A military Color Guard proceeds down the San Diego Pride parade route. Photo by Chris Stone

This San Diego weekend marks the first of two consecutive weeks of some of the biggest events our region has to offer – San Diego Pride and well, something that rhymes with Domic-Don. Ready? There’s penguins, theater and a couple of food fests too.

Head out for the first weekend of tiny penguins at the Birch Aquarium at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins exhibit follows the world’s smallest penguins as they grow from wee hatchlings to not-very-big adults. Sure the cuteness is off the charts, but you can learn about the challenges they face due to climate change too. Admission costs $25 for adults and $20 for youngsters.

The marquee event of San Diego Pride is Saturday’s 10 a.m. parade, but that’s far from all. There’s a block party and festival book-ending the big procession along University Avenue in Hillcrest. Here’s some details:

  • Pride Block Party – fanning out from the Hillcrest Pride Flag, at 1500 University Ave., the gathering begins its final day at 2 p.m. Friday with multiple performers, a cocktail bar and beer garden, food trucks, go-go dances, a Ferris wheel and a DJ dance party. Tickets start at $40.
  • Pride Parade – Dozens of entrants set out from the Pride Flag at 10 a.m. They proceed west on University and turn south on 6th Avenue, before entering Balboa Park on Balboa Drive and ending near Laurel Street. Gather along the route and watch free.
  • Pride Festival – conveniently, the parade’s end leads directly here. The festival, Saturday and Sunday, begins at 11 a.m. off Laurel in Balboa Park, with live music on four stages. Performers include Ashnikko, Baby Tate, Daya and Snow Tha Product. Admission costs $26 for one day or $32 for two.

Enjoy two masters this weekend at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Head out to see the premiere of On Beckett at the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage. The show, through Sunday, explores the works of Samuel Beckett, which include Waiting for Godot, through the eyes of Bill Irwin, an actor of notable range. Yep, the Tony winner starred in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, but you might know him as Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street too. Tickets start at $36.

The other master? Some guy named Shakespeare. At 11 a.m. Sunday, the Old Globe again hosts the popular annual event, “Thinking Shakespeare Live,” in person, also on the Shiley stage. Billed as a “how-to guide,” the program is for those who are interested in masterworks like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, but still a little intimidated, by you know, the Bard. Admission ranges from $10-25.

It’s summer (or fall, or winter or …) so there must be a beer fest in San Diego. The Best Coast Beer Fest at Waterfront Park at 1 p.m. Saturday offers unlimited tastings from more than 100 breweries. But there’s more – local performers and food trucks too. Admission starts at $55.

Tucking into a nice juicy slice of watermelon is one of the best ways to beat the heat. Do it Saturday and Sunday at the Oceanside Watermelon Festival. The family-friendly event, at 10 a.m. each day, includes activities and crafts for kids, local vendors and music. And all the watermelon treats you can eat? But of course.



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Ellen Bullock