SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's the first full week of September, which usually marks the start of fall and crisp weather elsewhere in America. But in America's Finest City, we're still in the midst of the warm season, so pack that pumpkin spice and apple cider away and get ready to explore!
The headliner this weekend is the Del Mar Food & Wine Festival, as celebrity chefs and top restaurants bring incredible flavors to the North County. Although tickets are pricey for the various events ($175 for a Grand Tasting one-day pass), the absolute star power and rich taste warrant it.
FilmOut's LGBTQ Film Festival returns this weekend, and that's just one event dedicated to the arts.
Of course, this Sunday marks the first slate of games for the 2023 NFL season, so sports bars across the area will be ready to host football fans.
Whatever you decide to do this weekend, make sure to get out there and explore San Diego.
THURSDAY — SEPT. 7
- Del Mar Food & Wine Festival (all weekend)
The Del Mar Wine & Food Festival kicked off Wednesday night. Various events featuring celebrity chefs, top restaurants, and — of course — an eclectic selection of food and wine will be happening from Thursday to Friday.
One event outside of the box from the festival: former San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is hosting a celebrity pickleball tournament from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. One of the more coveted events was Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul's Dos Hombres Mezcal Dinner (tickets are already sold out for that).
However, the festival's website indicates there are still tickets for at least five special dinners hosted by celebrity chefs happening Thursday night. Names include chefs Aaron May, Claudette Zepeda, Antonia Lofaso, Brad Wise, Eduardo Morali and many more.
Tickets are also still available for the headline grand tasting events on Saturday and Sunday at Surf Sports Park.
LOCATION: Various spots around North County
- FilmOut San Diego LGBTQ Film Festival
Another festival running from Thursday to Sunday — this is FilmOut's 23rd annual film festival highlighting voices from the LGBTQ community. Balboa Park's Natural History Museum and Museum of Photographic Arts will host film screenings.
According to FilmOut's website, the festival's goal is "to enlighten, educate, and entertain" San Diegans through LGBTQ films featured at the festival. Additionally, some cult related, non-LGBTQ films will be shown at special event screenings.
"FilmOut San Diego seeks to recognize, promote, celebrate and support the important diverse artistic contributions LGBTQ filmmakers and others make to our community," the website says.
The Glitter & Doom Opening Night film and party takes place from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday at the Natural History Museum.
Find more information about the lineup and tickets here.
LOCATION: 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 ; 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
- Brainstorms: A Film Screening
A private screening of the award-winning short film "Brainstorms" is happening at The LOT tonight, from 7 to 9 p.m. The film raises awareness about rising veteran suicides and advocates for more sophisticated treatment for brain health.
In addition to the film screening, the event will also showcase Laughter Yoga by Rachel Frank, patriotic art by Navy Chief Joe Pisano and a brain health interactive panel discussion. Pisano's art display includes pieces addressing the comorbidities of Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD, which contribute to homelessness and suicide.
The Resurrecting Lives Foundation teamed up with The LOT to organize this event. The screening is happening in auditorium five. If you attend, organizers are requesting a $10 donation.
LOCATION: 2620 Truxtun Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
FRIDAY — SEPT. 8
- Gather & Grow: Gardening and Seed Swap Event
The San Diego Craft Collective, San Diego Seed Swap and Epic Gardening are co-hosting this event from 5 to 8 p.m. at the San Diego Craft Collective in Libery Station. No matter how green your thumb is, gardeners from all over America's Finest City are welcome to come empty-handed or ready to exchange seeds with fellow plant lovers.
The event will also feature free giveaways, including items from HealthiStraw, Malibu's Best Compost, TruOrganic and City Farmer's Nursery. Register for the event here.
LOCATION: 2590 Truxtun Rd #106, San Diego, CA 92106
- Cage Warriors 159 San Diego
Mixed martial arts bouts are returning to the Sycuan Casino Resort. Doors open at 5 p.m. Friday, and the preliminary fights start at 6:30 p.m. The main card gets underway at 8 p.m.
Cage Warriors is an Irish-owned MMA promotion company based out of England, and they've hosted fights in San Diego before.
More than 100 fighters have come up through Cage Warriors before breaking out into the UFC, including Conor McGregor, Michael Bisping, Paddy 'The Baddy' Pimblett and Dan Hardy.
Follow this linkto get tickets.
LOCATION: 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA 92019
SATURDAY — SEPT. 9
- Taste of Gaslamp (restaurant list here)
Taste of Gaslamp, San Diego's longest-running tasting tour, returns this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Foodies are invited to take a self-guided foodie tour through the iconic Gaslamp Quarter, stopping at over 20 restaurants across 16 city blocks. General admission for the Taste of Gaslamp tour is $45 in advance and $55 on the event day — follow this link to buy tickets.
LOCATION: Check in at 410 Island Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
- Second Chance Beer's 8th Anniversary Dinner
The beer company's celebratory dinner, featuring beer-and-wine pairings that will tickle your palate, will benefit local dog rescues The Animal Pad and Second Chance Dog Rescue.
Selections for the three-course meal will include favorites from the mind of Tyson Blake, the executive chef at O'Brien's Pub in the Convoy District, wine from Mia Marie Vineyards in Escondido and beer from the Seize a Pint, Save a Pup brewery.
Additionally, Second Chance is teaming up with Artifex Brewing to create a special anniversary beer: The Dawg Daze West Coast IPA. Tickets cost $65 and can be bought at this link. The brewery has donated more than $400,000 to local dog rescues since 2015, and more than 160 dogs have found new homes through adoption events at its tasting rooms.
LOCATION: 15378 Avenue of Science San Diego, CA 92128
- Emerging Artist Dance Showcase
This event is happening on both Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 7:45 p.m. at the Mockingbird Improv Theatre. Lavina Rich, Trixi Agiao and Marcella Torres-Sanchez will be showing off their skills.
All three of the creative minds received free studio space provided via the NTC Foundation's Emerging Artist program. These events serve as their opportunity to show off the work they made during their residency at Liberty Station's Arts District, including dance films and live choreography.
The showcase is free, but seating is limited.
LOCATION: 2590 Truxtun Rd #200, San Diego, CA 92106
SUNDAY — SEPT. 10
- Meat Raffle at The Smoking Gun in Gaslamp
As football fans gear up for week one of the NFL season, The Smoking Gun is giving them a chance to win special meats perfect for grilling. Patrons will have the chance to win sausages, steaks, burgers and several other cuts. The raffle will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hundreds of dollars worth of individually wrapped, ready-to-cook meats will be given away.
Raffle tickets can be bought the day of the event either directly from the waitstaff. They're also included with certain cocktail purchases.
LOCATION: 555 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101
- Mavericks Beach Club's Sunday Football Kickoff Party in Pacific Beach
As mentioned above, the long-anticipated week one of the NFL season finally arrives this weekend! Over in Pacific Beach, the Mavericks Beach Club will be locked in on the games all day, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The kickoff party will be held in the side lot, and Mavericks will bring out the bleachers and big screen so everyone can enjoy the deep passes, long runs and big hits. Game and drink specials will be active throughout the event. Mavericks says its menu is Baja-inspired, including tacos, wings, loaded fries and more.
LOCATION: 860 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109