The biggest weekend in nerdom is upon us. We have what you need to look for at San Diego Comic-Con International, as well as some things to do if you want to escape the madness of the San Diego Convention Center area.
Thursday, July 24
San Diego Comic-Con International Begins
9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center
Comic book and pop culture fanatics have waited all year for this: the first official day of San Diego Comic-Con International 2014. For those lucky enough to have snatched up a badge, the massive event opens its doors at 9:30 a.m. Thursday will boast a packed schedule of events, including dozens of panels spanning an array of interests, from comics and animation to television shows. Noteworthy: The cast of NBC’s Hannibal hosts their panel at 4:45 p.m. in Ballroom 20, while the cast of SyFy’s “Sharknado 2: The Second One” takes center stage with a panel at 7:15 p.m.
La Jolla Fashion Film Festival
8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art
For the fashion and film buff, hundreds of fashion filmmakers from around the world will pack the house to check out the top 1 percent of fashion films produced worldwide. The event runs through Saturday, July 26. Tickets for opening night cost $50 per person and include the screening and after-party. Other ticket packages can be purchased here.
Carlsbad Adventure Run
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Paseo de Norte, plus after-party from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Adventure Run – which is superhero-themed in honor of Comic-Con – is a 60-minute scavenger hunt run filled with prizes and music. Participants, encouraged to come in costume, make their way to different checkpoints and grab as many raffle tickets as possible for their chance to win prizes. Stone Brewing Co. will host a 21+ beer garden afterwards, plus an after-party will be held at the Carlsbad Road Runner Sports location at 5617 Paseo de Norte.
SoundDiego Suggestion: OK Go
8:00 p.m. at the Belly Up
Aside from their mesmerizing music videos (which they’ve won a Grammy Award for, mind you) – this indie pop rock quartet slides between funk, rock and dance numbers with ease. It’s one thing to diversify, but their music is actually great, to boot. Bottom line: This show will be fun, OK? Go.
Friday, July 25
San Diego Comic-Con International Continues
9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center
The pop culture spectacular continues downtown with another busy day of panels, vendors, special screenings and, of course, outrageous costumes. Friday’s program schedule includes a 10 a.m. panel in Ballroom 20 with the writers of “The Big Bang Theory,” Hollywood actress Evangeline Lilly discussing her new book, “The Squickerwonkers” (Titan Books) in Room 6A at 10:30 a.m., AMC’s “The Walking Dead” cast panel at 12:20 p.m. in Hall H and a 1:40 p.m. in Hall H with the cast of “Game of Thrones,” among many, many activities.
8 p.m. at The Old Globe’s Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre
From the author of “The Dresser” comes this production about three former opera singers leading a harmonious existence at a home for retired musicians – that is, until the ex-wife of one of the main characters arrives. Purchase tickets here.
Pine Valley Days
6 p.m. at Pine Valley County Park, 28810 Old Highway 80
This free, family-friendly event in the East County community of Pine Valley kicks off Friday with a Deep Pit BBQ dinner followed by live music and dancing under the stars. The 43rd annual event will continue through Saturday, July 26, with a two-hour parade down Old Highway 80 from Pine Valley Road to Pine Valley Boulevard, plus bounce houses for kids, a rock climbing wall, music, a horse shoe tournament, food and more than 30 vendors. All proceeds to support education and scholarships to the students of the Mountain Empire school systems.
SoundDiego Suggestion: GRMLN
8:00 p.m. at the House of Blues’ Voodoo Room
We were floored when we saw GRMLN open for Tijuana Panthers last year at Soda Bar. As great as the Panthers are, these uptempo Orange County garage pop punks stole the show. They sound like Weezer met Ty Segall and had a baby (a gremlin baby). The fact that Buddy Banter, one of our favorite local fuzz rockers, are opening just seals the deal even more.
Saturday, July 26
San Diego Comic-Con International’s Big Day
10 a.m. – 9 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center
OK, cosplayers and pop culture devotees: this is the day to pull out your schedulers and prioritize. Between the panels, workshops, screenings, games and competitions, you’ll have to figure out where your comic love truly lies. Look for a pilot screening of “Constantine” and Q&A at 5:15 p.m. in Room 6BCF, Warner Bros. Pictures’ peek at “The Hobbit” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” at 10 a.m. in Hall H and James Spader talking about NBC’s hit “The Blacklist” at 1:45 p.m. in Room 6A.
Local Ales and Acoustics
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Herringbone in La Jolla
North Park brewer Thorn St. Brewery is on tap at this monthly event. Hang out on the patio and enjoy live music from Andy Mauser and Kris Bradley while sipping on your brew of choice.
Del Mar Racetrack’s Beer Fest
1 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
San Diego craft brews are the name of the game at this track event. Sip on five, 7-ounce tastings for $18, or buy a full-sized beer from 100 different choices. Admission into the beer fest is free with a $6 track admission. Just some of the brewers slated to join: Ballast Point, Green Flash, Lost Abbey, Karl Strauss, Mike Hess and Pizza Port.
Heroes Brew Fest
4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Embarcadero Park North
Superheroes meet booze at this Comic-Con-inspired brew fest. VIP tickets will run you $55, while general admission costs $45 a person (unless you’re a designated driver, in which case you’ll pay $20). The romping good time includes a caped crusader costume contest, live music by Vokab Kompany and DJ G-Roy and unlimited samples of more than 80 craft beers. A raffle inside also benefits the Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station.
SoundDiego Suggestion: Slightly Stoopid
5:30 p.m. at Sleep Train Amphitheatre
For Slightly Stoopid fans, this show is a no-brainer. Titled the Summer Sessions tour for a reason, the eclectic band will be offering crazy good vibes with their mix of rock, reggae, funk, blues, hip-hop and punk. If that doesn’t cover enough musical ground for you, Stephen Marley, punk legends NOFX, and the Expanders all join in. We know you want to go, so that’s why we’re giving away free tickets and swag! Enter right now to win here (contest ends Wednesday, July 23).
Sunday, July 27
San Diego Comic-Con International Comes to End
10 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. at San Diego Convention Center
The biggest weekend in comics and pop culture wraps up for another year. But fans still have a lot to look forward to Sunday. At 10 a.m., stars of the “Supernatural” TV show answer audience questions in Hall H. The cast of “Sons of Anarchy” give an inside look into the final season at 12:30 p.m. also in Hall H, Marvel panelists discuss the “Women of Marvel” at 11 a.m. in Room 23ABC and a documentary filmmaker unveils her latest project: “Batkid: The Film.”
Solana Beach Triathlon and Duathlon
7 a.m. at Fletcher Cove
The great outdoors await, and you can experience them on foot, on wheels and on the waves with these annual races. The triathlon takes racers through a ¼ mile open ocean swim around the cove, a 9-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run on Highway 101. For the duathlon, competitors take a run, a 9-mile bike ride and another 3-mile run on Highway 101. Entry fees are $102 and include a beer garden, continental breakfast and other goodies.
Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green
4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Kate Sessions Park
Enjoy San Diego’s panoramic views while listening to the country tunes of Three Chord Justice. The free afternoon event is perfect for families, so bring your blankets and chairs, find some prime grassy real estate and settle in for the evening.
SoundDiego Suggestion: Boston
7:00 p.m. at Pechanga Resort & Casino
We’ve got more than a feelin’ that this show is going to be fun with a capital F. If you’re not familiar with Boston, then we feel sorry for you because you’ve been missing out on some of the most classic rock known to man for the last 40 years. Besides, you’ll also get to hang out at Pechanga and test your luck at the slots or tables – either way, you’re a winner.