, Rian Basilio and the Roosters, The Soulside Players, The Jackstraws, Fred Thompson Ukulele Majesty, Sue Palmer and the Euphoria Brass Band. Adults will be able to dive into drinks at a craft-style beer garden. The little ones will have their own party too, with a Kids’ Zone set up inside Belmont Park to entertain youngsters of all ages. Inside the Kids’ Zone, families will find plenty of activities, include The Boo Hoo Crew, the Hullabaloo Band, magicians, balloon art, free face painting, rides and attractions. To date, the Mission Beach centennial celebration has featured nine community-based events: a monument dedication and resident walk, a pub crawl, a “MeetThe Legends Surf Classic,” a Father’s Day classic car show, a “Dive-In” movie featuring the 1975 thriller “Jaws,” a horseshoe tournament put on by the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, a hands-on sandcastle-building demonstration and a volleyball tournament. It all leads up to this, the piece de resistance: the free Centennial Festival & BBQ Competition. The festival wouldn’t be complete without tasty grub. Visitors will be able to grab the best barbecue taste treats at the sanctioned cook-off area, with samplings starting at 11 a.m. until they’re gone. Some San Diego favorites like Brazen BBQ, Holy Mole, Chillin & Grillin and Rubbed the Right Way will be competing. San Diego’s finest festival food and vendors will also be attending. “This is a festival and a Mission Beach birthday celebration that San Diegans cannot miss out on,” said Wendy Crain, co-chairwoman for the Mission Beach Centennial. “San Diego lifeguards are celebrating 100 years of service as well, and we’ll incorporate this into the festival. “We would like to thank our sponsors, committee members, The Mission Beach Women’s Club, The Mission Beach Town Council, OMBAC, San Diego Park and Rec, the city of San Diego, the Beach & Bay Press and the entire Mission Beach community for helping us celebrate the spirit that is Mission Beach,” she said. For more information, visit www.missionbeachcentennial.org or call (858) 488-1549.
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