San Diego’s top weekend events: Aug. 19 to 24

Race horses on the turf at the Del Mar Fairgrounds
Big Fish, right, with Victor Espinoza aboard, recently won the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf horse race. The Del Mar Pacific Classic, “Del Mar’s richest and most prestigious race,” happens Aug. 21, 2021.
(Benoit Photo via Associated Press )

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Aug. 19 to Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021:

Thursday, Aug. 19

Flicks on the Bricks

Hosted by Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, the annual outdoor film series screens “Best Screwball Sparring Matches.” This week’s selection is 1934’s “Twentieth Century” starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard. Must be 21-and-up to attend. 7:30 p.m. at Athenaeum, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. An additional screening will be held on Aug. 26. General admission tickets are $20 or $54 for the series;

"Flicks on the Bricks" is an outdoor film series presented by Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla.
“Flicks on the Bricks” is an outdoor film series presented by Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla.
(Lidia Rossner)

Cinema Under the Stars

Enjoy an outdoor movie, projected on a 20-foot screen with surround sound, at Cinema Under The Stars in Mission Hills. “Raising Arizona” screens Thursday and Friday; “Chinatown” screens Saturday and Sunday. Note that only cash or checks will be accepted at the door, no credit cards. Shows begin at 8 p.m. at Cinema Under The Stars, 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. $17 to $20;

The Rosin Box August Series

This innovative dance company will feature new ballets by Brian Heil, Katie Spagnoletti and Jeremy Zapanta. The night also features a piece by guest choreographer Lauren Flower, formerly of Boston Ballet and Ballet Arizona. 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Tenth Avenue Arts Center, 930 Tenth Ave., downtown. $35;

‘90s Throwback Thursday

The Gaslamp Quarter is throwin’ it back every Thursday night (themes rotate weekly) with extended happy hour specials and a themed roller-skating session by TikTok’s Sunset Roller Club. Event takes place at Island Avenue between Fourth and Sixth Avenues from 6 to 9 p.m.;

Russell Peters

Canadian stand-up comedian, actor and producer Russell Peters (“Lip Sync Battle,” “Wild ‘n Out”) entertains San Diego with his weekend set at American Comedy Co. 818 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp. 8 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $50.

Friday, Aug. 20

Beethoven by the Bay

Already a San Diego summer favorite, Beethoven by the Bay debuts at The Shell under the direction of Aram Demirjian. The concert (dedicated to Conrad Prebys in honor of his birthday) features the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and guest pianist Joyce Yang performing some of Beethoven’s most-loved music including the Fifth Symphony and Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15. 7:30 p.m. tonight. Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $25 to $95; (619) 235-0804.

SummerFest’s Finale: A Love Composed

It’s time to say farewell to another season of SummerFest. For the finale, you’ll see many world-renowned performers — violinist Anthony Marwood, violist Cindy Wu, pianist Juho Pohjonen and flutist Catherine Ransom Karoly among others — in a program that celebrates love. Titled “A Love Composed” the evening features music by Schumann, Wagner and Brahms. Non-vaccinated patrons are required to wear a mask, while vaccinated patrons are also encouraged to wear one during the performance. Prelude concert begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the finale concert at 7:30 p.m. tonight. The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. $45 to $95; (858) 459-3728.

Descendents with T.S.O.L. and Audio Karate

Get ready for a night of legendary Southern California punk rock with the Descendents (formed in 1977) and T.S.O.L. (formed in 1978). Audio Karate (formed in 1995) opens the show. Guests must show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the show, masks are required. 7:30 p.m. Friday. SOMA, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District. $37.50;

Bohemian Nights featuring Queen Nation

Catch Queen Nation, a 17-year-old California band billed as the West Coast’s longest running and most authentically costumed Queen tribute act led by Gregory Finsley, a concert-trained pianist who portrays Freddie Mercury. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday. Welk Resort Theatre, 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido. $45. (888) 802-7469,


New Village Arts presents a staged production of Aleta Barthell’s stage adaptation of Janell Cannon’s children’s book “Stellaluna.” The play, about a young bat finding her way home after being separated from her mother, will be performed by a cast of 14 teens and young adults with neurodiversity. 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The Flower Fields, 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad. $10, general; $5, students. (760) 433-3245,

Mal Hall

San Diego native and stand-up comic Mal Hall performs two shows nightly all weekend. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. through Sunday. The Comedy Store La Jolla, 916 Pearl Street, La Jolla.

Saturday, Aug. 21

Festival of Books

This daylong festival will be held virtually again this year, but will feature interviews and panels with renowned authors including Brit Bennett, John Grisham, Viet Thanh Nguyen and V.E. Schwab among many others. Videos and readings will be live starting on Saturday. Free to attend, but register at

A life-sized Papier-mâché puppet
Giant puppets wander the grounds during TwainFest.
(Ron Logan)


This 12th annual event celebrates 19th century America with a focus on literature, culture and history. Presented by Write Out Loud, the day naturally features story readings by Twain, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Hamilton, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and more. But you can also experience a Mad Hatters Tea Party, play old-fashioned games like frog toss, rope making and croquet and even paint fences with Tom Sawyer. For 2021, TwainFest moves to a new home at Heritage Park, and attendees will have to register for a two-hour attendance window in order to follow COVID-19 protocols. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Heritage County Park, 2455 Heritage Park Row, Old Town. Free but reservations are required at

South Bay Pride

Pride celebrations are still happening in San Diego thanks to South Bay Pride. This LGBTQ+ event (originally called Gay Day in the South Bay) was created in 2002 to bring awareness to the queer communities in southern San Diego and the border region. It has since grown to a daylong event featuring two stages of music, art, food vendors and more. Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. Bayfront Park, 980 Marina Way, Chula Vista. Free;

Del Mar Pacific Classic

How lucky are you feeling this weekend? The country’s top racehorses will compete in this highly-anticipated day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Known as the season’s signature event, “Del Mar’s richest and most prestigious race” has a $750 thousand purse. Gates open at noon and first post is at 2 p.m. Saturday. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Admission ranges from $5 to $23 for general and grandstand seating;

Barks & Brews Fest

Grab your pup and head to the waterfront for Barks & Brews Fest! The all ages event features puppy contests, raffle prizes and pet vendors, along with craft beer, cocktails food. There will be designated off-leash areas for dogs to run around and socialize. Entertainment includes live music from local bands, and even a silent dog disco. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. General admission is $15, with an option to upgrade to three hour ($30) or four hour ($40) tasting tickets. Embarcadero Marina Park North, 400 Kettner Blvd, downtown.

Jiant Sip N’ Sweat Yoga Brunch

Get ready for some hard yoga in Pacific Beach ... and we’re not talking about the class level. Spirit Yoga Studios is hosting an outdoor class in partnership with hard kombucha and tea company Jiant in Mavericks Beach Club’s parking lot turned outdoor yoga studio. Doors open at 9 a.m. and yoga is from 10 to 11 a.m. In addition to the yoga class, tickets include swag bag, a drink, and 15% off coupon for bunch at Mavericks. The event is 21 and up, but minors can be accompanied by a parent. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Mavericks Beach Club, 860 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. $15 (excluding fees);

Smokey Robinson

This legendary crooner and co-creator of the Motown sound will perform hits that include “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and “Shop Around” among many others. The San Diego Symphony will not perform at this event. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Rady Shell, 200 Marina Park Way, downtown. $45 to $200;

North Park Beer Co.’s Fifth Anniversary Party
Cheers to five years! North Park Beer Co. celebrates half a decade with its anniversary party, NPBC5, featuring unlimited tasters and tasty bites.VIP tickets include a commemorative tasting glass, a mixed four-pack of NPCO’s West Coast double IPA and triple IPA, pours from timed keg tappings and more. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. at North Park Beer Co.’s brewery and taproom, located at 3038 University Ave. General admission is sold out, but VIP tickets are still available for $150 (excluding fees and sales tax). Buy tickets at

Sunday, Aug. 22

Not Our First Goat Rodeo

A goat rodeo describes something that’s going so terribly wrong that all that’s left to do is watch the madness unfold. This is the title cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma picked for his musical project that also includes Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Edgar Meyer (bass), Chris Thile (mandolin) and Aoife O’Donovan (vocals). But with this much talent, there’s not much that can actually go wrong — just be prepared for an evening that’s part composed, part improvised and full of surprises. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $45 to $250; (619) 235-0804.

Hershey Felder’s “Great American Songbook Singalong”

San Diego Repertory Theatre will co-present Hershey Felder’s “Great American Songbook Singalong.” Broadcast live from the historic Teatro Verdi in Florence, Felder will present the music of American composers that include Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart and Paul Simon. When viewers buy their tickets, they can submit requests for songs they’d like to hear during the show. One hundred of those submissions will be put in a hat and 20 will be picked at random during the livecast. The virtual concert is at 5 p.m. Sunday. $55;

Bike the Bay

Bike the Bay is San Diegans’ only chance to bike across the Coronado Bay Bridge during this four-hour, non-competitive trek. This community bike ride is suitable for riders of all skill levels and travels through Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and National City. The start/finish line is at Embarcadero Marina Park in downtown San Diego. Bike the Bay benefits the San Diego County Bike Coalition, a non-profit whose mission is to improve safety, connectivity and quality of life for all riders. 7 to 11 a.m., Sunday;

Monday, Aug. 23

WWE Monday Night RAW

OK, professional wrestling fans, here’s your chance to watch WWE stars battle it out for glory live and in person. This event features Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton and Riddle versus Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles and Omos, as well as a RAW Women’s Championship Match between Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair. (Lineup is subject to change). Attendees need to be fully vaccinated or get a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event. 4:30 p.m. Monday. Pechanga Arena San Diego, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District. $25 to $115;

Lady Dottie and the Diamonds

One of San Diego’s favorite blues bands continues its Monday night residency at The Casbah. 9 p.m. Monday. Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown. Free;

McGregor’s Ale House’s 25th anniversary

McGregor’s Ale House, one of San Diego’s oldest sports bars, rings in 25 years of operation with a week-long celebration. McGregor’s will host daily events from Monday to next Saturday. Highlights include a celebration of San Diego sports featuring guest speakers like SDSU’s athletic director J.D. Whicker, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Monday; a craft cocktail tasting and competition from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday; and an official anniversary party from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, featuring live music from The Siers Brothers who played at the McGregor’s first anniversary in 1996. All event proceeds will benefit Allied Gardens Little League. 10475 San Diego Mission Road, Mission Valley.

Tuesday, Aug. 24

Indie band The Verigolds perform at the 2017 San Diego Music Awards at House of Blues.
(Courtesy San Diego Music Awards)

San Diego Music Awards

Celebrate local music at the 30th annual San Diego Music Awards! This year more than 100 bands and artists are up for awards across 19 categories, including Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Video. In addition to the awards ceremony, the evening will feature performances from The Frets, Brisa Lauren, Ed Kornhauser, Chickenbone Slim, Electric Mud, Marujah, Cindy Lee Berryhill and Jerry Raney with The Farmers. All proceeds benefit the San Diego Music Foundation’s Guitars for Schools program. 7 p.m. at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island. General admission is $35, with $100 for VIP reserved tickets.