No matter where you live, you can always find monthly cultural events that pop up on your favorite local lifestyle sites. But certain ones deserve a little extra attention and, perhaps, even merit a plane ticket or road trip coordinates. We can confidently say that San Diego’s Chicano Park Day falls right into that category and attracts Latinos from across the country because of its unique appeal. This annual event is now in its 48th year and draws in thousands, thanks to its amazing murals, classic lowrider shows and indigenous artistic celebrations (plus it’s got bomb food vendors, to boot). Yes, this is definitely one for the bucket list; with plenty of perks outlined below…
Reason #1: It’s Free and Family-Friendly
Even if you have to spend a little extra on gas to get there, you’ll be happy to know that Chicano Park Day is absolutely free to the public. Often times you’ll find hefty price tags on happenings like this, particularly if art shows and live performances are involved. Well this all-day exhibition costs nothing and it’s got activities that span all ages. So if you’ve got kids or even parents who want to tag along, know that they will be completely entertained; with crafts tables, workshops and even lectures from influential Chicanos. One important note, however, is that Park Day is a “dry event,” meaning that alcohol will not be served on the premises. Though there are plenty of bars and clubs nearby, if you want to have some extra fun after the 5pm shut down.
Reason #2: It’ll Get You Connected To Your Roots
Everyone appreciates going back and connecting to “Old School” moments from their cultural history. Well, Chicano Park Day takes that one step further by celebrating ancient heroes from indigenous tribes. This year’s event is titled “El Corazón de Aztlán,” which literally translates to the heart of the Aztec nation. Expect deep history lessons on warriors like Itzcoatl, Tlahuicole and Emperor Montezuma. But beyond that, there will also be incredible art pieces on display, as well as traditional dance routines (provided by Danza Azteca) and theatrical re-enactments. These are pages of the past that often get forgotten and Park Day has received national recognition for its thorough representations.
Reason #3: Amigos Car Club
Google the phrase “Amigos Car Club” and you’ll have more than enough reasons to start planning that San Diego trip. These guys are universally recognized as leaders in the lowrider world. Their amazing paint designs, innovative customizations and all around style have gotten them millions of YouTube views and respect around the world. And they happen to be running the car exhibition at this year’s Park Day (with 300 Amigos drivers expected). An event highlight since 1970, the “cruising show” is downright epic and has become a major annual draw. And with this year’s Aztec theme, expect some amazing warrior-inspired rides to roll through the grounds this Saturday’s afternoon.
Reason #4: You’ll Get Some Good Karma Out Of It
One other reason we love this event is because of its honest, grassroots nature. This isn’t being put on by some big corporation or billionaire concert promoter. Its committee is made up of volunteers who have spent the past 38 years working to preserve the essence of Chicano Park. Members of their Steering Committee include local artists, historians and educators; all of whom put in endless hours to promote cultural awareness. So even though it’s free, know that every dollar spent on crafts and vendors gets put right back into community development. That alone, is reason enough for us!
San Diego’s Chicano Park Day happens Saturday April 21st from 10am-5pm. We invite everyone to click here to learn more about the event and the Steering Committee behind it.