Cabrillo National Monument’s centennial bash canceled

Ranger Ralph Jones tells visitors to Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego that the park is closed due to the federal shutdown.
(John Gibbins / AP)

Last weekend the air show at San Diego’s Miramar Marine Corps Air Station was canceled due to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

This weekend it’s the centennial celebration of the Cabrillo National Monument at the southern tip of San Diego’s Point Loma peninsula that has been canceled.

For months volunteers and National Park Service rangers had been preparing a celebration to commemorate the Oct. 14, 1913, proclamation by President Wilson ordering construction of “a heroic statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo” on the site.

The statue wasn’t in place until 1939. Then, as now, the federal government was sometimes slow to accomplish certain goals.


Historians will tell you that when Cabrillo arrived at San Diego Bay on Sept. 28, 1542, his was the first European expedition to set foot on the West Coast. A festival is held each October with a reenactment of Cabrillo’s landing at Ballast Point.

For the 100th anniversary of Wilson’s proclamation, tours of the Point Loma Lighthouse were planned, along with an art show, car show, ranger-guided walks, an essay contest, and a nighttime gala, “Cabrillo Lights Up The Night.”

None of it is going to happen, at least not this weekend. Except in a few places where state governments have supplied replacement funds, national parks and monuments remain closed; California is not among those states.

A fundraiser by the nonprofit Cabrillo National Monument Foundation as part of the centennial fest is being rescheduled for March. No word yet on whether the rest of the celebration will be rescheduled.



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