Just a bridge away from downtown San Diego, an exciting array of annual and special events awaits visitors to the "Crown City" of Coronado. From a star-spangled Fourth of July celebration honoring the city's proud U.S. Navy heritage, to sparkling Christmas festivities and the largest flower show in the West, there are a number of signature events for visitors to enjoy throughout the year.
Following are some Coronado event highlights; for up-to-the-minute event listings and changes, visit www.sandiego.org/eventcalendar.
Jan. 12-Feb. 20
Visions of Coronado
Showcasing the work of local artists in a wide variety of media, materials and styles, Visions of Coronado displays original art pertaining to the "Crown City" at the Coronado Museum of History & Art.
Jan. 27-Mar. 4
The Coronado Playhouse kicks off its 2012 season with the musical "42nd Street," performed at their 100-seat cabaret-style theatre overlooking picturesque Glorietta Bay.
Feb. 3-Mar. 18
"Guys & Dolls"
Kicking off its 41th season, Lamb's Players Theatre presents a fresh take on Frank Loesser's classic American musical, performed on their resident stage on Orange Avenue.
5th Annual SUPERSEAL Triathlon & SEAL Sprint
Designed by local Navy SEALs, the SUPERSEAL Triathlon consists of a 1,500-meter swim in the Silver Strand State Beach Bay, a 40-K bike ride and 10-K run. The SEAL Sprint consists of a 500-meter swim, 20-K bike ride and 6-K run.
Visitors can observe this unique Southern California phenomenon as these silvery fish spawn on Coronado's beaches during spring nights after the new and full moon.
Easter Egg-stravaganza & Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Families are in for a hopping good time at this popular annual breakfast at the Coronado Community Center, featuring egg hunts and a visit from the Easter Bunny.
87th Annual Coronado Flower Show
The largest tented flower show in the West takes place in Spreckels Park; this year's theme is "A Floral Olympiad." Flower exhibits are displayed inside tents surrounding a central gazebo, which becomes the stage for live entertainment and trophy presentations. There are also flower sales and food vendors. Tickets are $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free.
MotorCars on Main Street
Now in its 22nd year, this classic car show features more than 350 pre-1973 hotrods, convertibles, roadsters, trucks and other custom rides on display at Isabella and Orange Avenues.
Coronado Historic Home Tour
The stories of World War II and the war's effect on Coronado life will be featured in this tour of several historic homes, featuring an eclectic mix of time periods and architecture. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers of the Coronado Historical Association.
May 27-Sept. 9
Promenade Concert in the Park Series
This beloved local tradition takes place every Sunday evening in Spreckels Park and is perfect for picnics.
Coronado Ferry Landing Summer Concerts
Popular concerts take place every weekend, from 2-4 p.m., at the Coronado Ferry Landing, with performances from local bands and spectacular views of San Diego Bay.
7th Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition
The nation's original surfing competition for dogs, this popular event features dozens of dogs taking to the waves in the small, large and tandem (dog and owner on the same surfboard) categories. It draws thousands of spectators each year, plus expert surfers who participate in the tandem event and perform radical tricks in the waves.
Fourth of July Celebration
San Diego's most popular Independence Day celebration includes a 15K run/walk, rough-water swim at North Beach, two-hour parade down Orange Avenue, Art-in-the-Park and afternoon concert in Spreckels Park and spectacular fireworks display over Glorietta Bay Inn.
5th Annual Ride the Bridge-Bike the Bay
A rare opportunity to ride over the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bridge, this popular, noncompetitive 25-mile ride along Bayshore Bikeway passes through the cities of Coronado, San Diego, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and National City. Registration is required.
21st Annual Coronado MainStreet Garden Party
Visitors can enjoy a "Taste of Coronado," featuring food from local restaurants, wine tasting, entertainment and raffles. Tickets are $75 per person; proceeds support Coronado's Orange Avenue Median Gardens.
Coronado Art Walk
The city's annual celebration of the arts features exhibits of paintings, hand-crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics and other mediums, as well as entertainment at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Free shuttle service carries visitors along Orange Avenue, with a stop at Spreckels Park's Art-in-the-Park.
15th Annual Chrysler Classic Speed Festival
This spectator-friendly vintage auto race, featuring over 200 classic cars, takes over the runways of Naval Air Station North Island on a 1.6-mile course.
34th Annual Superfrog Triathlon
Starting at Silver Strand State Beach, this challenging long-distance triathlon includes a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike course and 13.1-mile run.
Downtown Goes Ghostly
Guests can trick or treat throughout Coronado's downtown along Orange Avenue with local merchants handing out candy to kids and families in costumes.
Taste of Coronado
From 5-8 p.m., guests can enjoy "island fare in the ocean air" as over 20 restaurants participate in this scrumptious annual event. Shuttles transport guests between restaurants. Tickets are $40 per person; proceeds benefit military families.
Silver Strand Half Marathon and 5K Race
Visitors can run, walk, rollerblade or roller-skate from Coronado to Imperial Beach along the scenic Silver Strand.
Nov. 21-Jan. 3
Skating by the Sea
Guests enjoy an annual outdoor ice-skating rink at the Hotel del Coronado overlooking Coronado Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The Del's Windsor Lawn is transformed into a seaside winter wonderland, benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Nov. 30-Dec. 30
Festival of Christmas
Celebrating its 35th year, this is one of Coronado's favorite annual holiday traditions presented by Lamb's Players Theatre on its resident stage on Orange Avenue. This family-friendly musical production is sure to put guests in a holiday mood with its festive tunes. Each year, a new production is written and performed.
40th Annual Artisan's Alley Craft Fair
This shoppers' delight with more than 170 booths features one-of-a-kind holiday gift items, from crafts and handmade ceramics to fine art, jewelry, jams, jellies and more. Held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Coronado Elementary School, admission is $2 per guest.
37th Annual Coronado Christmas Open House & Parade
Guests can get in the holiday spirit with Santa Claus arriving by ferry across San Diego Bay and a Snow Mountain play area at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Afterwards, a colorful holiday parade and Merchants Open House takes place along Orange Avenue, followed by the traditional tree lighting of a 50-foot Christmas tree and free community concert in Rotary Park.
An American Christmas
During this holiday dinner performance at the Hotel del Coronado, guests step inside the hotel's gorgeous ballroom and are transported back to 1910 for a memorable Christmas celebration where 30 performers fill the evening with music, dance and song during an interactive, five-course yuletide feast.
Dec. 16 & 23
41st Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
This colorfully unique San Diego holiday tradition features more than 100 private boats decorated with holiday lights, sailing along the waters of San Diego Bay. Prime viewing is from the shoreline of the Coronado Ferry Landing.
Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Hotel del Coronado Annual New Year's Eve Gala
Revelers can ring in 2011 with a reception in the Del's magnificent Crown Room, followed by a lavish dinner in the ballroom with dancing, and a champagne toast at midnight. A separate New Year's party for kids ages 4-12 is held at the resort's Kidtopia. Celebrations include dinner, crafts, beach parties, bonfires and more.
Happiness is calling in Coronado. For more information on Coronado and the entire San Diego region, visit the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau's website at www.sandiego.org/coronado or call (619) 236-1212. In San Diego, visit the International Visitor Information Center, located along the Embarcadero at the corner of West Broadway and Harbor Drive in downtown; the La Jolla Visitor Center, located at the corner of Herschel Avenue and Prospect Street in La Jolla, or the California Welcome Center, located at the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine.