Centennial celebration at Cabrillo National Monument postponed due to the government shutdown
Dates for ceremony to be determined
Last Updated: 55 days ago
SAN DIEGO - Visitors to the Cabrillo National Monument were being allowed to walk into the park Monday, even though a 100th anniversary celebration initially scheduled was postponed because of the shutdown of the federal government.
While the gate at the entrance to the monument remained closed to vehicles, people were being allowed to walk or ride wheelchairs at their own risk to the Point Loma Lighthouse, Chief Ranger Ralph Jones said.
Ramona resident Terri Linnell spent part of Monday morning one-on-one with a ranger at the entrance to the park, demanding to be let in.
Linnell said, "It's absolutely wrong it's closed on its 100th anniversary."
"My husband is asking me if I'm in jail yet," she laughed.
Linnell did not get arrested. Instead, she and others were allowed to slip in.
While the gates were not open for vehicles, visitors were allowed to walk in on the monument's 100th birthday as a form of protest.
"It's their right under the first amendment to do so," a ranger told 10News.
It is a protest sparked by the government shutdown, which sent home park staff, closed up the park and postponed the centennial bash until next year.
The Centennial Commemorative Ceremony would have capped off a weekend- long festival leading up to the anniversary of San Diego's only national park, but it was postponed until "an undetermined date in the near future," according to a message on Cabrillo Centennial's website.
"We apologize for any inconvenience this situation has created for you," the message stated. "Know that our efforts to serve the American public, protect and preserve our national treasures and bring you the history
and stories of the American people will continue."
The three-day centennial of the monument at the southern tip of the Point Loma peninsula would have featured a tour of the lighthouse, the burial of a time capsule and an antique car show.
The "Cabrillo Lights Up the Night" gala fundraiser, which was scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed until March, according to the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation.
After the park opened on Monday, a light stream of visitors made the trip into the park throughout the day.
"It felt good," said Linnel. "At least we got somewhere."
Among those who walked the park was James, who did not want to give his last name,
"I made the trip to visit to see a beautiful part of San Diego and to tell the government I'm tired of what they're doing," he said. "If they're going to be fighting and bickering like children, let them go to a daycare."
And so, frustration hung in the air in the scenic park.
"It's a shame," said James. "It makes San Diego look bad."
While Linnell will not be headed back this week, she hopes others will ask to be let in during the shutdown. It is unknown if entry will be allowed in the future.
On Oct. 14, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson ordered a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who landed in the San Diego Bay in 1542 in the first European expedition to reach the West Coast, on about half an acre in Fort
According to park spokeswoman Bonnie Phillips, all visitor facilities at the monument, which gets about 800,000 visits each year, were to remain closed until the shutdown ends, including the bayside trails, bookstore, lighthouse, military history exhibit, tidepools and Visitor Center.
About 30 of the monument's employees have been furloughed or had their jobs somehow affected, but a few remained on duty to respond to emergencies and to provide security, Phillips said. Field trips for about 400 students were also canceled, she said.
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