San Diego

Weekend roundup

February 24-27


Kuumba Fest at San Diego REP

Feb. 24-27. Returning with its 30th annual installment, San Diego’s longest-running, premier celebration of African-American heritage and expression takes place virtually and in person at San Diego Repertory Theatre (aka the REP). Join community leaders, celebrities and local performers for a showcase of Black American culture—including hip-hop dance and speech competitions, short plays, educational workshops and a gospel concert finale; plus an African marketplace showcasing local arts and crafts vendors. See website for daily schedule of events and tickets. Lyceum Theater, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown.

Gaslamp Mardi Gras & Fat Tuesday Bash

Feb. 25-26 and March 1. Head to the Gaslamp Quarter for the top-rated Mardi Gras celebration on the West Coast. The experience comprises cocktails and entertainment inspired by Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. Tickets include entry to around a dozen bars, restaurants and clubs; live music, DJs and dancing; food and beverage specials; access to after-parties; discounted parking and hotel packages; and more. The opening party kicks off on Friday at American Junkie (628 Fifth Ave.), 6-9 p.m. See website for details and pricing. Along Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter. More Info

“Sweet Paws, Sweet Shade Pawty”

Feb. 26. Grab your canine bestie and head to Little Italy Dog Park for some fun in the sun … and in the shade, too. Hosted by popular pet-sitting company TrustedHousesitters, the event celebrates the park’s new shade structure, giving pups a break from the sun and heat in between romping. Festivities include complimentary pet caricatures for attendees; human treats and coffee from Cafe Caritazza; and a chance to win goodies from Papaya Pet Care and a premium TrustedHousesitters membership. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free entry. 254 W. Date St., Little Italy. More Info

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Upcoming | Opens March 1. An Instagram influencer’s dream backdrop, The Flower Fields span 50 rolling acres of flora in full bloom—very fitting for the property’s 2022 theme: “Escape Into Color.” Visitors can roam among Giant Tecolote ranunculus flowers, orchids, roses and sweet-pea blossoms—totaling more than 70 million flowers. The ranch also features landscaped display gardens, a sweet-pea maze and flower-filled greenhouses; plus unique experiences such as the “American Flag of Flowers” and tractor-wagon rides. Open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 5704 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, 760.431.0352.

Food + Drink

New Brunch Menu at Kettner Exchange

Now Available. The Little Italy hot spot unveils a refreshed Sunday Brunch menu—dreamt up by executive chef Brian Redzikowski—of nostalgic dishes with Japanese influences. Try the new breakfast rice bowl (pictured) with soft-scrambled eggs, sauteed kale, broccoli and curry aioli; the “Pig Mac Bao” with pork belly; Okonomiyaki roasted potatoes; and Szechuan-fried chicken. Brunch cocktails include the Butterfly Lai Thai with Butterfly Pea Blossom gin; the mezcal-based Razzle; and Scouts Honor with cacao rum and crème de menthe. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 2001 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.255.2001.


Open. What started as a tiny pop-up restaurant in Oceanside has grown into its own permanent brick-and-mortar outpost. Chef William Eick is an architect of modern Japanese cuisine, but you won’t find traditional sushi rolls here. Instead, diners are offered a four-course menu, with dishes incorporating Japanese and local seasonal ingredients—such as tempura unagi, A5 wagyu with dandelion, buttery-sweet sablefish and duck with turnips and persimmon. Or double the indulgence and splurge on the eight-course omakase menu. Th-M 4-10 p.m. 626 S. Tremont St., Oceanside, 760.338.8902.

Fat Tuesday Crawfish Boil at Ranch 45

Upcoming | March 1. A true taste of Bourbon Street comes to Solana Beach for this southern-style celebration at Ranch 45 butchery and eatery. Offerings include a traditional crawfish boil with Mardi Gas-inspired fixings—complete with sausage, potatoes and corn—plus Cajun jambalaya, old-fashioned beignets, beer, wine and more. Food items can be ordered online in advance for pickup (while supplies last); or guests can enjoy on Ranch 45’s spacious outdoor patio, located across from the Del Mar Racetrack. 2-7 p.m. 512 Via de la Valle, Solana Beach, 858.461.0092.

Arts + Culture

David Castañeda Concert at Museum of Making Music

Feb. 26. As part of The San Diego Sound Project concert series, the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad presents an evening with David Castañeda (pictured). Drawing from his extensive background in modern jazz and the music of Brazil, Cuba and the U.S., the composer and multi-instrumentalist performs original music with influences from the Caribbean and across the Americas. See website for safety protocols. 7-9 p.m. $20 general seating (free livestream access). 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, 760.438.5996.

Oceanside Museum of Art Anniversary Gala

Feb. 26. A trailblazer of North County’s art scene, Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) kicks off its 25th anniversary under the stars at the new oceanfront Seabird Resort. The centerpiece: a decadent dessert display—created by chef Roberto Alcocer of Valle restaurant and chef Kurtis Habecker of the property’s Piper restaurant—featuring spicy Mayan chocolate roulade, lemon bars, local fruit tarts and more. Guests can also enjoy visual art projections, live music and dancing, with proceeds benefiting OMA’s educational and community programming. 8:30-11 p.m. $60 per person. 101 Mission Ave., Oceanside. Tickets

San Diego Symphony Tchaikovsky Concert

Feb. 26. Watching maestro Rafael Payare (pictured) in action conducting the San Diego Symphony is an electrifying experience, and Saturday night’s special concert promises to be no exception. An orchestral piece composed by Andrew Norman opens the show; followed by Piotr Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Fourth Symphony. As an added treat, trumpeter Pacho Flores performs the U.S. premiere of a new concerto by Venezuelan composer Paquito D’Rivera—a jazzy tribute to the people of Venezuela. 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown, 619.235.0804.

Photo credits: The Flower Fields by Marcie Gonzalez. Ranch 45 by Haley Hill Photography. Kettner Exchange by James Tran. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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