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Spring has sprung! Butterflies, cherry blossoms, and kids at the river

Top event picks this week

Sunday, March 12: International Mariachi Festival
Sunday, March 12: International Mariachi Festival

Friday | 10

A celebration in hanami, the Japanese tradition of welcoming spring

Cherry Blossom Festival

This year marks the Japanese Friendship Garden’s 12th annual Cherry Blossom Festival, a celebration in hanami, the Japanese tradition of welcoming spring and appreciating the temporal beauty of nature. Over 30 vendors will offer crafts ranging from handmade goods to kawaii apparel as well as Japanese-style festival foods including okonomiyaki and yakisoba. The Inamori Pavilion hosts a tea garden and beer & sake garden where attendees can sample beverages from vendors such as Sangaria. Each day is filled with performances including taiko, koto, and martial arts demonstrations plus a children’s area offering sustainable crafts and activities, face-painting, and an exhibit by Mari Jarvis, the garden’s resident beekeeper.


Past Event

Shady Ladies and Hop Heads Tour

The historical tour and pub crawl explores the Gaslamp

Shady Ladies and Hop Heads Tour

The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation’s newest walking tour hits the streets — and this time, the bars — of the Gaslamp Quarter. Created in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of New Town San Diego, now downtown, the combination historical tour and pub crawl explores the historic area that was once a teeming red-light district known as the “Stingaree.” Learn about the historic buildings and the colorful characters that populated them. Enjoy a drink (or just a seat) at three historic bars that are original to the Gaslamp Quarter.


Past Event

River Kids Discovery Days

Planting, habitat restoration, art, and more, all for the San Diego River

River Kids Discovery Days

Join the San Diego River Park Foundation for a two-day celebration of the San Diego River with service projects and outdoor education opportunities for kids, giving them a role in protecting natural resources and creating green spaces. Activities include planting, habitat restoration, art, mountain biking, trail restoration, and animal encounters at multiple locations along the San Diego River.


Past Event

Big Thief and Fell Runner

  • Friday, March 10, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10
Brooklyn’s Big Thief

Big Thief

Bringing back the Band, with messy, free-ranging, raw-boned music that sometimes comes with an explicit-language warning, Brooklyn’s Big Thief delivers their Masterpiece to Soda Bar on Friday. Reader rock critic Dave Good breaks down the show in this week’s Of Note.


Saturday | 11

Beer from nearly 100 West Coast craft breweries at the Best Coast Beer Fest

Best Coast Beer Fest

“Taste beer from nearly 100 West Coast craft breweries, enjoy the sweet sounds of local bands, and possibly enjoy a sensible lunch from the food truck alley.” That’s a good way to spend a Saturday, and every ticket supports the charity Cancer for College, helping cancer survivors realize their dream of a college education.


Past Event

Heather McKey: Natural Beauty

  • Saturday, March 11, 2017, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Distinction Gallery, 317 E. Grand Avenue, Escondido
  • Free
Opening reception for the fantastical creatures by Heather McKey

Heather McKey: Natural Beauty

An opening reception for Escondido-based artist Heather McKey with live music, open studios, BK Cellars Wine, and Stone Beer. The exhibition includes 12 new acrylic paintings of fantastical birds, seahorses, and other creatures.


Past Event

Japandroids

  • Saturday, March 11, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
  • Music Box, 1337 India Street, San Diego
  • 21+ / $20 - $22
Craig Finn says We All Want the Same Things

Craig Finn

The former Hold Steady frontman plays the Music Box behind his new record, We All Want the Same Things, on Saturday. Dryw Keltz has a chat with Finn in this week’s issue about going solo. Post-punk Canada band Japandroids headlines.


Butterfly Jungle

Get up close with 10,000 butterflies of all colors and sizes

Butterfly Jungle

Each spring the Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle rainforest greenhouse is filled with 10,000 butterflies of all colors and sizes, and guests can walk among them, take photos, and learn different species using a butterfly identification guide. If you wear bright colors, a few might perch on you to take a closer look. Free with park admission, $42 children, $52 adult.


Sunday | 12

Past Event

International Mariachi Festival

  • Sunday, March 12, 2017, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Pepper Park, 3299 Tidelands Avenue, National City
  • Free
Mariachi music and more

International Mariachi Festival

With world-class mariachi music, ballet folklórico, Aztec dance, a beer garden, free family-friendly activities and inflatables, a rock-climbing wall, water sports, an art pavilion, and more. The mariachi program supports youth in their artistic and educational development. Three hundred students from throughout the United States participate in a two-day music conference at the University of San Diego on March 10 and 11 with instruction by renowned mariachi educators. Those participants will also perform at the festival.

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Sunday, March 12: International Mariachi Festival
Sunday, March 12: International Mariachi Festival

Friday | 10

A celebration in hanami, the Japanese tradition of welcoming spring

Cherry Blossom Festival

This year marks the Japanese Friendship Garden’s 12th annual Cherry Blossom Festival, a celebration in hanami, the Japanese tradition of welcoming spring and appreciating the temporal beauty of nature. Over 30 vendors will offer crafts ranging from handmade goods to kawaii apparel as well as Japanese-style festival foods including okonomiyaki and yakisoba. The Inamori Pavilion hosts a tea garden and beer & sake garden where attendees can sample beverages from vendors such as Sangaria. Each day is filled with performances including taiko, koto, and martial arts demonstrations plus a children’s area offering sustainable crafts and activities, face-painting, and an exhibit by Mari Jarvis, the garden’s resident beekeeper.


Past Event

Shady Ladies and Hop Heads Tour

The historical tour and pub crawl explores the Gaslamp

Shady Ladies and Hop Heads Tour

The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation’s newest walking tour hits the streets — and this time, the bars — of the Gaslamp Quarter. Created in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of New Town San Diego, now downtown, the combination historical tour and pub crawl explores the historic area that was once a teeming red-light district known as the “Stingaree.” Learn about the historic buildings and the colorful characters that populated them. Enjoy a drink (or just a seat) at three historic bars that are original to the Gaslamp Quarter.


Past Event

River Kids Discovery Days

Planting, habitat restoration, art, and more, all for the San Diego River

River Kids Discovery Days

Join the San Diego River Park Foundation for a two-day celebration of the San Diego River with service projects and outdoor education opportunities for kids, giving them a role in protecting natural resources and creating green spaces. Activities include planting, habitat restoration, art, mountain biking, trail restoration, and animal encounters at multiple locations along the San Diego River.


Past Event

Big Thief and Fell Runner

  • Friday, March 10, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10
Brooklyn’s Big Thief

Big Thief

Bringing back the Band, with messy, free-ranging, raw-boned music that sometimes comes with an explicit-language warning, Brooklyn’s Big Thief delivers their Masterpiece to Soda Bar on Friday. Reader rock critic Dave Good breaks down the show in this week’s Of Note.


Saturday | 11

Beer from nearly 100 West Coast craft breweries at the Best Coast Beer Fest

Best Coast Beer Fest

“Taste beer from nearly 100 West Coast craft breweries, enjoy the sweet sounds of local bands, and possibly enjoy a sensible lunch from the food truck alley.” That’s a good way to spend a Saturday, and every ticket supports the charity Cancer for College, helping cancer survivors realize their dream of a college education.


Past Event

Heather McKey: Natural Beauty

  • Saturday, March 11, 2017, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Distinction Gallery, 317 E. Grand Avenue, Escondido
  • Free
Opening reception for the fantastical creatures by Heather McKey

Heather McKey: Natural Beauty

An opening reception for Escondido-based artist Heather McKey with live music, open studios, BK Cellars Wine, and Stone Beer. The exhibition includes 12 new acrylic paintings of fantastical birds, seahorses, and other creatures.


Past Event

Japandroids

  • Saturday, March 11, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
  • Music Box, 1337 India Street, San Diego
  • 21+ / $20 - $22
Craig Finn says We All Want the Same Things

Craig Finn

The former Hold Steady frontman plays the Music Box behind his new record, We All Want the Same Things, on Saturday. Dryw Keltz has a chat with Finn in this week’s issue about going solo. Post-punk Canada band Japandroids headlines.


Butterfly Jungle

Get up close with 10,000 butterflies of all colors and sizes

Butterfly Jungle

Each spring the Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle rainforest greenhouse is filled with 10,000 butterflies of all colors and sizes, and guests can walk among them, take photos, and learn different species using a butterfly identification guide. If you wear bright colors, a few might perch on you to take a closer look. Free with park admission, $42 children, $52 adult.


Sunday | 12

Past Event

International Mariachi Festival

  • Sunday, March 12, 2017, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Pepper Park, 3299 Tidelands Avenue, National City
  • Free
Mariachi music and more

International Mariachi Festival

With world-class mariachi music, ballet folklórico, Aztec dance, a beer garden, free family-friendly activities and inflatables, a rock-climbing wall, water sports, an art pavilion, and more. The mariachi program supports youth in their artistic and educational development. Three hundred students from throughout the United States participate in a two-day music conference at the University of San Diego on March 10 and 11 with instruction by renowned mariachi educators. Those participants will also perform at the festival.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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