Happy New Year! As 2016 unfolds, San Diego will host its share of big events – from the Farmers Insurance Open to Comic Con, here’s a look ahead at noteworthy local happenings in the New Year.
San Diego Restaurant Week
Jan. 17 through Jan. 26
The tasty tradition continues in 2016 with this semi-annual foodie event featuring eight days of special prix-fixe menus at more than 180 top-notch restaurants spanning several San Diego communities. This year, the first round of Restaurant Week runs from Jan. 17 through Jan. 26, and seconds are set to follow in September.
Farmers Insurance Open
Jan. 28 through Jan. 31
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 available for the tourney, depending on which day you want to head to the green, and what you want to do (mingling, eating, drinking) when you get there.
San Diego Padres Home Opener
The San Diego Padres will hit off the 2016 baseball season at Petco Park with the April 4 home opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The three-game series continues through April 6. Also, for devoted fans, the Padres’ Spring Training season starts March 2 with a charity away game versus the Seattle Mariners.
Obviously, Memorial Day is not exclusive to San Diego, but it’s certainly worth jotting down the date in your planner. The unofficial start to the summer lands on May 30 this year, and thousands will flock to our sandy beaches to celebrate. Of course, thanks to the generous sunshine, beach days are appropriate pretty much year-round in America’s Finest City, too.
San Diego County Fair
June 3 through 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 2016 season, the fairgrounds in Del Mar will officially open to the public at 4 p.m. on June 3, and will run through July 4. As usual, the San Diego County Fair will be closed Mondays (except for the 4th of July), and the first two Tuesdays of the season. This year’s theme is “Mad About the Fair,” a tribute to Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, “Alice in Wonderland,” which promises to turn the fairgrounds into a large-scale, Mad Hatter-style tea party “fused with influences from steampunk, cosplay, great literature, whacky machinery and all of the fun and magic you have come to expect.” Of course, indulgent, fried fair food will also play a role at the event. Come hungry.
Del Mar Opening Day & Opening Day Hats Contest
On your mark, get set, go! The 2016 Del Mar horse racing season begins July 15 with all of the glitz, glamour and hats (oh, so many hats) of the famous Opening Day celebration. The Opening Day Hats contest starts at 11:30 a.m., while the first post on the race track is set for 2 p.m. As always, a massive crowd is expected to attend Opening Day, dressed to the nines and hoping to see and be seen. NBC 7 will be there, gathering stories, photos and hosting a livestream of the Hats Contest on NBC7.com. The racing season runs through September and includes dozens of concerts and other fun, summertime events.
San Diego Pride
The annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade colors the streets of Hillcrest in July, with the parade 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. Each year, thousands of spectators turn out for the parade, which includes lively floats and hoppin’ dance music. Pride weekend also features live music acts, a street festival, a Pride 5K run and other fun events in the hip Hillcrest community.
Over-the-Line (OTL) Tournament
A San Diego summertime tradition, Over-the-Line (OTC) is hosted each July by the Old Mission Bay Athletic Club (OMBAC) in Fiesta Island. The annual tournament typically gathers about 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.
San Diego Comic-Con International
July 21 through July 24
The enormous pop culture spectacular returns to the San Diego Convention Center in 2016 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 fanboys and fangirls of all ages. It really is a unforgettable sight. NBC 7 will offer tons of coverage on the big event on our special Comic-Con section online here.
2016 Olympic Summer Games
Aug. 5 through Aug. 21
The 2016 Olympic Summer Games will bring the world’s best athletes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer for exciting sporting competitions and inspirational medal ceremonies. NBC 7’s own Steven Luke will head to Rio to report on the action, culture and events surrounding the XXXI Olympic Summer Games.
Balboa Park December Nights
Each year in early December, Balboa Park kicks off the holidays in San Diego with the bright and merry December Nights, a two-day, multicultural celebration of the season. The event brings more than 350,000 visitors to Balboa Park for festive, family-friendly fun, including 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.