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San Diego’s top weekend events for July 21-24: Del Mar horse racing, Comic-Con and more

Fancy hats on Opening Day at Del Mar Race Track on Friday, July 16, 2021 in Del Mar, CA.
From the left, Gigi Xiang from Poway, Lindsey Rummings from Mira Mesa and Alesha Corine from Beaumont sport fancy hats on Opening Day at Del Mar Race Track on Friday, July 16, 2021 in Del Mar.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 24.

This weekend’s top events include Comic-Con, which is a massive, annual pop culture extravaganza held downtown at the San Diego Convention Center. Badges are required for attendance, and they are already sold out, but there’s plenty to do outside the convention center all weekend long.

Check out this list:

22 things to do outside Comic-Con without a badge

Thursday

“Two Gentlemen Rock Verona”

Coronado Playhouse presents James Saba and Steve Gunderson’s 1950s rock ‘n’ roll musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” about two friends who fall in love with the same girl. Because the production is underwritten by the city of Coronado as a gift to the community, tickets are free but reservations are required. 7 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays, and at 2 p.m. Sundays. Through Aug. 7. Coronado Playhouse, 1835 Strand Way. (619) 435-4856 or visit coronadoplayhouse.org

A selection of dishes by chef Fabian Aceves at La Valencia Hotel
A selection of dishes by new executive chef Fabian Aceves at the Mediterranean Room at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of La Valencia Hotel)

La Valencia’s Mediterranean Room relaunches with new chefs, look

In celebration of the La Jolla hotel’s 95th anniversary, its dining room — formerly known as The Med — has undergone a complete remodel and introduced new menus by its recently hired executive chef Fabian Aceves and executive pastry chef Kari Cota. Aceves, formerly of the Resort at Pelican Hill and L'Auberge Del Mar, has introduced a menu that combines Mediterranean flavors with San Diego’s bounty of seafood and produce and a nod to his own Mexican heritage. New dishes include shawarma-spiced octopus, clams and guanciale, Caesar fried Brussels sprouts, lamb sugo and roasted vadouvan carrots. Cota, formerly of the Lodge at Torrey Pines and Hotel Del Coronado, has introduced a dark chocolate gâteaux and toffee rum cake to the dessert menu. The remodel included new flooring, furniture and dinnerware inside the dining room and a renovation of the patio dining area and the debut of a new outdoor lounge that hosts weekly live music. La Valencia, 1132 Prospect St., La Jolla. lavalencia.com/dining/mediterranean-room

“Something Rotten!”

Moonlight Stage Productions presents this musical comedy about two brothers in 1590s England who come up with an idea to write the first stage musical as a way of competing against the vain and ultra-successful William Shakespeare. 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. Through Aug. 6.Moonlight Amphitheatre, Brengle Terrace Park, 1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. $8 to $56. (760) 724-2110. moonlightstage.com

Friday

Hollywood Hills, left, with jockey Flavien Prat, edges out Sneaking Out, with jockey Drayden Van Dyke.
Hollywood Hills, left, with jockey Flavien Prat, edges out Sneaking Out, with jockey Drayden Van Dyke, to win the Fleet Treat Stakes race at the Del Mar racetrack on Thursday, July 18, 2019 in Del Mar, California.
(Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Del Mar racing

Horse racing moves to the San Diego County Fairgrounds in Del Mar for 31 days (ending Sept. 11). Friday is Opening Day at the track, featuring the famous Hat Contest (noon-3 p.m.), a showcase of gravity-defying millinery, and the return of race caller Trevor Denman. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with post time at 2 p.m. (4 p.m. most Fridays). Children 17 and younger free, but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Guests must be at least 18 to wager. At this writing, most Opening Day tickets were sold out, but there’s plenty of excitement happening on the other meet days. Special events include Daybreak at Del Mar (breakfast at the track on weekend mornings) and Taste of the Turf Club (Sunday brunch, $125), not to mention the many different stakes races. Closed Monday-Wednesday. Gates open two hours before post time. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. General admission $8; season pass $40. dmtc.com

Morton’s hosts summer “Sips”

Fridayonly, Morton’s the Steakhouse is hosting a “Sips of Summer” cocktail experience featuring four custom cocktails and a menu of light bites to accompany them. The tropical cocktails are the Ocean Siesta, Gold N'Banana, Coco Smash and A'uku Crush. They’ll be paired with food items that include lobster mango fritters, kalua pork tostones, Hawaiian lamb chops pupu and shrimp and scallop spring rolls. 6 p.m.. $99 plus tax. 285 J St., San Diego. mortons.com/event/sips-of-summer

“The Box Show”

Point Loma Playhouse presents a return engagement of Dominique Salerno’s one-woman show, where she plays 25 different characters all from inside an oversize black box. The show sold out every performance at the San Diego International Fringe Festival in June. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 4 p.m. Sunday. Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St., San Diego. $10 donation at the door, reservations required. Masks and proof of vaccine required. (619) 800-5497. pointlomaplayhouse.com

“Witnesses”

CCAE Theatricals presents the closing weekend of this world premiere musical conceived by Jordan Beck, with book by Robert L. Freedman, about five Jewish teen diarists who perished in the Holocaust. 7:30 p.m. Friday July 22. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday July 23. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $35-$75. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org

Erika Torri Tribute Concert

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library celebrates the 80th birthday of its longtime director with a concert celebrating the music of French composers Debussy, Franck, Massenet and Leclair. 7:30 p.m. Friday. 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. $45-$50. (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org

TGIF in Carlsbad

This summer concert series celebrates its 35th year in the community as it continues its musical wind-down of the week every Friday through Aug. 19 at the city’s several parks. Performing Friday is High Tide Society, a tribute band re-creating soft-rock hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Pack a picnic (no food vendors this year), bring low-backed chairs (and bug spray!), but leave pets at home, please. Site opens at 4 p.m.; concert starts at 6 p.m. Poinsettia Community Park, 6600 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad. Free. bit.ly/3yzyK1I

Saturday

Greg Ito’s “All You Can Carry” art performance

The Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego, invites the community to experience Ito’s blooming sculpture performance at the top of hill at its Encinitas campus. Ito will go on a journey of regrowth as he traverses the land with all the water he can carry to the summit. The performance symbolizes the Japanese-American experience of the internment camps during World War II and the rebuilding afterwards, incorporating personal histories of his own grandparents. 6 p.m. Saturday. ICA San Diego North, 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas. Free. (760) 436-6611. icasandiego.org

Little Italy Film Festival

Enjoy Italian movies (with English subtitles) under the stars at Little Italy’s Amici Park Amphitheater on Saturday nights through Sept. 3. This week’s showing is “Ginger e Fred” (1986), starring Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni as an old-time dance duo who reunite for a TV special. Directed by Federico Fellini (Masina’s husband). Bring a picnic, snacks and blanket. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; film starts at 8 p.m. West Date and State streets, San Diego. Donation $10. littleitalysd.com/events/little-italy-summer-film-festival

Sunday

Ranch 45 happenings

This Solana Beach restaurant and Brandt Beef butcher shop has introduced new dinner and brunch items and a summer-long Sunday barbecue special. New dishes on the brunch menu include chef’s weekly eggs Benedict, baked French toast, the Naked Bowl with sausage, bacon, eggs, hash browns and salsa, and $10 mimosas and micheladas. New dinner options include a Brandt New York strip, Kagoshima A5 Wagyu and Brandt dry-aged steak, as well as a fresh herb risotto and cedar-plank ocean trout. And from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, classic barbecue fare is served, including tri-tip, meaty back ribs, baked mac ‘n’ cheese, potato salad and coleslaw. 512 Via de la Valle, Suite 102, Solana Beach. ranch45.com

MCASD opens Carmen Argote exhibit

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has opened a new exhibition by Los Angeles artist Carmen Argote celebrating the museum’s recent major acquisition of her work. The Argote exhibit, in the MCASD’s downtown space, is “Filtration System for a Process-based Practice.” It features six interwoven series that draw inspiration from Lincoln Park in East Los Angeles through sculpture, drawing, voice recordings and other elements. Accompanying the Argote show there are two collection-based exhibitions. “The Reason for the Neutron Bomb” features work by Chris Burden and Byron Kim. “Figurative Vocabularies” features recent painting acquisitions. On view through Oct. 23. 1100 Kettner Blvd., San Diego. mcasd.org


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