30 Top San Diego Events in May

Bacon & Barrels Festival. Photo by Jeremy Ball Bottle Branding.

San Diego has a lot to offer during the month of May. Here’s your guide to the 30 top San Diego events this month, including festivals, fashion, food, music, theater and more.

Edited by Lisa Kelley

Carlsbad Village Faire
May 1. Stroll among more than 900 vendors—from arts and crafts, to antiques, clothing, accessories, jewelry and food—at this one-day street festival. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Carlsbad Village, Carlsbad. carlsbad.org

Horton Plaza Park Debut
May 4. The highly-anticipated grand re-opening of Horton Plaza Park celebrates a new community center for the Gaslamp Quarter. The opening celebration will feature live music, art and entertainment, life-size games, and more. The urban park will also host events including “Park Unplugged” featuring local musicians performing in the amphitheater. The park is free to the public and guests will enjoy the restored Irving Gill Fountain, interactive pop-jet fountains and color-changing light sculptures. 324 Horton Plaza, Gaslamp Quarter, 619.544.8180. hortonplazapark.com

Gator by the Bay Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival
May 5-8. This family-friendly music and food festival features blues, Cajun and zydeco bands—more than 90 performances on seven stages—free dance lessons, cooking demos and cultural and music workshops. Spanish Landing Park, 3900 N. Harbor Dr., Harbor Island. gatorbythebay.com

Friday Night Liberty
May 6. Liberty Station hosts its monthly free event in which guests can meet working artists, see performances, visit museums and galleries and take in the magic of the Arts District. 5-9 p.m. 2640 Historic Decatur Rd., Liberty Station, 619.573.9304. ntclibertystation.com

Westfield UTC Uncorked Wine Walk
May 7. Westfield UTC hosts the fourth annual Uncorked wine walk and concert, showcasing Temecula Valley’s finest vintages. Attendees will enjoy a self-guided wine and restaurant walk through four wine gardens, each featuring unique wines and tastes from local restaurants, as well as live music and giveaways. 4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.546.8858. ticketsauce.com

Westfield UTC Uncorked Wine Walk

Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo
May 7-8. Head to historical Old Town for two days of festivities—including ballet folklorico, live music, children’s activities, a lowrider car show and tequila tastings—all celebrating Mexican heritage, culture and pride. Along San Diego Avenue and in Old Town Historic State Park, Old Town. oldtownsandiegoguide.com

San Diego Beer and Music Festival
May 7. Head to Liberty Station’s NTC Park for an evening showcasing local and regional breweries and local bands and DJs. Tickets include unlimited samples of more than 75 craft brews. $40/pp. 7-10 p.m. 2640 Historic Decatur Rd., Liberty Station. sandiego-beerfestival.com

A Kentucky Derby Affair Food & Wine Fest
May 7. Sample cocktails, gourmet bites, wine and craft beer from dozens of top local restaurants and beverage purveyors and enjoy a viewing of the Kentucky Derby (hats and Derby attire encouraged). 21+. 1-5 p.m. Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla Cove. jlsdfoodandwine.com

Chocolate Festival at San Diego Botanic Garden
May 7. Just in time for Mother’s Day, taste from the creations of 15-20 chocolate artisans at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Wander through the garden to catch demonstrations, chocolate tips, shopping, music and an interactive Kidzone. Free with paid admission. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, 760.436.3036. sdbgarden.org

Paella & Wine Festival
May 7. Savor the traditional flavors of Spain in a festival that is all about Paella and wine. The festival features Paella chefs from around the globe as they compete for various titles including “Best Pella in the Cali-Baja Region.” The festival will include dozens of local wineries, breweries and tequilerias with unlimited tastings, and live mariachi and flamenco music. $85/pp. 12-6 p.m. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego Marina. eventbrite.com

Spring Arts & Crafts Fair at Bernardo Winery
May 7-8. Enjoy the 39th annual Spring Arts & Crafts Fair with more than 125 vendors from across Southern California showcasing their handmade jewelry, soaps, paintings, clothing, pottery and more. Wander through the venue with free admission, live music, a food court, and shopping. 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo, 858.487.1866. bernardowinery.com

Festa Do Espirito Santo
May 13-15. The Portuguese families of San Diego host the oldest ethnic religious celebration in the city, dating back to when the first families settled in San Diego in 1884. Enjoy this annual celebration with a huge feast, a parade of royalty, music and more. 2818 Avenida de Portugal, Point Loma, 619.223.5880. upses.com

Festo do Espirito Santo
Festa do Espirito Santo

Fashion Week San Diego Spring Showcase
May 14. Enjoy an exclusive sneak peek of the designers’ collections before their full debut on the Fashion Week San Diego Fall Runway. Snag raffle items, enjoy music, dance, art, food, shopping and of course the hottest fashions. 6-9 p.m. Harrahs Resort Southern California, 777 Valley Center Rd., Valley Center. fashionweeksd.com

May 14. The quest to find the best taco in America’s Finest City continues at the 2nd annual Tacotopia at Golden Hill Park. Try signature tacos from more than 40 of the top local restaurants as they compete for the “Best Taco” award. Enjoy live music from top Tijuana bands, a cash bar with beer and margaritas and unlimited taco samples. noon- 4 p.m. $65/pp. 2590 Golden Hill Dr., Golden Hill. sandiegoreader.com

Bacon & Barrels
May 21. Bacon enthusiasts will be in “Hog Heaven” at the all day foodie festival. Enjoy chef demos, corn hole tournaments, live music, chef and mixologist demos and more, while taking in the beautiful views of the San Diego Marina. Tickets include festival admission, unlimited bacon dish samples, and access to all libation sampling. $50/pp. 1-5 p.m. Embarcadero Marina Park South, 200 Marina Park Way. baconandbarrels.com

Foodie Fest Encinitas
May 21. Enjoy gourmet tastes from 30+ North County restaurants, “Best of the Fest” chef competition, chef demonstrations on three stages and live music ongoing. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., The Lumberyard, 937 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas. foodiefestencinitas.com

SDCCU North Park Festival of the Arts
May 21. This annual celebration of the arts will feature more than 40 artists showcasing their work, handcrafted jewelry, a kids art block, live music and a craft beer block. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. University Avenue between 30th and 32nd streets, North Park. explorenorthpark.com

I Love Poke Fest
May 24. Taste the best of Hawaiian cuisine at the I Love Poke festival showcasing island-inspired fare created by San Diego’s top chefs and restaurants. Savor poke and island inspired dishes while listening to live music in an island vibe. $65/pp. 6-9 p.m. Bali Hai, 2230 Shelter Island Dr., Shelter Island. onoyum.com

Lagunitas Brews Cruise
May 27. Dance to live 80’s and 90’s party music from Rock of Ages and DJ Saul Q while sampling from more than 20 iconic and limited release brews, aboard a Hornblower yacht. $45/pp. 6:30-10 p.m. 1800 North Harbor Dr., San Diego Marina. socalbrewscruise.com

Chris Stapleton
May 1. American Country and bluegrass singer, Chris Stapleton hits the San Diego stage for a nearly sold-out show at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay. The singer/songwriter is currently promoting his latest album “Traveller.” 2241 Shelter Island Dr., Shelter Island, 619.224.3577. humphreysconcerts.com

The Boy Who Danced on Air
May 5-June 12. Diversionary Theatre presents the world premier musical The Boy Who Danced on Air. The compelling musical reveals the clandestine yet persistent tradition in Afghanistan of Bacha Bazi, where wealthy men purchase boys from poor families, train them as dancers and parade them at parties as their property. Paxman and Feda have spent their young lives confined within this tradition. But when they meet by chance and develop feelings for one another, they embark on a journey towards a new life in uncharted territory. 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.220.0097. diversionary.org

Romeo and Juliet
May 6-8. City Ballet performs the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet complete with elaborate costumes, scenery, lighting and backdrop. City Ballet Orchestra accompanies with Sergei Prokofiev’s timeless score. Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway #600, downtown, 619.235.9500. cityballet.org

City Ballet Romeo & Juliet
City Ballet of San Diego Presents “Romeo & Juliet”

May 9. Rescheduled from her original February date, Rihanna brings her Anti World Tour to San Diego. The pop star will share the stage with Travis Scott. Views Arena at Aztec Bowl, 5500 Canyon Crest Dr., College Heights, 619.594.0429. as.sdsu.edu

May 10-June 12. Based on the true story of famed director William Desmond Taylor’s unsolved murder, this world-premiere play is a noir thriller set in the Golden Age of movies. Mandela Weiss Theatre at the La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.550.1010. lajollaplayhouse.org

May 12. Superstar pop and R&B performer, Beyonce performs in San Diego for the first time since 2007 as a stop on her Formation World Tour. Queen B will be hitting the road to 21 stadiums throughout her tour. Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Rd., Mission Valley, 619.641.3100. stadiumsandiego.com

Camp David
May 13-June 19. Based on the historic Camp David Accords signed between Israel and Egypt in 1978, this new play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright is a riveting and moving story about peace in the Middle East-filled with humor, insight and surprises that are relevant nearly 40 years later. Shirley Stage at the Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623. theoldglobe.org

Billy Joel
May 14. Billy Joel returns to San Diego for the first time in 15 years for a show at Petco Park. The singer/songwriter and composer is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States. 100 Park Blvd., East Village, 619.795.5555. sandiego.padres.mlb.com

Stupid F**king Bird
May 19-June 19. This irreverent, contemporary and funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull wages a timeless battle between you and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.337.1525. cygnettheatre.com

They Don’t Talk Back
May 26-June 5. In this new play, a troubled teen from a broken home receives the culture shock of a lifetime when he is sent to live and work with his grandparents in a Tlingit fishing village in Alaska. This funny, heartfelt exploration of the meaning of family and life emerges in a contemporary coming-of-age story. (Photo Craig Schwartz) La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.550.1010. lajollaplayhouse.org

Tokyo Fish Story
May 28-June 26. Master sushi chef Koji built his successful career on respect-for tradition, fine ingredients and the legends who came before him. But now his restaurant, considered on of the greatest in Tokyo, is losing its customers to newer and flashier places. It’s time for a new generation to take over. Koji’s brilliant protege Takashi might know how to save the restaurant, if only he could find a way to tell his mentor. Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre at The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.1941. theoldglobe.org



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