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San Diego’s top weekend events for Aug. 18-21: TwainFest, Festival of Books and more

The Dance Heginbotham troupe
The Dance Heginbotham troupe performs this weekend at La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest.
(Courtesy of Janelle Jones)

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Aug. 18 to Sunday, Aug. 21.

Thursday

Sarah Alida Leclair, left, Andréa Agosto and Sutheshna Mani in Moxie's "The Pleasure Trials."
Sarah Alida Leclair, left, Andréa Agosto and Sutheshna Mani in Moxie Theatre’s “The Pleasure Trials.”
(Moxie Theatre)

“The Pleasure Trials”

Moxie Theatre has opened its 18th season with Sarah Saltwick’s new play about two women researchers launching a clinical trial on a pill that enhances women’s enjoyment of sex. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. Through Sept. 11. Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd., Suite N, San Diego. $25-$48. (858) 598-7620. moxietheatre.com

Friday

Charl Brown, center, rehearses for Moonlight Stage Productions' "Ragtime."
Charl Brown, center, rehearses a scene as ragtime pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Moonlight Stage Productions’ “Ragtime.”
(Courtesy of Fred Tracey)

“Ragtime”

Moonlight Stage Productions presents this Tony-winning musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s novel about three families — White, Black and immigrant — in turn-of-the-century New York. 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. Through Sept. 3. (Gates open at 6:30 p.m.) Moonlight Amphitheatre, Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. $17-$61. (760) 724-2110. moonlightstage.com

“As You Like It”

New Fortune Theatre presents William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy of love in an outdoor production. 7 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. Through Aug. 28. Westminster Presbyterian Church outdoor amphitheater, 3598 Talbot St., San Diego. $10 to $30 (beach chairs and blankets are recommended). newfortunetheatre.com

Saturday

Woman with telescope watching the stars. Stargazing woman and night sky.
(Allexxandar/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Julian Natural Wonderfest

The historic mining town presents a family-friendly afternoon and evening celebration of nature. Tour the booths at the park and join in activities and crafts; meet wildlife ambassadors like hawks and barn owls. Amateur astronomers will have their equipment set up for free viewing after dark of the summer Milky Way, after some twilight storytelling. 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Jess Martin Park, 2663 Apple Lane; parking in Julian and free shuttles. Free. naturalwonderfest.com

The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books

The sixth San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books on Saturday is the first one happening in person since 2019. It’s also the first at a new home: the campus of the University of San Diego. This move to USD follows three years of book festivals at Liberty Station in Point Loma and two virtual festivals necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost half of the hilltop campus will be utilized for events, activities and live entertainment, with parking structures at either end of the campus and tram service available for visitors. More than 75 authors will be on hand as part of a daylong schedule that includes 50-plus panel discussions and workshops.10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego. All sessions are free, except for those in the Shiley Main Stage ($5, with a portion donated to the San Diego Council on Literacy). sdfestivalofbooks.com

TwainFest

Write Out Loud presents the 13th annual TwainFest, an all-day event celebrating Mark Twain and the literature and culture of 19th-century America. Play old-fashioned arcade-style games, enjoy literary performances and meet some of your favorite classic characters as well as other authors, including Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and Henry David Thoreau. Free books from the Book Emporium for all who participate in activities. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Heritage County Park, 2455 Heritage Park Row, Old Town. Free, but reservations required at writeoutloudsd.com/twainfest

Summer Food Truck Festival

Bates Nut Farm serves up plenty of culinary choices — plus music — at this gathering, held with its Camping Under the Stars event (which is already sold out). Area food vendors will include Two For The Road, Mr. Greek, Margie’s Shuckwagon, Smokin’ Fools BBQ and Mariposa Ice Cream. Live music by the Alias Band, plus Fancy Nancy Faces & Henna, Snow’s Pony Rides, Big Slide and the ever-popular Bates Farm Zoo. 4 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Bates Nut Farm, 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center. Free to attend. batesnutfarm.biz/ce-13057-summer-food-festival.html

Say hello

The House of Chamorros (Indigenous people of the Mariana Islands) in Balboa Park holds its grand opening among the park’s international cottages with a HAFA Adai (“Hi!” or “Hello!”, pronounced half-a-day) Festival. Experience Pacific Island culture through guest speakers, informational booths, craft demonstrations, including bone carving, weaving and jewelry making, and food at this family-friendly event. The house will be blessed at 10 a.m. with spiritual chants by dance troupe I Man Urritåo iya Gåni from the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and local dance troupes Imahen TaoTao Tano and Uno Hit. Musical guests include Parker Yobei, Ben Benavente, Felix Sablan and Island Mist and Friends. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Balboa Park International Cottages, 2100 Pan American Road East, San Diego. Free. houseofchamorros.org

Race fans cheer the second race on Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack.
Horse racing fans cheer the second race on Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack on Friday, July 22, 2022 in Del Mar, California.
(Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Taco & Beer Festival at the track

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosts this tastings event featuring more than 50 local and regional beers, seltzers and tequilas, along with games, DJs and tacos sold by local purveyors.1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Seaside Cabana, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. $40-$55 (ticket includes four 5-ounce beer tasters and free track admission). dmtc.com/calendar/allevents

Gelson’s hosts live chile roasting

Gelson’s supermarket in Carlsbad will host a live Hatch chile roasting event on Saturday, and it will serve several ready-to-eat and takeout dishes made with the roasted New Mexico-grown chiles, including cornbread, salad and mac ‘n’ cheese. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. 7660 El Camino Real, Carlsbad. gelsons.com/shop/hatch-chiles-1.

Mixed media exhibit

Art Scene West opens an exhibit of more than 30 abstract mixed-media artworks by Janet Perkin, whose acrylic and collage works carry the influences of Matisse, Bonnard and Klimt. Opens Saturday and runs through Sept. 11. 312 S. Cedros Ave., Suite 130, Solana Beach. (888) 847-8993. artscenewest.com

Sunday

‘Synergy: The Planets’

La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest continues with two programs featuring choreographer John Heginbotham’s Dance Heginbotham company. First, at 2 p.m. today, Heginbotham will lead a free movement and dance class for people with Parkinson’s disease and their families. Then, over the weekend, the dancers will be featured in four immersive music and dance performances of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” performed by the Knights orchestra of New York. 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday. 3 and 5 p.m. Sunday. The JAI, Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. $78. (858) 459-3728. ljms.org


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