San Diego’s top weekend events: from Trolley Dances to Oktoberfests

A photo of San Diego Dance Theatre's annual Trolley Dances
San Diego Dance Theatre presents the annual Trolley Dances
(Alejandro Tamayo)

Top events this weekend include Trolley Dances, Oktoberfests in El Cajon and La Mesa, Crime Junkie Podcast Live, and Flavors of San Diego.

10.3: Taste + Tequila Old Town

Get your fill of Old Town’s most famous meals and wet your whistle with top-shelf tequila and other sensational spirits during this self-guided dining tour featuring musicians and other entertainers who keep the fun flowing between bites.

Throughout Old Town,

10.3: Crime Junkie Podcast Live

True crime obsessives, meet fellow fans and spend time with popular Crime Junkie podcast hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat. The live show focuses on a case that’s never been told before, so get ready to analyze all sorts of clues and evidence.

Balboa Theatre, downtown,

10.3: Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony

Every year, The San Diego Architectural Foundation crowns the county’s most beautiful new buildings, projects and designs. But also? Finding out which not-so-pretty projects will earn onions is what makes this a nail-biting, must-attend event for local designers, architects and artists.

US Grant Hotel, downtown,

10.4-6: Oktoberfest in El Cajon

Do the chicken dance, sing time-honored tunes, and tantalize your taste buds with authentic German eats during two fun-filled weekends featuring a ceremonial keg tap, the crowning of the Oktoberfest queen and a raffle for a flight to the Fatherland.

German American Societies, El Cajon,

A photo of two hands clinking beer glasses
Prost to Oktoberfest!
(Bradley Schweit Photography/iStock/Getty Images)

10.4-6: 46th annual La Mesa Oktoberfest

Billed as the largest Oktoberfest bash west of the Mississippi, this free, three-day event attracts more than 100,000 attendees and boasts live local music, traditional German dishes and plenty of Bavarian bier along with sing-a-longs, stein races and oodles of other games.

10.4-27: Fern Street Circus Neighborhood Tour

You know in the movies when you see a circus coming to town? That’s the inspiration behind this locally based arts group. Acrobats, actors and puppet artists perform free shows -- with socially conscious messages -- in neighborhoods from North Park to City Heights and beyond. (See site for tour schedule.)

Neighborhoods throughout county,

10.5: Valle Food & Wine Festival

Wolfgang Puck, Javier Plascencia and other culinary heavy-hitters from both sides of the border join forces to celebrate the wines and cuisine of Valle de Guadalupe at this must-attend festival that also features live music, craft breweries, art, vendors and more.

Valle de Guadalupe,

A photo of Traslomita Restaurant at Lomita Vinicola Mexicana in Valle de Guadalupe
Traslomita Restaurant at Lomita Vinicola Mexicana in Valle de Guadalupe
(Alejandro Tamayo/The San Diego Union Tribune)

10.5: Taste of Oceanside

Take a ride on the Taste Trolley (or hoof it to hit your step goal) during O’side’s premier culinary experience featuring food, beer and wine from the neighborhood’s most reputable eateries and alcohol purveyors.

Throughout Oceanside,

10.5: Pacific Beachfest

Billed as “San Diego’s premier beach festival,” this family-friendly fest promises live music from artists like Big Daddy Blues Band, Martin McDaniel, The Routine and more, plus a 5K, fish taco contest and the Big Josh Beer Garden, which benefits the Big Josh Foundation.

Along the boardwalk from Felspar to Thomas streets, Pacific Beach,

A photo of Pacific Beachfest
Pacific Beachfest
(Rick Nocon)

10.5-6: Trolley Dances

Modern dance has a very specific audience, but when it’s performed at trolley stops and public buildings, it suddenly becomes an art form for everyone. Take a guided tour along the trolley’s green and orange lines to see dances created by San Diego Dance Theater choreographers, and inspired by their urban surroundings.

12th & Imperial Transit Center, East Village,

A photo of San Diego Dance Theatre's annual Trolley Dances
San Diego Dance Theatre presents the annual Trolley Dances
(Alejandro Tamayo)

10.6: Flavors of San Diego

This culinary experience transcends traditional foodie fests by hosting local chefs who prepare signature dishes and multicourse meals directly at guests’ tables.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Del Mar,