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Exploring San Diego: Things to do Sept. 9 - 12

slightly stoopid san diego concert.jpg
Dog surf-a-thon
Dog surf-a-thon
Boots in the Park
Posted at 9:50 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 00:50:27-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Pumpkin spice is in the air and a variety of festivals and events are happening this weekend across the county.

Slightly Stoopid is returning to San Diego for their first traditional concert performance in over two years! But if the Blues is more your vibe, the sweet sounds of saxophones, guitars, and the drums will ring from the Embarcadero.

Cocktail lovers won’t want to miss the 12th annual San Diego Spirits Festival, which puts our city’s mixologist in the spotlight.

And it's shaping up to be a warm weekend in the sun to browse for your next piece of original art to display, at the San Diego Festival of Arts.

Plus, San Diego’s only LGBTQ film festival kicks off Thursday night, and more than 70 surfing dogs will compete for barking rights in Del Mar.

Here's a look some fun around town this weekend:

THURSDAY
San Diego LGBTQ Film Festival
Where: Balboa Park; Cost: Varies
(Thursday-Sunday) Opening night at San Diego’s only LGBTQ film festival begins at The NAT in Balboa Park, with a screening of Firebird, a true story of a secret romance set against the backdrop of late 1970s Cold War Estonia. The film festival will showcase a variety of features, documentaries, short films and international movies about the LGBTQ experience. Screenings from Friday-Sunday move to MOPA, and virtual showings are available for four films.

FRIDAY
New Children’s Museum Play Structure
Where: Downtown Museum Park; Cost: Free
The New Children’s Museum will unveil a play structure designed by artist Risa Puno that’s made up on an intricate path of balance beams. The idea is that when the paths intersect, it reminds us to consider our shared experience with others. The new play structure will open to the public for free at 9 a.m.

Padres vs. Dodgers
Where: Los Angeles
The rivalry between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers is here to stay. Cheer on the Friars at favorite sports bar in town during the first of a three-game series. Game time startsat 7:10 p.m.

SATURDAY
20th Anniversary of 9/11
Where: USS Midway Museum
There will be several ceremonies honoring the 9/11 victims and their families across the county. Over at the USS Midway, they will feature a special tribute on the flight deck at 2:30 p.m. Following the Memorial Service, family and friends are invited to a free dinner reception at the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Firehouse Museum.

San Diego Blues Festival
Where: Embarcadero Marina Park North; Cost: $40 and up, Children 12 & under free
Grammy-nominated sister act Larkin Poe will headline this year's San Diego Blue Festival, with other acts including Nikki Hill Band, Backtrack Blues Band, Tia Carroll, and more. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

Slightly Stoopid Live
Where: Petco Park; Cost: $60 and up
For the first time, San Diego's own Slightly Stoopid will play at Petco Park's Sycuan Stage at 3 p.m. The Ocean Beach band says this will be their first traditional concert in more than two years. There will also be a special performance by eight-time Grammy winner Stephen "Ragga" Marley, the Don Carlos & The Dub Vision Band, and The Elovaters.

SD Spirits Festival
Where: Port Pavilion Broadway Fair; Cost: $25-$125
(Saturday-Sunday) This spirited event brings together an array of unique adult beverages, exquisite food pairings, hand-crafted cocktails, and mesmerizing entertainment. Enjoy two action-packed days of bartender competitions, seminars, burlesque, samba, Bollywood, and belly dancers, a five-piece 80s band, and more. You have to be 21+ to sip from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Boots in the Park
Where: Waterfront Park; Cost: $125 and up
For one night only country superstar Jon Pardi with special guests Mitchell Tenpenny, Matt Stell, Leaving Austin & Michael Austin will takeover Waterfront Park for a Boots in the Park end of the summer celebration! This all-day summer celebration includes BBQ, adult beverages, line dancing and more. Doors open at noon!

PAWS4Thought Anniversary Paw-ty
Where: Carmel Mountain Ranch; Cost: $20
PAWS4Thoughts, a San Diego non-profit, celebrates its 5th anniversary with this “paw-ty” and fundraiser. The organization saves abandoned, abused, stray dogs in the San Diego, Tijuana, and Rosarito areas. There will be vendors, door prizes, music, and don’t forget to bring your pup! Your ticket includes a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich from Grater Grilled Cheese, a pint of craft beer or soft drink, drawing entry, and a “Bark Bag” for your pup.

San Diego Festival of the Arts
Where: San Diego Surf Sports Park in Del Mar; Cost: $12 and up
(Saturday-Sunday) Experience 150+ juried artists, world-class live music and entertainment, wine, craft beer, and cocktails plus a variety of cuisine to please every palate. Tickets, silent auction, and beer & wine sales all benefit adults and children with disabilities. FYI this is a 21-and-up outdoor art festival.

SUNDAY
Surf Dog Surf-a-thon
Where: Del Mar Dog Beach; Cost: Free (donations encouraged)
You can watch more than 70 surfing dogs will compete for barking rights and the coveted Best in Surf and Top Dog. This annual event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. benefits he Helen Woodward Animal Center. There’s also a freestyle event where dogs will be judge on creativity, confidence, and of course cuteness. Guest will also experience interactive vendor booths, a canine costume contest, a dog agility course, live music, and free activities for kids. If you want to be apart of the fun, you can register your pooch for surfing or the costume contest online.

Harvest for Hope
Where: Harbor Island; Cost: Varies
The annual “Harvest for Hope” fundraiser is being held to support families with children battling cancer. The event will feature dishes from many local restaurants including Coasterra, Crust Pizzeria, Great Maple, Solare Ristorante, Sushi on a Roll and more. The food and wine tasting fundraiser runs from 2 to 5 p.m