San Gabriel, Calif.--San Gabriel Mission will celebrate its 240th birthday on Sept. 2-4, with many festivities at its annual fiesta that is always held Friday through Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
The fiesta will be open on Fri., Sept. 2, from 6 p.m. to midnight, Sat., Sept. 3, from noon to midnight, and Sun., Sept. 6, from noon to midnight.
On Friday, Sept. 2, the Ringing of the Bells Ceremony will start the fiesta at 6 p.m. at the mission bell wall, followed by the Blessing of the Fiesta Grounds.
Saturday, Sept. 3, festivities start early at the Fiesta Stage with the Children’s and Pet’s Costume Contest at 9 a.m., followed by Blessing of the Animals at 10:30 a.m. Gabrieleno-Tongva indians and re-enactors of history are invited to be in the mission gardens from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Re-enactors invited are Fr. Junipero Serra, Klaus “Adobe Man” Duebbert, a blacksmith, wool spinner, soldiers, and other re-enactors.
The Birthday Cake Celebration is scheduled for the Fiesta Stage at 5 p.m. Happy Birthday will be sung for the mission and for anyone with a birthday close to the fiesta On Sunday, Sept. 4, the Founders’ Memorial Mass at 9:30 a.m. will be in the old mission church. Gabrieleno-Tongva indians and re-enactors of history have been invited to be in the gardens from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Among the traditions of the fiesta are the Royal Court Contest and the Fiesta Royal Court members representing the mission at its fiesta and throughout the year at church, civic and social events. This year’s Royal Court includes Queen Krystal Gill, and Princesses Melanie Ramirez and Claudia Gonzalez.
The fiesta will include religious, historical and cultural festivities, small and large rides, game booths, international foods, entertainment in the evenings, and prize drawings totaling more than $10,000 on Sept. 4, at 11:30 p.m. during closing ceremonies on the fiesta stage, immediately after a musical performance by the band Tierra that will start at 9 p.m. on the fiesta stage.
Also, bingo will be played in the air conditioned parish center.
The mission museum and gardens will be open for free on Sept. 2-4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. San Gabriel Mission is located at 428 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel, C More information is available at www.sangabrielmission.net.