Welcome to your weekend, San Diego. With patriotic parties aplenty, there are so many ways to celebrate the 4th of July weekend in America's Finest city.
Thursday, June 30
Double-Barrel Herradura Tequila Tasting
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., AVANT at Rancho Bernardo Inn
Sip on handcrafted tequila at four tasting stations presented by Ruban Aceves, International Brand Ambassador of Herradura Tequila at this special event at AVANT at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. The tasters will be expertly paired with special bites created by AVANT’s Chef de Cuisine, Aaron Thomas. The mouthwatering menu includes crab cakes with blood orange, jalapeño aioli and micro cilantro, skirt steak with fire roasted tomato, peach and onion puree, traditional seafood ceviche, and more. This tasting event costs $50 per person; make reservations by calling (858) 420-9229.
Del Beach Bash
7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hotel Del Coronado
The Hotel Del Coronado plans to celebrate the 4th of July a little early with this beach bash featuring a live band and fireworks. The shore shindig includes bonfire pits, s’mores (the gooey roasting goes down between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.) and crafts and activities for kids. The fireworks start at 9 p.m. The patriotic party is free for overnight Del guests and $25 per person for day visitors.
Chris Distefano Performs Stand-Up Comedy
8 p.m., American Comedy Company
High-energy comedian Chris Distefano – who offers quips on MTV’s “Girl Code” and “Guy Code” series – will take the stage for three nights at American Comedy Company in downtown San Diego. His act includes portrayals of a variety of characters inspired by his life. Tickets are just $10.
Local Art, Beats & Beer at Andaz
6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Andaz San Diego Hotel
Downtown’s Andaz San Diego hotel (600 F St.) hosts an evening of local art, music and rooftop craft beer tasting. This event will showcase work from local photographer Adam Lewis Smith, best known capturing patterns in nature with his lens. Live music will be performed Stone Monkey and singer Arlene Wolff, and beer tastings will be poured by local favorite, Belching Beaver Brewery. This event is free and part of the hotel’s Andaz Salon series, which aims to highlight local culture.
A Night in the Caribbean Cigar Dinner
6:30 p.m., True North Tavern
A night of rum, cigars, Caribbean food and music awaits at this special dining event at True North Tavern (3815 30th St.) in North Park. The event includes a four-course dinner created by Chef Erik Miller of Urban Solace, specially-paired with cigars from Racine & Laramie Tobacconist. Latin soul music performed by Gabriela Y La Buena Onda tops off the night.
7:30 p.m., San Diego County Fair
Brian Wilson celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of his album, “Pet Sounds,” with a few special guests. Wilson will take the Heineken Grandstand Stage at 7:30 p.m., performing the album in its entirety, plus a few fan favorites from his 54-year career both with The Beach Boys and solo. Reserved tickets start at $16.
Friday, July 1
The Lafayette Hotel Turns 70
6 p.m. to 10 p.m., The Lafayette
San Diego’s cool retro hotel, The Lafayette (2223 El Cajon Blvd.), will celebrate its 70th anniversary on Saturday with this free party open to the public. The bash will feature three areas: “The City Within a City,” a throwback to the days when the hotel included more than 20 different shops, stores and services; “The Home Away From Home,” a cocktail lounge with a 1950s-themed USO show; “The Soda Jerk,” an old school soda fountain and diner offering treats from the past. The 70th anniversary celebration will also include live music (a Beatles tribute band and more), and the closing of a time capsule meant to be opened in 30 years – on The Lafayette’s 100th anniversary. Attendees are encouraged to bring a small item to place inside the time capsule.
Park After Dark
5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Balboa Park
This summer, Balboa Park comes alive after 5 p.m. with extended evening hours at 10 museums, plus food trucks and entertainment throughout the landmark. The “Park After Dark” series runs every Friday through Labor Day weekend. Participating museums include the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Mingei International Museum, The San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego Automotive Museum just to name a few.
Friday Night Liberty
5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Liberty Station
Liberty Station hosts another edition of Friday Night Liberty, a free monthly art event featuring cool visuals and free bites and sips from some participating businesses, including THE LOT, the new luxury movie theater. Attendees can expect dancing, live performances and more as they stroll through the complex that’s quickly becoming a hub for San Diegans looking to unwind.
The Dustbowl Revival in Carlsbad
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Stagecoach Parks
Part of Carlsbad’s annual TGIF Concerts in the Park series, The Dustbowl Revival – a vintage bluegrass and country group – will perform at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino De Los Coches). The event is on baseball field #1, on the park’s upper level. The field opens at 4 p.m. and the free concert starts at 6 p.m. There is plenty of free parking one block away at the La Costa Canyon High School parking lots and at the LDS Church parking lot, both on Camino De Los Coches.
Saturday, July 2
9 a.m., San Diego Maritime Museum
The newest exhibit at the San Diego Maritime Museum, “Steering Small: The Wonders of Nautical Models,” debuts Saturday. The educational exhibit showcases teeny, tiny, intricate models of ships in all their glory including Navy identification models that were made to inform the military and help save lives.
Family Fringe Day: San Diego International Fringe Festival
12 p.m. to 5 p.m., City Heights Performance Annex
The San Diego International Fringe Festival will hold its Family Fringe Day at the City Heights Performance Annex (3795 Fairmount Ave.), a day of free live performances and visual art specifically geared at younger audiences. The lineup includes dance, music, theatre, poetry, circus acts and puppetry. Art activity booths will also keep the kids busy, as well as a theatre workshop.
Oceanside Independence Parade
10 a.m., Coast Highway and Wisconsin
Start your Fourth of July early in the North County by heading up to Oceanside’s Independence Day parade. This year’s Grand Marshal, Chris Gow, a longtime Oceanside resident, has volunteered and worked across Oceanside. The parade, which is “volunteer” themed, will have more than 100 entries coming down the historic 101 Coast Highway. Attendance is free. For more information about the parade, please call MainStreet Oceanside at (760) 754-4512.
50th Anniversary Celebration
10 a.m., Ocean Beach Pier
Fifty years ago, Ocean Beach’s now-iconic Pier opened. Come out and celebrate the pier’s history by taking a stroll, enjoying the beautiful view and taking part in special activities like a special pier postcard stop, starting at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., officials will hold a short ceremony to honor the pier. Leonard Teyssier, the contractor who built the pier, and Chuck Bahde, who served on Peninsulans, Inc., will be at the pier Saturday as well to answer questions and meet community members. A free shuttle will take visitors from the foot of Niagara Avenue to the end of the pier.
Kids Rock Out Expo
11 a.m., Parkway Plaza
Magicians, obstacle courses, speakers and martial arts demonstrations are just a few of the fun activities kids will get a chance to partake in when they come out to this first-ever expo. Kids Rock Out is a non-profit foundation that helps children become strong and confident leaders with unique programs. The expo will take place near the carousel. Tickets are $25.
San Diego Symphony: Star Spangled Pops
7:30 p.m., Embarcadero Marina Park South
Spend your 4th of July weekend in Downtown San Diego, next to the beautiful bay as the sun sets, listening to the melodic sounds of the San Diego Symphony. Ring in the 4th with hits from movies, Broadway runes and popular music, as well as a military salute and a grand fireworks finale. Pre-concert activities for children start at 6 p.m. Tickets begin at $20.
Flight of the Conchords Sing Flight of the Conchords
8 p.m., Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU
What’s better than re-watching Flight of the Conchords? How about hearing it live? The duo behind the cult classic stops by San Diego this Saturday. Tickets begin at $35.
Sunday, July 3
San Diego Red, White And Brew PubCrawl
2 p.m., Taste and Thirst
Put on your best red, white and blues and head out to this popular San Diego pubcrawl the Sunday before the 4th. More than a dozen bars in San Diego’s Gaslamp neighborhood will have drink specials to write home about. This pubcrawl will also take place Monday. Participants must be 21 or over. Tickets start at $10.
Goodnight Moon the Musical
2 p.m., Casa Del Prado Theatre at Balboa Park
It’s everyone’s favorite bedtime story, Goodnight Moon – but instead of flipping through pages, watch the story unfold before you. The musical, presented by the San Diego Junior Theatre, tells the story of a bunny who wants to delay going to bed for as long as possible, so he says goodnight to every object in his room. Watch all of the objects spring into action. Tickets start at $11.
5 p.m., Village Walk at Eastlake in Chula Vista
Come out and enjoy your summer evening with music from Lady J and Soulful knights at this family-friendly event. For kids 12 and under, there will be craft activities, free face painting and free balloon sculptures. Merchants will be giving away free food samples and giveaways.
Fireworks in Oceanside
9 p.m., El Corazon Senior Center
Oceanside will ring in the 4th a day early – on Sunday, July 3 – with its fireworks display at 9 p.m. staged north of the El Corazon Senior Center (3302 Senior Center Dr.). Limited parking is available at Ocean Ranch Business Park; no parking is available at the El Corazon Senior Center. Rancho Del Oro Boulevard will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Music and food trucks will line the area from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Bonus: Monday, July 4 - Happy 4th of July!
Many San Diego communities will host patriotic celebrations Monday for the 4th of July. Here are a few picks from across the county. For our full 4th of July Fireworks guide, click here.
Big Bay Boom
9 p.m., San Diego Bay
San Diego’s biggest 4th of July fireworks show, the Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom, returns to the waterfront this year. Fireworks will launch at 9 p.m. from four barges along the San Diego Bay. Prime viewing locations include: Shelter Island; Harbor Island; North Embarcadero; Marina District; Seaport Village and South Embarcadero; Coronado Ferry Landing. Wherever you are watching from, get there early with your lawn chairs and blankets. The Big Bay Boom draws a huge crowd year after year.
San Diego County Fair Fireworks
9 p.m., Del Mar Fairgrounds
The 2016 San Diego County Fair will end with a bang on July 4th with a long lineup of patriotic events, including a 9 p.m. fireworks show visible throughout the fairgrounds. Fair, fireworks and fried food? Sounds like summer for sure.
Chula Vista 4th Fest
9 p.m., Chula Vista Olympic Training Center
What could possibly be more patriotic than watching Independence Day fireworks at the Olympic Training Center (OTC)? The Chula Vista OTC (2800 Olympic Parkway) will put on a fireworks show at 9 p.m. set to tunes from five radio stations: 91X; Magic 92.5; 100.78 KFMB BFM; AM 760; Z90.3. Launched from the athlete training grounds, the best spots to watch this show are at the OTC and Mountain Hawk Park (1475 Lake Crest Dr.). Gates to the OTC open at 6 p.m.; parking at the visitor’s entrance is limited to 500 cars and costs $10. Parking is also available at the New Hope Community Church (2720 Olympic Parkway). Each viewing venue holds about 3,000 people.
Fireworks in Ocean Beach
9 p.m., OB Pier
Ocean Beach will celebrate the 4th with a dazzling fireworks show off the OB Pier. Free parking will be available at the Main Beach Lot and the Pier Parking Lot. The show will be synched to songs from KyXy 96.5. In year’s past, the Ocean Beach July 4th celebration also included a “marshmallow war” but the sticky mess left behind – and a whole lot of controversy – led to the end of that. Now, attendees are free to eat marshmallows, just not throw them.