Art Weekend Guide
Pick a fest this weekend: for art, tacos, flowers and more. Photo credit: @ArtWalkSD, via Facebook

Is it summer yet? With festivals busting out all over this San Diego weekend, it sure seems like it, whether you want to see art, taste tequila or get a leg up on celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Where should you go to enjoy the scenes and sights? Try:

  • Balboa Park for Art Alive at the San Diego Museum of Art beginning Friday. The event, at 10 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, features more than 70 floral interpretations of classic artworks. Admission costs $40.
  • Old Town for its Cinco de Mayo festivities, a bit early, at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The free event includes live music, traditional dance, luche libre matches and Lowrider Lane, a display of the distinctive classic cars. Hit San Diego Avenue from Conde to Twiggs streets.
  • Little Italy hosts the free ArtWalk, one of the region’s top arts strolls, at 11 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Look for that new special piece from the 300 artists whose work will be on display while enjoying live music, including from a new partner, Gator by the Bay, which hosts a New Orleans-themed stage in Piazza della Famiglia.
  • Petco Park for the Tequila and Taco Music Festival at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Admission varies based on tasting packages, but starts at $25, fees not included. Performers include Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, cover bands, and ahem, Vanilla Ice.
  • Carlsbad for the free Carlsbad Village Street Faire from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Fan out from State Street and Grand Avenue for more than 750 artisans and other vendors, along with a food court and live entertainment. Best bet – park at the Shoppes at Carlsbad or the Poinsettia train station and catch a shuttle.

Art Alive isn’t the only place for floral marvels. The San Diego Botanic Garden has boasted some rare blooms lately, but the new one, the sapphire tower, is known for its color, not its stank. The striking blue-green flowers, which rise three to four feet above the foliage of the plant, haven’t been in bloom at the Encinitas attraction since 2019. The flowers of the plant, native to Chile, should be visible through early May. General admission starts at $18.

Mainly Mozart and the Autism Society of San Diego hosts “Lights! Camera! Autism!” at 5 p.m. Saturday. The film, music and art showcase highlights works from those on the autism spectrum at UC San Diego @ Park & Market. The event includes an exhibition with the creations of more than 24 autistic artists, and musical performances by pianist and vocalist Bruce Kopstein and the star of the documentary Bass Clef Bliss, Terrence Patridge & Friends Jazz Ensemble. Admission costs $75.

Love a night sky, unmarred by city lights – the better to see the stars and heavenly bodies? Mark the end of International Dark Sky Week, concluding Saturday, by heading to a “certified dark sky place.” What, you say – there is such a thing? Indeed, as decreed by the International Dark Sky Association. Where are these places locally, where one might soak in the celestial beauty? Why, Borrego Springs, Anza Borrego Desert State Park and Julian, accredited as such just one year ago.