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Major Events

What's New in San Diego

Find all the major events in San Diego this season.

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Major Events

The first annual Port of San Diego Festival of the Sea occurs on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, 2019, and is one of the keynote events during 2019 commemorates the 250th anniversary of San Diego as the first European settlement on the West Coast. On board several of the historic vessels of the Maritime Museum and at the adjacent scenic North Embarcadero region of downtown, the festivities will include artist exhibitions, educational fun for children, daytime harbor cruises, tall ship gun battles on San Diego Bay, sunset sailing, movie nights, live entertainment, and a dockside on-deck pub. Additional 250th anniversary events include San Diego 250: Where California Began held July 16 and Founders' Day Old Town San Diego on Sept. 14, 2019.

On May 4, 2019, The Rhythm & Brews Music and Craft Beer Festival features local musicians and tastes of more than 50 of the most renowned breweries from San Diego County and other vibrant craft beer regions around the country. Known as the Capital of Craft, San Diego is the birthplace of some of the beer industry's most respected brewers and home to more than 130 craft breweries.

The San Diego County Fair, the largest annual event in the county, takes place May 31–July 4, 2019, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. With this year’s theme, “Ozsome,” visitors will journey to the Emerald City, drawing on courage in the whirlwind of carnival rides, expanding brain power through the creative and educational exhibits, and discovering “There’s no place like the Fair.” The fair features top performing artists and popular attractions like the International Beer Festival, deep-fried food novelties, livestock exhibits, home and hobby displays, woodworking and an award-winning flower show. The fair is closed Mondays and Tuesdays in June, but remains open Monday, July 1 and Tuesday, July 2.

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. The Maritime MuseumHornblower and Flagship cruises all offer special firework viewing tours on the bay July 4th. 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 celebrates its 80th horse racing season in 2019, kicking off with the annual hat contest on opening day, July 17, and closing with a Party in the Paddock on Sept. 3. The summer meet will offer racing Wed.-Sun. with an additional race day on Labor Day and special events ranging from the summer concert series to wine, beer and BBQ celebrations and weekend family fun days. The racing continues with a fall season from Nov. 8- Dec. 1, 2019. 

The theme for San Diego Pride 2019 is Stonewall 50: A Legacy of Liberation. The second largest event of its kind on the West Coast, San Diego Pride will honor and reflect on the Stonewall generation, on their activism, and on all that the LGBTQ+ community has gained through their efforts. Residents and visitors alike celebrate with pride July 12-14, 2019. The weekend includes a mile-long parade through Hillcrest and two-day music festival in Balboa Park. The celebration begins the week before with She Fest on July 6, followed by a Spirit of Stonewall Rally on July 12.

During July 17-21, 2019, the largest comic and pop culture event in the United States celebrates its 50th anniversary when San Diego becomes the center of the cos-play universe during Comic-Con International, America’s longest continuously-run comics and popular arts convention.  

On August 10, 2019, dozens of dogs take to the waves during the annual Surf Dog Competition in Imperial Beach. Visitors can take in the fun as more than 60 dogs compete in surfing and paddle boarding challenges. The family friendly event raises funds for the San Diego Humane Society. 

On Aug. 7-11, 2019, the largest and longest-running tiki gathering in the world, Tiki Oasis, returns to Mission Valley. Each year, about 3,500 attendees enjoy a tiki-tastic art and fashion marketplace, live tropical-jazz music, go-go dancers, a classic car show, pool parties and more. This year’s theme is “Catch the New Wave,” with a nod toward surf music and ’80s new wave.

During Aug. 31–Sept. 2, 2019, 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 Broadway Pier and Pavilion on San Diego Bay, the event features live entertainment, food trucks and fun kids’ activities.  

This fall San Diego plays host to Olympic-level weightlifting as USA Weightlifting hosts the IWF Masters World Cup and San Diego Open, a bronze-level qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Oct. 3-6, 2019, at the Town and Country Resort.

La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival (WoW), a ground-breaking, site-specific theater series, returns to San Diego for its fourth biennial Oct. 17-20, 2019. This is the first time WoW will be held at ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station, in partnership with the NTC Foundation. Like previous WoW Festivals, the 2019 event will showcase multiple performances by acclaimed local, national and international artists, along with a selection of family friendly offerings, occurring simultaneously throughout the weekend. A complete roster of artists and projects will be announced in early spring. 

Wonderfront, a music and arts festival, will debut on San Diego Bay, Nov. 22-24, 2019. The first annual event plans to integrate the festival into the beach city’s vibrant waterfront, including ferry and yacht tours of the bay and after-parties in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Anticipating 70 artists on seven stages, the music lineup will feature new breakout artists as well as career bands including rock, indie, hip hop, rap, EDM, adult alternative, reggae, Americana and Latin artists. Wonderfront is a celebration of San Diego’s arts, culture and beach lifestyle. Concert-goers are invited to participate in water activities, rent boards and kayaks, take a jet boat ride, or play on the beach.

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