San Diego’s Traditional Blessing of the Animals Goes Wild in Old Town

January 12, 2010

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Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Concessionaires Association is hosting a Blessing of the Animals event on January 17 from noon to 3:00 p.m. Led by Father Tom from the historic Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, in San Diego the annual Benediction of the Beasts celebrating St. Anthony of the Desert, the Patron Saint of Animals, also honors San Diego’s own Father Anthony Ubach. Because of his hard work, in 1886 a school for Native Americans was established in Old Town. It was named St. Anthony’s after Father Ubach.

This year, the event will have a decidedly wild personality. In addition to those who care for domestic animals like dogs and cats, organizations like the Sky Hunters and the Chula Vista Nature Center that educate the public about rescuing, rehabilitating and supporting wild animals and their habitat will be center stage. On hand will be many native animals that are rarely viewed up close that have been rescued but are now unable to return to the wild.

Perhaps the highlight of the day will be the exhibition by Cynthia Royal and her horse Blanco. Blanco starred in the highest grossing film trilogy of all time – the Lord of the Rings – as Shadowfax. A beautiful white/silver Andalusian stallion, Blanco will be available for petting and photos. There will also be a pet expo with treats for pets and owners as well as games for kids.

Admission to this event is free. The event begins at noon and ends at 3:30 p.m. For more information, visit: http://www.facebook.com/fiestadereyes

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Cynthia Royal and her horse Blanco who played Shadowfax in the Lord of the Rings movies. Both will be performing on January 17th at the Blessing of the Animals event in Old Town.

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