Del Mar Opening Day, The OTL, Fat Tuesday & St. Patrick’s Day Make Up 5 Best Annual Events
In a city full of great events – Del Mar Opening Day, the Over-The-Line, the Gaslamp Fat Tuesday Parade and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade – the San Diego Wine + Food Festival stands out as one of the best annual events in S.D.
It’s a must-do event, one that’s on the regular social calendar of a couple of thousand fun-loving San Diegans. It’s a week-long series of tastings, pairings and demonstrations with the two biggest events being Friday night’s SommConn at the Marriott Marquis Marina Hotel– a wine lover’s paradise if ever there was one – and the next day’s grandiose Grand Tasting outside at Embarcadero Park between the Marriott marina and San Diego Bay.
Here’s a rundown of all the top San Diego events.
1.) Del Mar Opening Day
PubClub.com refers to this event as the “Kentucky Derby of the West Coast.” More than 50,000 people pack the Del Mar Race Track for the first day of the horse racing season but the horses are the sideshow. The people make this a great scene. They are there to meet, to mingle, to drink and to be part of the party. Tip: Don’t miss the hat contest. The 2018 date is Wednesday, July 18.
2.) San Diego Over-The-Line (First Day)
A free free-for-all, this is an open beach party on Fiesta Island in which anyone can attend and even bring their own drinks. The activity is a form of softball called Over-The-Line and it involves more than a thousand teams. All with, ahem, let’s just say creative names. The kind that can’t be aired on television, either (ESPN wanted to but requested the names be tone down; officials refused). While it takes place over two weekends, the first Saturday is the big beach party day. Held on Fiesta Island, the 2018 OTL – the 65th annual World Championship – is July 14 & 15 and July 21 & 22.
3.) San Diego Wine + Food Festival
More than an event drinking wine and eating food, this is a happening for anyone who likes to pair those activities in a social environment that quickly turns into a sensational social scene – in particular SommCon and the Grand Tasting. The event annually takes place the third week of November, with SommCon on Friday evening and the Grand Tasting Saturday afternoon. Each event requires separate tickets.
4.) San Diego Mardi Gras Gaslamp Fat Tuesday Parade
If you can’t be in New Orleans, Rio or any of the other top destinations for Mardi Gras, then you should be in the Gaslamp for its party and parade. It’s like a mini-New Orleans with floats rolling down Fifth Avenue tossing out Mardi Gras beads and bars. Of course you can’t drink in the street but the bars will gladly serve you and there’s also DJs, people on stilts, girls in platform shoes dancing on platforms and all other manner of eye candy and entertainment. The 2018 event is Tuesday, Feb. 28. This is a ticketed event ($40 at the gate).
5.) St. Patrick’s Day Parade San Diego
Who doesn’t love a parade for St. Patrick’s Day!? The one in San Diego – which officials claim is the largest west of the Mississippi – starts at Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street and ends at Sixth Avenue and Juniper. It has 120 participants but the bigger event is the post-parade party in Balboa Park. (Sixth and Maple). There are bands, a beer garden and thousands of people. And it’s all free. Later, there’s a block party in the Gaslamp (admission required). The 2018 event is smack on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17.