On July 12, 2016, top players from the American League and National League will converge in downtown San Diego as the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game takes the field at Petco Park. Visitors can celebrate baseball’s big day both inside and outside of the ballpark. The MLB All-Star FanFest at the San Diego Convention Center (Jul. 8-12) features more than 40 attractions including batting practice with baseball legends, video game zones, taking photos with the world’s largest baseball and memorabilia auctions.
During Jul. 20-24, 2016, San Diego becomes the center of the pop culture universe during Comic-Con International, America’s longest continuously-run comics and popular arts convention. To “marvel” at comics art minus the crowds, from Jun. 23–Sep. 4, 2016, visitors can explore a new exhibition at San Diego State University’s Downtown Gallery perfectly timed to coincide with Comic Con and the national election. Titled Party Lines: The Art and Politics of Editorial Cartoons, this exhibit highlights well-known political cartoonists and illustration artists. The gallery is open Thurs.-Mon. and admission is free.
The San Diego County Fair, the largest annual event in the county, takes place Jun. 3–Jul. 4, 2016, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This year’s theme, “Mad About the Fair,” celebrates Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice in Wonderland and will be fused with influences from steampunk, cosplay, great literature and whacky machinery. The fair features top performing artists and popular attractions like the International Beer Festival, creative assortments of deep-fried food novelties, livestock exhibits, home and hobby displays, woodworking and an award-winning flower show.
San Diego celebrates Independence Day with a variety of Fourth of July celebrations throughout the county. Coronado's popular Independence Day Celebration features a two-hour parade followed by a family concert in Spreckels Park and spectacular fireworks over Glorietta Bay. The Port of San Diego celebrates with its Big Bay Boom fireworks extravaganza over San Diego Bay, the largest fireworks display in the county. LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad celebrates July 4th with Red, White and BOOM! Special family activities are available throughout the day with the fireworks starting at 8:30 p.m.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is again planning two racing seasons in 2016: the traditional summer season kicks off with an Opening Day Hats Contest on Jul. 15 and runs through Sep. 5. The summer meet will offer racing Wed.-Sun. with an additional race day on Labor Day. Del Mar’s fall Bing Crosby meeting will feature 15 racing days Thurs.-Sun., Nov. 11–Dec. 4.
Residents and visitors alike celebrate with pride during the annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade and Festival, Jul. 16-17, 2016. The second largest event of its kind on the West Coast, San Diego’s Pride Festival includes a mile-long parade through Hillcrest and two-day music festival in Balboa Park. The celebration begins the evening of Jul. 15 with a Spirit of Stonewall Rally.
On Jul. 30, 2016, dozens of dogs take to the waves during the Annual Unleashed by Petco Surf Dog Competition in Imperial Beach. Visitors can take in the fun as more than 50 dogs compete in small dog, medium dog, large dog, extra-large dog and tandem surfing challenges.
During Sep. 2-5, 2016, more than 300 tons of sand will be carved and molded into beautiful sculptures for the annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exposition. Held at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal alongside San Diego Bay, the event features live entertainment, food trucks and unique rides for kids including a zipline that flies over the show.
The 22nd Annual San Diego Festival of Beer takes place Sep. 23, 2016, on San Diego’s downtown bayfront at The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. More than 60 breweries provide up to 120 samples and tastings of brews alongside live musical performances, vendors and food.