In celebration of opening day, local artists craft Padres-themed chalk murals downtown

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SAN DIEGO – Friday marked the start of the season unlike any other for the San Diego Padres, taking the field before a mostly empty Petco Park to begin a pandemic-shortened campaign.

Ahead of a new season, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has been preparing for opening day the best it can given current health orders and restrictions. On Thursday, artists were working on several Padres-themed murals along Fifth Avenue, drawing plenty of attention from passersby.

“Being able to do this and doing stuff like this makes me feel very happy to do it because I often go watch the games and it’s been a while since I’ve seen it,” artist Beverly Canilang said.

Canilang said she’s been creating artwork since she was in the fifth grade, a skill she picked up from her father. This week, she and her father got to work together on their chalk masterpiece featuring a Padres player sliding into a base in the team’s signature brown and gold home uniforms.

Their work is one of several chalk murals expected to be on display this weekend along Fifth Avenue where the street has been shut down to traffic to allow space for outdoor dining.

“A lot of the bars and restaurants do have TVs that will be playing the game,” said Michael Trimble, executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter Association. “We really think that people will come down to get that flavor of opening day, eat and dine on Fifth Avenue. Over 40 restaurants and we’re all ready with a lot of good spirit about getting our Padres ready for the season.”

Even though fans can’t be inside the ballpark, they at least can be closeby and cheer on the team from their view of the TV screen.

“I’ve been a lifelong Padre fan,” Trimble said. “I have been to almost every opening day so it’s bittersweet that we’re not there, but really I do feel very proud to be a Padre fan and to give back a little bit of something and I’ll be watching my boys from now on and hopefully get to the post season.”

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