Thursday | 11
- Thursday, May 11, 2017, 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Spanish Landing Park,
4077 N. Harbor Drive,
$35 - $40
Gator by the Bay
Emphasizing the rollicking music, food, and Mardi Gras spirit of Louisiana, San Diego’s 16th annual Gator by the Bay bills itself as “the largest, most authentic good-times music, dance, and culture festival in Southern California.” The event features four days of live music with over 100 performances on seven stages plus shaded dance floors for non-stop dancing, cooking demos, and 10,000 pounds of live crawfish brought in fresh from Louisiana. Since its inception in 2001 the festival has grown to showcase not only Grammy-winning Cajun and zydeco artists from Louisiana but also legendary Chicago and California blues artists, rockabilly and roots performers, and salsa and Latin bands. Children 17 and under free with paid adult, and kids can enjoy an activity area. It kicks off with boogie-woogie blues singer and pianist Marcia Ball on Thursday. Three- and four-day passes available.
- Thursday, May 11, 2017, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Misfit Pictures HQ,
565 Pearl Street #100,
$10 - $15
The sixth-annual festival highlights include over 25 international surf films, a Skip Frye Lifetime Tribute, filmmaker meet-and-greets, a Grant Ellis (Surfing Magazine photo editor) slideshow, a live-art brewery party (four featured artists painting inside Fall Brewing Co. in North Park as patrons enjoy beer tastings and a retro surf film), beach cleanups, and surfing-expression sessions. (We asked about that last one and were told, “Everyone gets together and enjoys all sorts of surf craft in a non-contest sort of way.” Does that help?) Various blocks of films run $10 to $15 each day. Also on Friday and Saturday.
Saturday | 13
- Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dusty Rhodes Park,
Nimitz Boulevard and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard,
O.B. Kite Festival
This free family event is the oldest children’s kite festival in the United States, now celebrating its 69th year. This is a third-generation event — people who attended as children are now bringing their children and grandchildren for kite building and decorating, professional kite fliers, crafters, carnival activities, and live music. For many the highlight is the kite-making and flying instruction for the youngsters (all materials are supplied). Prizes for best-decorated kites. Any handmade kite can be submitted, not just kites made at the festival. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Ocean Beach and the Ocean Beach Recreation Center.
Paella, Wine, and Beer
The third San Diego Paella, Wine, & Beer Festival includes unlimited paella tastings, including the largest paella in the U.S.A., which aims to feed more than 2000 attendees. Wash it down with unlimited tastings from dozens of local and international wineries, breweries, and tequilerias. In addition, 20 paella chefs and their teams from around the globe will compete for the titles of Best Paella in the Cali-Baja Region, Best-Looking Paella, and People’s Choice. The winning team will travel to Spain, expenses paid, to represent California in the worldwide Paella de Sueca Championship. $40 for unlimited paella; $45 to add unlimited drinks.
Dr. Seuss: Rare Editions
This exhibit features a selection of rare editions from the Secret Art, Unorthodox Taxidermy Sculpture, and Archive collections, offering a look into the mind of Dr. Seuss with a focus on his private collection of paintings and sculptures created over 70 years. Artist representative Jeff Schuffman will attend this opening night to provide insights into Theodor Geisel’s artistic life and his impact on American culture. The exhibition runs through June 4.
This third-annual event will gather 50 of the finest taco vendors from San Diego, L.A., and TJ, and attendees will decide who will win the Best Taco of Tacotopia 2017. While you eat your weight in tacos, enjoy some of Tijuana’s best bands as well as a beer garden (with margaritas). All proceeds from the cash bar benefit The Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation.
Spend the Saturday before Mother’s Day at San Diego Botanic Garden’s Chocolate Festival for dozens of chocolate tastings, demonstrations on how to create your own treats, a chocolate fountain, and a kids’ zone where children can make crafts and gifts for Mom. Participants include Belgium Gourmet LLC, Dallmann Confections, David Bacco Chocolatier, Nibble Chocolate, many more. Free with paid admission. Tasting tickets available for a small fee.
Tuesday | 16
- Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 6 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
$27.50 - $50
It’s a triple headbanging bill as Testament, Prong, and Sepultura muster at downtown’s House of Blues on Tuesday. All three have local-centric connections, with Brazilian rockers Sepultura having maintained a San Diego practice space in the early 2000s (where they reportedly snaked cables into nearby rooms to power all their equipment). Testament’s former drummer Jon Dette grew up in Encinitas, and Prong was once the subject of a comic book published by Hillcrest-based Revolutionary Comics.