The statue symbolizing the celebration of Victory Day in 1945 sits adjacent to the USS Midway Museum.
The statue symbolizing the celebration of Victory Day in 1945 sits adjacent to the USS Midway Museum. Photo by Chris Stone

It may not look like it this San Diego weekend – go away May Gray! – but Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Re-visit a classic summer blockbuster, taste some juicy goodies in North County and make some time Monday to send a heartfelt thank you to the universe.

Feelin’ the need … the need for speed? Top Gun – in which San Diego played a not-insignificant role – gets an update in Top Gun: Maverick, out this week. Tom Cruise, of course, is back, with Miles Teller as the new hotshot pilot. It’s in heavy rotation at theaters throughout the region, including AMC Fashion Valley and Mission Valley, and two areas with notable Navy presences – The Lot at Liberty Station in Point Loma and the Village Theater in Coronado.

Of course, national service goes far deeper than movie thrills, and some who serve pay the ultimate price. The Midway Museum has a full slate of commemorations for Memorial Day, beginning Friday, from the Remembrance Wall to a meet-the-aviators session. The events, which include music by a U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary band, lead up to Monday’s 9 a.m. Memorial Wreath drop and 3 p.m. national moment of silence.

The Santee Street Fair includes an early start, with the Boy Scouts’ pancake breakfast opening at 7 a.m. For those who prefer to rise later, the free fest begins at 10 a.m. with vendors, a beer garden and more at Riverview and Town Center Parkway.

Strawberries will be the main attraction in Vista this weekend. Photo credit: @VistaStrawberryFestivalvia Facebook

Enjoy berries galore at the free Vista Strawberry Festival, at Main Street and Indiana Avenue, beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday. There’s all the goodness a berry fan could want, plus music, 70 vendors, crafts and contests. Add in a play zone and breweries too and what’s not to like?

What is summer all about? North Park’s Lafayette Hotel gets down to basics with its Sip & Swim pool parties, which kick off for the season at noon Sunday. Break out your best suit and enjoy live DJs, cocktails and more. Tickets, limited to those 21 and up, cost $40. The shindigs take place on several Sundays through Sept. 4.

It’s the first weekend for the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, which opened Monday. The Lyceum Theatre hosts the free The Dancing Room at 6 p.m. Sunday, while Nissim Black – a hiphop artist whose recent releases have attracted more than 7 million views on YouTube – performs at 7 p.m. Monday at Leichtag Commons in Encinitas. Tickets for the concert start at $18. The fest continues through July.