Entertainment & Events

This weekend in SD: Bluegrass, Brazil and saving the environment

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The summer season may be winding down, but that isn’t stopping San Diego from serving up a host of events this weekend that will offer a little something for everyone.  Those looking to get some exercise while supporting a cause can hop on a surfboard and paddle to save the ocean, or if a relaxing day in the sun is the preferred mode of entertainment, check out one of two daytime festivals featuring live music, food and culture on Saturday and Sunday.  Then, of course, there’s always two days worth of concerts from Bon Iver or a San Diego State Aztecs home football game to consider as well.

Julian Bluegrass Festival

When was the last time you took a drive out through the beautiful countryside lying just to the east of this city?  When was the last time you heard a fiddle or a banjo live?  Or how about ate a delicious slice of apple pie?

All of this awaits you in the small mountain town of Julian this Saturday and Sunday at the annual Julian Bluegrass Festival, just a little over an hour away.

The country style atmosphere of the Bluegrass Festival is the place to be for arts, crafts, children’s activities and a banjo and fiddle contest taking place each day this weekend.  And of course, don’t forget about a slice (or several) of famous Julian pie.  There are plenty of places to camp in the surrounding Cleveland National Forest and Cuyamaca State Park just outside of Julian as well, so a whole weekend worth of fun with family and friends could be made out of it.  Tickets for the festival are $15 for anyone over the age of 16, which is also about the price of a whole Julian Pie.  You’ll need to know that because you probably will not be leaving without one.

Bon Iver

On both Friday and Saturday night, indie-folk band Bon Iver will perform a show at downtown’s Spreckles Theater.  Originally scheduled for just a Friday night show, the band decided to add a second show on Saturday after its first show sold out tickets in just a couple of hours, giving everyone another opportunity to catch this new up-and-coming act while they’re in town.

Bon Iver, led by Wisconson-born singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, was formed back in 2007 and has released two albums thus far.  Their first, “For Emma, Forever Ago” was released in 2007 and achieved some success in the United States but was much more critically acclaimed over seas.  The bands most recent record, a self-titled album released in just this past June, has enjoyed much wider success, including a No. 2 spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart.  Tickets for the second show are still available through Ticketmaster or the Spreckles Theater website starting at $35, but tickets for the first show can also be found on Craigslist.

Brazilian Day

Brazil’s official Carnival festival isn’t for another six months, but that won’t stop San Diegans from partying Brazilian style this Sunday down in Pacific Beach.

The 4th annual Brazilian Day San Diego Festival will start at 11 a.m. on Garnet Avenue in the heart of Pacific Beach and will feature “two stages with over 40 performances and a Carnival parade featuring over 20 parade groups and floats, including Brazilian percussion samba dancer groups.”

The event is family oriented and non-alcoholic, which, yes, is hard to believe for Pacific Beach, but it’s free to the public so head down to the beach for a taste of Brazilian culture.

San Diego State Aztecs football game and fireworks

The San Diego Chargers may have an away game this Sunday, but that wont stop football from being played at Qualcomm Stadium.  The San Diego State Aztecs will play a home game against the Washington State Cougars on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

The Aztecs are off to a hot start with a record of 2-0 as they return home this weekend to face their toughest opponent yet, and $10 can score a seat that’s extremely close to the field.  It’s the only day game the Aztecs play this year, so it’s a great chance to enjoy some sun while enjoying some football.  Plus, the KGB SkyShow, the largest fireworks display in San Diego, will be held immediately following the game.  Not a bad afternoon.

Paddle for Clean Water

If festivals, football and concerts aren’t you’re scene, at least grab a surfboard and head down to Ocean Beach this Sunday morning to get some exercise for the sake of the environment.  The 20th annual Paddle for Clean Water will take place at 9 a.m. at the Ocean Beach Pier.

According to the website: “The Paddle for Clean Water is a non-competitive event that consists of over 1000 local surfers and ocean enthusiasts paddling around the Ocean Beach Pier in a joint effort to bring awareness to the pollution problem along San Diego’s coastline.”

The event is free to anyone willing to participate with any human-powered paddlecraft, and breakfast will be served to all paddlers immediately following the event.  There will also be guest speakers, a beach cleanup session, and a raffle that includes surfboards as well as other various surf attire donated from local vendors.  Plus you’ll wake up on Monday feeling good about yourself and your effort to save the planet, although you might be a little sore from all the paddling.

photos courtesy of skinnybassplayingguy via flickr and the Brazilian Government via wikimedia commons

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