Fun zone at San Diego County Fair
Night time at the San Diego County Fair – catch the colorful glow during the fair’s opening weekend. Photo by Chris Stone

It’s that time of year again, folks – time for the San Diego County Fair! And not just a mini-fair like last year, but the fully loaded pre-pandemic kinda fair. In fact, Del Mar has a couple things up its sleeve this San Diego weekend.

Sure, there’s the rides and pop stars and the ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls, but there’s more than 100 events a day to take in at the San Diego County Fair. Some reflect the theme, Heroes Reunite, with shoutouts to Comic-Con – how about a Superhero Academy? – and local law enforcement. Others, of course, gather talented folks from across the county, who show off their skills in the arts, crafts, photography, raising farm critters and more.

Opening weekend includes the Toast of the Coast Wine Festival on Saturday and Out at the Fair, for the LBGTQ community, on Sunday, along with performances from Shaggy, on Friday, and Los Tigres del Norte, on Sunday. Reminder: general weekend admission, which costs $20, must be purchased online this year.

Mainly Mozart opens its All-Star Orchestra Festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday with Mozart, naturally, and Beethoven, featuring soloist Boris Allakhverdyan on clarinet. Pianist Gilles Vonsattel appears at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, but tickets are very limited. The festival continues through June 18 at the Del Mark Surf Cup Sports Park.

San Diegans, like always, love their brews. Here’s two ways to indulge this weekend:

  • The San Diego Brewers Guild hosts Beer Weekend, starting Friday, at more than 30 sites across the region. Taste special event brews and take home a 25th anniversary guild glass at participating breweries, including Karl Strauss, Coronado Brewing Co., Belching Beaver and Northern Pine.
  • The 11th annual San Diego Brew Fest returns to NTC Park at 1 p.m. Saturday with suds, food trucks and music. The event, at Liberty Station’s NTC Park, features 70 local and international craft beers. Tickets start at $50.

Your dad car-crazed? Get ahead of Father’s Day at Saturday at the San Diego Automotive Museum Garage Sale. See a1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible or climb into a DeLorean, with reduced admission of $3. Snag the discount with a sale purchase of car-themed memorabilia at the Balboa Park museum.

Like Art Walk but prefer a more intimate presentation? The event opens its Summer Series in Little Italy at 11 a.m. Sunday in the Plaza Della Famiglia on Date Street between Columbia Street and Kettner Boulevard. The smaller edition, with up to 30 artists, continues on alternating Sundays through July 24.



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Ellen Bullock