The nation’s 8th largest city, San Diego may be known for its great weather, beautiful beaches and laid-back residents, but this dynamic urban metropolis is hosting so many big sporting and cultural events in 2019 that visitors might forget all about its relaxed SoCal character and vibe.
From internationally competitive beach games and professional baseball to a top music festival and the world’s leading pop culture celebration, the following 9 events are certain to guarantee epic excitement for San Diego visitors in 2019.
- 250th Commemoration of San Diego
During 2019, San Diego will commemorate its establishment as the first settlement of Alta California in 1769. The City of San Diego and Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce will mark the 250th commemoration with planned activities including monthly lectures, special events like a Founders’ Day Festival and other family friendly activities held in Old Town San Diego. The first settlement of Alta California included Mission San Diego de Alcala and a neighboring presidio, originally built above the area now known as Old Town.
- San Diego Padres 50th Season
On March 28, the San Diego Padres step up to the plate for the Opening Game of their exciting 50th season against the San Francisco Giants, played in Petco Park in the heart of downtown. In addition to six months of baseball action, fans enjoy one of the nation’s top ballparks combining the best sight lines in baseball, magnificent architecture, a dazzling array of food and drink venues and breathtaking views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.
- Fallbrook Avocado Festival
To San Diego residents, avocados are more than just a trendy topping on toast, and the annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival, held April 14, is a delectable example of the region’s love for the fashionable fruit. Since the 1960s, tens of thousands of avocado lovers have converged in Fallbrook, located in San Diego’s North County, to sample avocados, check-out the crazy cooking contest entries, buy funky avocado-themed gifts and enjoy bands, live entertainment and friendly beer gardens.
- Chicano Park Day
Located underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge overpass in Barrio Logan and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2017, Chicano Park is home to the world’s largest collection of Chicano murals. Held on April 20, Chicano Park Day is a free annual event celebrating the art and culture of San Diego’s Mexican/Chicano residents with traditional music, dance, a lowrider car show, vendor booths, kids’ arts workshops and more.
- San Diego Pride
One of the West Coast’s largest Pride celebrations, San Diego Pride weekend, held July 13-15, features a colorful lineup of festivities including a headlining parade through Hillcrest and two-day festival in Balboa Park with exciting live musical performers like TLC and Kesha. San Diego Pride is the city’s largest civic event attracting more than 250,000 people annually. Additional events include the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, Pride of Hillcrest Block Party, SheFest, annual Pride 5K Race and an exciting calendar of Pride parties and dances.
- 50th Anniversary of Comic-Con
Others will come and go, but the original Comic-Con started and remains in San Diego. The largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, Comic-Con International attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture during July 18-21 to the San Diego Convention Center in downtown.
- KAABOO Del Mar
Held Sept. 13-15 at the seaside Del Mar Fairgrounds, KAABOO Del Mar was created by music lovers for music lovers. KAABOO features seven stages and more than 100 musical acts, plus a dedicated comedy stage and food and beverages from local and celebrity chefs, craft breweries and local wineries. Past performers include the Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Billy Idol, Jewel, Blondie and Earth, Wind & Fire, just to name a few.
- ANOC World Beach Games
As the epicenter of beach, surf and extreme sports culture in Southern California, San Diego is proud to host the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games. Held Oct. 9-15 along scenic Mission Beach and Mission Bay, 2,000 top athletes and teams from around the world will compete in 17 sports disciplines ranging from beach soccer and beach volleyball to kiteboarding and waterskiing to bouldering and skateboarding.
- USA Ultimate National Championships
Elevating frisbee playing to a whole different level of sport, the USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate frisbee competition in North America. Held Oct. 24-27 at the Surf Cup Sports Park in scenic Del Mar, 16 teams from across North America including Boston, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Austin and Vancouver B.C. compete to be crowned champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s.
For even more event listings and up-to-the-minute additions and changes, visit www.sandiego.org/eventcalendar.
On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide, I-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!