Happy New Year! As 2019 unfolds, San Diego will host its share of big events – from the Farmers Insurance Open in January to Pride and Comic-Con over the summer, here’s a look ahead at noteworthy local happenings spanning the New Year.
San Diego Restaurant Week
Jan. 20 through Jan. 27
We begin the year with a little something for foodies: San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW) 2019. The tasty tradition continues with this semi-annual foodie event featuring eight days of prix-fixe, often multi-course menus at more than 180 restaurants across San Diego. This year, the first round of SDRW runs from Jan. 20 to Jan. 27. The second installment is expected to follow in September. Bon appetit!
Farmers Insurance Open
Jan. 24 through Jan. 27
The Farmers Insurance Open is San Diego’s prestigious PGA Tour golf tournament played at the scenic Torrey Pines Golf Course. Several ticket options are offered for the tourney, depending on which day you want to head to the green, and what you want to do when you get there. As we’ve learned over the years, the tournament is as much about mingling, eating and toasting as it is about the links.
Big Concerts in San Diego in 2019
As our resident music experts at NBC 7’s SoundDiego note, plenty of big names will take the stage in San Diego in 2019. Music legend Elton John brings his farewell tour to Pechanga Arena San Diego (formerly Valley View Casino Center) on Jan. 29. The following week, at the same venue, chart-topping rapper Travis Scott takes the stage (Feb. 4), followed by Marc Anthony on Feb. 7. Iration plays the Observatory North Park on Feb. 9, while Justin Timberlake finally returns to San Diego after 11 years on Feb. 21, also performing at Pechanga Arena San Diego. On June 22, icon Paul McCartney promises a blockbuster show at Petco Park. On July 8, hitmaker Shawn Mendes plays Pechanga Arena. This is just a small sampling of the live music coming to town in 2019; SoundDiego’s extensive guide has details on even more noteworthy acts.
San Diego Padres Home Opener
As winter winds down and spring blooms, baseball season begins once more. Locally, the San Diego Padres home opener is set for March 28, when the Friars take on the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park. The first pitch is at 1:10 p.m.; this four-game series continues through March 31. Also, for devoted fans who don't mind traveling, the Padres spring training season begins with daily practice at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona, on Feb. 14. Fans can walk around the complex and check out their favorite Friars as they warm up for the season ahead. The Padres' first spring training game is on Feb. 23 at the Peoria Sports Complex against the Seattle Mariners. Play ball!
Obviously, Memorial Day is not exclusive to San Diego, but it’s a date certainly worth jotting down in your planner. The unofficial start to the summer lands on May 27 this year, and thousands will flock to our sandy beaches to celebrate. Of course, thanks to the generous sunshine, beach days are standard long before this date in America's Finest City, too.
San Diego County Fair
May 31 to July 4
Attracting more than 1.5 million visitors each year, the San Diego County Fair is the largest annual local event and one of the largest 10 fairs in the United States. For the 2019 season, the fairgrounds in Del Mar will officially open to the public on the afternoon of May 31, and remain open through the Fourth of July. Keep checking the fair's website for the official schedule as the event draws closer, and to keep tabs on the fair concerts and festival lineups. This year’s theme is “Ozsome,” inspired by the classic tale of “The Wizard of Oz.” The fairgrounds will be transformed into Emerald City and visitors will travel down the yellow brick road to discover there really is no place like the fair. Of course, indulgent, fried fair food is par for the course, so come hungry.
San Diego Pride Parade
The annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is set to color the streets of Hillcrest on July 13, 2018, starting at the Hillcrest Pride Flag at University Avenue and Normal Street. The 1.1-mile route proceeds west on University Avenue, turns south on 6th, left onto Balboa Drive and ends at Laurel Street. Approximately 250,000 spectators are expected to turn out for the parade, which includes lively floats, music and dancing. Pride weekend also features the Spirit of Stonewall Rally (July 12) and the San Diego Pride Festival (July 13 and July 14). This year, the theme of San Diego Pride is “Stonewall 50: A Legacy of Liberation,” marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – a turning point in the LGBT community’s fight for equality.
Over-the-Line (OTL) Tournament
July 13-14 and July 20-21
A San Diego summertime tradition, the Over-the-Line Tournament is hosted over the course of two weekends every July at Fiesta Island. Put on by the Old Mission Bay Athletic Club (OMBAC), the annual tournament typically gathers approximately 1,200 teams from around the world to play Over-the-Line, a bat and ball sport first played in Mission Beach in the 1950s. The rules are simple: games last three innings, no one had to run bases and the main goal is to hit the ball “over the line” about 55 feet in front of the batter. Teams dress up in wacky costumes and bring tents, chairs, beer and hilarious signs to the beach for the carefree, daytime tournament. This year's 66th annual OTL tournament is planned for July 13 and July 14, and July 20 and July 21.
Del Mar Opening Day & Opening Day Hats Contest
And away they go! The 2019 Del Mar horse racing season begins July 17 with all of the glitz, glamour and, of course, hats of the famous Opening Day celebration. Expect the Opening Day Hats Contest and a large crowd, dressed to the nines and hoping to see and be seen. As always, NBC 7 will be there gathering stories and tracking down the best hats. The summer racing season lasts through Labor Day (Sept. 2) and will also include dozens of concerts and other social events at the venue.
San Diego Comic-Con International
July 18 to July 21
A signature San Diego event, the huge pop culture spectacular that is Comic-Con International returns to the San Diego Convention Center in July 2018 with celebrity panels, elaborate costumes, sneak peek screenings, exhibits and events galore. As always, Comic-Con badges are hard to come by and the event will sell out. On the bright side, many interactive Comic-Con events are hosted outside the Convention Center, too, as downtown San Diego transforms into a lively hub for fervent fans of all ages. It really is an unforgettable sight and NBC 7 will bring you close to the action with coverage on our special Comic-Con section on NBC7.com.
Clear the Shelters
NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 will once again take part in Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive that helps find loving forever homes for animals in need. Nearly 700 shelters across the country will team up for this, including many in San Diego County. NBC 7 will bring you live coverage on our website of touching tales as pets find new homes with caring San Diegans.
KAABOO Del Mar
Sept. 13 to Sept. 15
KAABOO, a weekend-long music festival in Del Mar returns this September with a long, yet-to-be-announced lineup of artists spanning many genres. Of course, the music experts at NBC 7's SoundDiego will keep us abreast of all of the details as the festival draws closer.
Inaugural ANOC World Beach Games
Years in the making, the first-ever Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games is set to take place in San Diego in mid-October 2019, an Olympics-style competition featuring several sports, from shortboard surfing and beach handball to 3-on-3 basketball. About 1,300 athletes from all over the world are expected to compete in the games, with 400,000 spectators expected to attend. In November 2018, the San Diego Business Journal reported that 44 National Olympic Committees from five continents have thus far qualified for the ANOC World Beach Games.
San Diego Beer Week
Early November 2019
As a hub for quality craft breweries, it's only fitting that San Diego celebrates the success of the suds industry each year with an entire week (really, 10 days) dedicated to beer. San Diego Beer Week typically goes down in early November and features hundreds of events at local craft breweries, plus a large festival showcasing the best of beer in America's Finest City. Cheers!
San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
Nov. 17 to Nov. 24
The 16th annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival returns in November to shine the spotlight on the best wine, beer and spirit purveyors in the land, as well as top-notch local chefs. For a week, foodies and winos can indulge in different tasty events around town, all leading up to The Grand Tasting, an epic food festival along the Embarcadero.
Balboa Park December Nights
Each year in early December, Balboa Park kicks off the holidays in San Diego with the merry and bright December Nights, a two-day, multicultural celebration of the season. The event will turn 42 in 2019. As usual, it's expected to draw more than 350,000 visitors to Balboa Park for festive, family-friendly fun, which includes live music, arts and crafts, photos with Santa Claus, free entry into select museums, drinks and food from across the globe and, of course, plenty of twinkling holiday lights.
This is just a sampling of major events planned in San Diego in 2019. Did we miss something big? Comment in the thread below the article.