A wreath was laid on the steps of the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial in a holiday ceremony.
A wreath laid on the steps of the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial in 2018. Photo by Chris Stone

There’s ample opportunity to enjoy this long San Diego weekend, but Memorial Day has a serious intent too, to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s conflicts. No matter how big the city, San Diego, a military town at its core, offers up chances to pay heed.

They include:

  • Miramar National Cemetery hosts its first Memorial Day event since 2019, at 1 p.m. Sunday. The ceremony marks the 50th anniversary of women serving in naval aviation, and will include the 2022 county Veteran of the Year, Joshua Prado of the Navy.
  • The activities at Midway Museum begin at 9 a.m. Monday with a Memorial Day Wreath Ceremony to honor the fallen, along with musical performances throughout the day, leading up to the 3 p.m. National Moment of Remembrance.
  • The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial will honor WWII Navy Aviation Radioman 3rd Class Walter Mintus, at 11 a.m. Monday, along with those missing in action, killed in action and service members who have been repatriated. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell.

Ready for a summer kickoff treat? Indulge in arts, food and music at multiple fests, most outdoor, throughout the county.

The Black Arts Festival, continuing through Sunday, celebrates actors, playwrights, musicians, visual artists and more. There will be 2 p.m. readings each day, including of Barbeque by Robert O’Hara, at the event, presented by the Old Globe Theatre, in partnership with the San Diego Black Artist Collective, with evening showcases as well. Tickets to individual shows cost $25.

The Summer Movies in the Park season opens Friday at the downtown Waterfront Park with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. The free event opens at 6 p.m. with lots of extras leading up to the movie, from food trucks to bounce houses and crafts. Dogs are welcome.

The Lebanese Food Festival at St. Ephrem Catholic Church in El Cajon opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday with Lebanese food, live music and dancing in the evening, and folkloric performances throughout the day. Enjoy a beer and wine garden, carnival games and a raffle too. Admission is $5.

The North Park Music Fest begins a two-day run Saturday, fanning out from North Park Mini Park on 29th Street. Acts include Kate Clover, Mr. Tube & the Flying Objects, Wild Wild Wets, El Ten Eleven, The Mattson 2 and Well Well Well. Gates open at 11 a.m. both days, and there’s a Friday preview night too, at Seven Grand and Queen Bee’s, with four bands. For the main fest, passes cost $45 for one day and $60 for two.

Obviously, one wants to dip into the namesake goodies at the Vista Strawberry Festival, but at this fest dressing as the fruit is acceptable too. Start at East Broadway and South Indiana Avenue at 8 a.m. Sunday and fan out for entertainment on three stages, a kids zone, contests, a film fest and more. Park at the Vista courthouse or high school for free spaces and shuttles. The event is free, but some contests and other features have a fee.

Festival del Caribe drops in at Liberty Station Sunday, featuring Los Van Van, Tipica 73 and La Verdad, along with other singers and performers, in a program that starts at noon. General admission for the fundraiser, to benefit the House of Music, costs $75.