Most folks don’t realize the amount of canine willpower required of me to work every day in North America’s largest urban park. With so many flower beds, tree planters, and freshly mulched landscaping everywhere I turn, it’s all I can do to resist the urge to dig, dig, and dig some more.
Thankfully Balboa Park’s free annual Garden Party on May 28, will offer plenty of other family-friendly activities that I can “dig” instead, starting with a Kids Wagon Parade at 9am. Led by its Grand Marshal, Councilmember Todd Gloria, the Instagram-worthy parade down the El Prado walkway will feature dozens of pups towing wagons lushly decorated with floral items I suspect they dug up from their own gardens (but you didn’t hear that from me).
Later, at 10:45am, pups can enjoy a performance by the kid-friendly folk duo of Hullabaloo in the Zoro Garden, followed by more activities for kids and butterfly releases in the Zoro Garden on the half-hour, beginning at 11:30am.
Adults who can’t resist digging around in their own gardens will find plenty of age-appropriate activities as well, including a series of free horticultural lectures on the hour in the Plaza de Panama. At 10am renowned landscape designer Greg Rubin will discuss “California Native Gardening.” Tours of Balboa Park’s gardens will be led by park rangers at 10am and 1pm, and at 11am Conservancy President and CEO Tomas Herrera-Mishler will offer an insightful look inside the historic Botanical Building.
In addition, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet will present a paw de deux and other pack-friendly dances around the Bea Evenson Fountain (between the Reuben H. Fleet and Natural History Museum) at 12:45pm, 1:45pm, and 2:45pm.
And what would a park-wide festival in Balboa Park be without the participation of a dozen hand-picked food trucks? Among the trucks making the 2016 Garden Party a feast to remember will be American Flavors, Caribbean Escape, Currywurst Frankfurt, Marcel Belgian Waffle, Super Q, Simply Fresh, Tacos La Mezcla, and Tabe BBQ.
For a complete list of food trucks, lecturers, and other Garden Party happenings, be sure to sniff over to http://www.balboapark.org/garden-party.