San Diego’s top Labor Day weekend events: Sept. 2-6
Here are the best events happening Thursday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 6:
Thursday, Sept. 2
San Diego Design Week 2021
San Diego Design Week is a five-day celebration of design in all its forms — from graphic design and fashion to landscape design and technology. All week there will be studio tours, presentations virtual workshops throughout San Diego and Tijuana. Highlights include a kitchen design discussion with Chef Marcela Valladolid, a design discoveries bike tour, and a vintage swap meet, among many other activities. Various times starting Wednesday through Sept. 12. Find locations, prices and details at sddesignweek.org
The 1980s/1990s-era rock en Español band is back! The guys from Mexico City perform who have collaborated with everyone from Graham Nash to Adrian Belew will perform their many hits at this reunion show. 8 p.m. Thursday. Open Air Theatre, SDSU. $49 to $99; ticketmaster.com
Together Pangea at SOMA Sidestage
Head to the SOMA Sidestage on Thursday to jam with indie rock band Together Pangea. Sad Park, an alternative emo punk band, and San Diego-based Buddha Trixie will open the evening. Craft beer will be available for purchase at the event. Masks are required for entry. Doors open at 7 p.m. Thursday. SOMA San Diego, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd. Tickets are $20 (advance) at somasandiego.com.
Big Jay Oakerson
Ready to laugh during this holiday weekend? Head to American Comedy Co., where Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central’s “This is Not Happening,” “Comedy Underground with Dave Attell,” “Inside Amy Schumer”) headlines all Labor Day weekend. Gabby Lamb is scheduled to open for all performances. 8 p.m. Thursday , 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday , 7 p.m. Sunday . American Comedy Co., downtown. $23; americancomedyco.com.
Friday, Sept. 3
Mingei International Museum reopening
Welcome back to Balboa Park, Mingei! The museum that focuses on craft, folk art and design has been closed for three years, undergoing a $55 million renovation, and it will finally be ready to welcome visitors this weekend. To celebrate the reopening, admission will be free to the public Thursday through Monday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Mingei International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park.
“Rocketman” In Concert
The Elton John bio-pic starring Taron Egerton will be screened with live accompaniment by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, downtown. $36 to $120; theshell.org.
Same Same But Different Pre-Party at Music Box
Same Same But Different, an annual music festival in Lake Perris, brings the fun to San Diego for its official pre-party a week before the festival. The 21-and-up event features performances from electronic duo Goldfish and DJ/producer LikeWise. Guests are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed within 72 hours prior to entry. Doors open at 8 p.m. and show starts at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. Tickets are $25 at musicboxsd.com
First Friday Art Walk at OMA
Every first Friday of the month, stop by Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) to enjoy live music and lots of art. The free event, which requests guests register online ahead of time, includes admission to any of OMA’s exhibitions that evening. This week, Anthony Cullins Trio will perform blues-rock tunes at the museum starting at 6:30 p.m. Bring cash for beer and wine, available to buy for $7 by the glass at the bar. For $50, receive luxury treatment with a reserved VIP table. 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), 704 Pier View Way. Free; register at oma-online.org.
“The World Goes ‘Round”
Coronado Playhouse presents John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical revue of love songs, torch songs and comedy numbers. Opens Friday and runs through Oct. 10. Performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Vaccination proof and face masks required, with some exceptions. 1835 Strand Way, Coronado. $24-$30 (619) 435-4856. coronadoplayhouse.org
Latinx New Play Festival
San Diego Repertory Theatre and Amigos Del Rep will present its fifth annual festival of new plays by Latinx playwrights, featuring panel discussions and performances. It will be presented Friday through Sunday both online and in person. Rachel Lyne’s “Black Mexican” at 4 p.m. Friday; Lily Gonzalez’s “(trans)formada” at noon Saturday; Daniella De Jesus’s “Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back” at 3 p.m. Saturday; and Nicolas R. Valdez’s “Conjunto Blues” at 6 p.m. Saturday. Rosa Fernandez’s “A Skeptic and a Bruja” at 1 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, streaming and vaccine information, visit sdrep.org/latinx.
Comedian and actor Matt Rife (“Wild ‘n Out,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) headlines four shows at the newly-opened Laugh Factory San Diego. 8 and 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday at the Laugh Factory San Diego inside the Keating Hotel, 432 F Street, downtown. $25 (with a two drink minimum); laughfactory.com/clubs/san-diego.
Frida Kahlo’s Garden Opening Reception
Carlsbad’s William D. Cannon Art Gallery is only one of three California venues hosting this traveling exhibition that showcases photographs and other memorabilia of the iconic Mexican artist. The exhibition is on view through Oct. 20. The opening reception is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Cannon Art Gallery, 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad. Free; carlsbadca.gov.
Head to Parq this weekend for a DJ set by rapper Lil Jon. Doors open at 9 p.m., Friday at Parq Nightclub, downtown San Diego. Regular tickets: $29.90; VIP tickets: $45.36; Labor Day Weekend VIP Pass: $106.18. parqsd.com.
Saturday, Sept. 4
“The Goonies” In Concert
Mikey. Data. Mouth. Chunk. Andy. Bram. Stef. Sloth. If you recognize these names, chances are you already have tickets to the San Diego Symphony’s screening of “The Goonies.” The score of this 1985 blockbuster movie will be performed live by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor John Beale. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 200 Marina Park Way, downtown. $36 to $120; (619) 235-0804. theshell.org
San Diego Vintage Flea Market
Vintage lovers, mark your calendars: San Diego Vintage Flea Market is back and happening the first Saturday of every month. Come out every month and score some goodies, rain or shine! Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome to join shoppers. All COVID-19 health and safety guidelines from the CDC will be followed. Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals and recommended if you are vaccinated. Note that the Normal Heights Masonic Lodge is the event’s temporary location; check social media for updates on future events. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Normal Heights Masonic Lodge, 3366 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. $1 entry fee; instagram.com/sdvintagefleamarket.
Michael Wheelden “The Memory of Rocks”
Santa Ysabel Art Gallery presents contemporary landscape paintings by local artist Michael Wheelden. For this exhibition, he creates large acrylic paintings on shaped canvas that depict the Mojave Desert’s Granite Mountains. The opening reception is from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Highway 78 and Highway 79, Santa Ysabel. The exhibition is up through Oct. 31, admission is free. santaysabelartgallery.com
Julian Grape Stomp Festa
The normally sleepy town of Julian shows how it gets down with grapes at the 24th annual Julian Grape Stomp Festa held at Menghini Winery. Grape-stomping is a a traditional wine-making technique in which a barefooted person stomps grapes in a giant vat, and the juices are used to make wine. Doesn’t sound very sanitary, but the eventual fermentation process will remove any human residue. In addition to the stomping, guests will be able to enjoy wine tasting, food sampling, live music and more. A couple tips for would-be grape-stompers: Bring cash, as the internet is spotty and doesn’t always allow for electronic purchases; everyone is required to show an ID proving they are over 21; and attendees can bring their own lawn chairs. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Menghini Winery, 1150 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian. Regular admission is $20 and includes a wine glass. Tastings are $1. Reserved, shaded seating is available for $30. Tastings can also be pre-purchased. Visit visitjulian.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
Comedian Dane Cook celebrates 30 years in stand-up with a live show. The prolific stand-up-turned-actor is known for movies like “Good Luck Chuck,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Employee of the Month” and “Dan in Real Life.” Cook completed a national tour, “Tell It Like It Is,” in 2019 and has an upcoming comedy special of the same name debuting soon. 8 p.m. Saturday. Harrah’s Resort Southern California Events Center, 777 S. Resort Drive, Valley Center. Tickets range from $54 to $109. harrahssocal.com
Deke Dickerson and The Whippersnappers, Dave Gleason Band, Trio Los Elotes
Rockabilly is Missouri native Deke Dickerson’s specialty, but he doesn’t stop there. The six-string ace, who often plays a double-necked guitar, also shines when playing vintage R&B, doo-wop, old-time country, surf-rock and other homegrown American music styles. Expect him and his latest band to rock with vigor at their first show here since the pandemic began. 9:30 p.m. Saturday The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Middletown. $12; must be 21 or older to attend. casbahmusic.com (Unvaccinated attendees must wear masks at all times in the venue.)
The unofficial DJ for the Los Angeles Lakers and San Diego local DJ Bamboozle spins during his new residency at Oxford Social Club. Saturday at Oxford Social Club at the Pendry San Diego, downtown. theoxfordsd.com.
Sunday, Sept. 5
IMAX Film Festival
The Fleet Science Center opened its IMAX Dome Theater in 1973 and has screened a variety of nature films and documentaries since. But the theater is switching from projecting 70 mm film to digital technology — and before it closes for upgrades (between Sept. 7 and Oct. 29), the museum is bringing back eight of its most popular films. “The Living Sea,” “Jerusalem,” Ring of Fire” and “Hubble” are among the titles you can watch at this all-day event. Screenings are every hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Museum admission includes one free IMAX film, additional screenings are $7 each; fleetscience.org/events/imax-film-festival
Labor Day Sip & Swim
North Park’s famed Lafayette Hotel is known for parties at its historic pool (which was designed by former “Tarzan” actor and gold-medal Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller). So what better way to end summer than with its Labor Day Sip & Swim party, where guests can lounge by the pool and enjoy cocktails, floaties, music and more? Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Lafayette Hotel Swim Club and Bungalows, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets include a cocktail. lafayettehotelsd.com
The Finest Hour: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Music That Ended WWII
This night, featuring Davina & The Vagabonds and Hot Club of Cowtown, present a night of the swing and jazz hits that played over the airwaves and in dance halls in the 1940s. You’ll hear songs by Billie Holiday, Doris Day, Bing Crosby and Gene Autry among others. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, downtown. $25 to $95; theshell.org.
Waka Flocka Flame
Rapper Waka Flocka Flame closes out LDW in San Diego with his set at Oxford Social Club featuring DJ Whookid. Sunday at Oxford Social Club at the Pendry San Diego, downtown. theoxfordsd.com.
Cap off Labor Day weekend with a DJ set by legendary rapper/actor 50 Cent. Doors open at 9 p.m., Friday at Parq Nightclub, downtown San Diego. Regular tickets: $35.05; VIP tickets: $50.51; Labor Day Weekend VIP Pass: $106.18. parqsd.com.
Actress, author, former late-night TV host and current host of the “Dear Chelsea” podcast, among other projects, brings her Vaccinated and Horny Tour to America’s Finest City. Expect her to bring her signature snark and wit to this sold-out show. 7:30 p.m. Sunday , Humphreys Concerts by the Bay; chelseahandler.com.
Monday, Sept. 6
Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Tour
Get ready to rock on Labor Day with a stacked lineup at SOMA Mainstage! New Found Glory headlines the all-ages, pop-punk evening. Less Than Jake, Hot Mulligan and LØLØ will also perform. Craft beer will be available for purchase at the event. Masks are required for entry, and guests must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. A clear bag policy will also be enforced. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday. SOMA San Diego, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd. General admission is $32. Tickets available at somasandiego.com.
Labor Day Pier Swim
Take advantage of the long weekend with the Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim. The Labor Day Pier Swim is a 1-mile swim around the Oceanside Pier, a tradition that began in 1929. The event is the primary fundraiser for the Oceanside Swim Club, which provides affordable swimming opportunities to kids ages 5 to 18. 7 a.m. to noon Monday. Oceanside Pier. Registration is $70 at labordaypierswim.com
Sign up for the Pacific Insider newsletter
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Pacific San Diego.