Byline: Taylor Hill
CHULA VISTA — Following the success of Chula Vista’s centennial celebration last year, San Diego Bay’s southern city is gearing up for another round of Harbor Days events, Sept. 22-23.
Boat tours, pirate visits, art, music, outdoor activities and more are planned for this year’s event, highlighted by a visit from San Diego Maritime Museum’s tall ship Californian — a replica of an 1850s revenue cutter. Visitors will be able to board and tour the vessel, where onboard entertainment will be on hand. as well.
The ship was built by the Tall Ship Society in 1984, and was used as the slave ship in the Steven Spielberg movie “Amistad.” Californian has been the star attraction for Chula Vista’s waterfront celebrations since its completion, returning each year for educational tours and entertainment.
Prior to the event, Californian will make the trek from its home along North Embarcadero to the South Bay Sept. 21, and event organizers are offering the public a chance to take the trip down south aboard the historic vessel.
The ship will depart at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 21 from the Maritime Museum in San Diego and arrive in Chula Vista a couple of hours later — and docents and guides will be aboard to provide a living history of the vessel and San Diego Bay. Tickets for the cruise are $20 per person, and proceeds will be donated to Chula Vista Harbor Days event.
Joining Californian will be the historic steam yacht Medea. The Maritime Museum staff will provide free tours of their historic boats.
In addition to the boat tours, Chula Vista Harbor Days will include art displays at the waterfront arts and craft fair, and a juried art show at the Chula Vista Marina Gallery. The arts and crafts section will be located next to the Aeolian harp, installed in 2001 along Chula Vista’s waterfront. The art show will be presented on by the nonprofit art collaborative South Bayfront Artists.
Families can visit the event’s Kids’ Zone, featuring art, music, culture and pirates. Visitors can explore transportation of the past and future, from classic cars to alternative vehicles.
Other Harbor Days events include off-road racing, BMX demonstrations, remote-control boat races, a SEAL tour of the South Bay, two performance stages and robotic challenges. A classic car show along the waterfront is planned as well, and will feature local residents’ vintage automobiles.
Chula Vista Harbor Days is an annual celebration of the waterfront in partnership with the city of Chula Vista, the Unified Port of San Diego, the Maritime Museum of San Diego and Chula Vista’s port tenants; and it is supported and sponsored by local businesses and organizations.
The event will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Harbor Days is accessed by taking the J Street/Marina Parkway exit off I-5 and turning west on Marina Parkway.
For more information, call (619) 333-0825 or visit cvharbordays.com.
Schedule of Activities:
• Kids’ Zone with games, entertainers, music and more
• Arts Fair with artisans selling their unique, quality art
• Business/nonprofit booths in the Wharf Marketplace
• Art Show — second annual juried art show with fine art work • Sail for the Cure — Susan G. Komen charity event • Robotics Challenge event
• “Green and Cool” Bayfront Zone
– Chula Vista eco-tourism options
– Bayshore Bikeway
– Nature Center events
– Fish and Wildlife headquarters, and the Nature Preserve
– Ecology — geology and phenomenology information
• Food coordinated by the Chef de Cuisine of San Diego, with profits benefitting a scholarship foundation