Entertainment & Events

A day of great events in SD: Del Mar, Comic-Con and Real Madrid

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There are only a handful of events that could be considered staples of a San Diego summer.  Two of those began yesterday.  With the beautiful weather and a plethora of activities to choose from this afternoon, one could say it’s a great day to be a San Diego resident.

Del Mar Races

And they’re off!

Reach into the closet and pull out the fanciest hat you own.  Prepare to have that persistent television and radio commercial jingle, “where the turf meets the surf at Del Mar,” stuck in your head for the next month.

Yesterday was Opening Day at the Del Mar racetrack.

Truly a one-of-a-kind experience, Opening Day at the races might be one of the most enjoyable, as well as vice-exercising, days that San Diego has to offer.  Over 40,000 people were expected to attend yesterday’s day of debauchery that for many will include stylish outfits, drinking, smoking cigars and gambling on horse races.  As Ron Burgundy would say, “You stay classy San Diego.”

Yesterday was also the day that guests can participate in Del Mar’s annual “One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest,” where entrants are judged on the creativity and style of their hats.  Constants usually produce some gems for headwear so it you don’t get to see them in person, pictures are usually available online afterwards.

For anyone not lucky enough to have the day off, have no worries because the Del Mar races take place every Wednesday through Sunday until September 7th, plenty of time to plan a trip to the track.  Any day after Opening Day is not nearly as crowed but can be just as enjoyable.

Stretch Run admission throughout the rest of the racing season is $6 and Clubhouse admission is $10.

Comic Con at San Diego Convention Center

Comic, Pop Culture Fans Unite!

Summertime in San Diego would not be complete without thousands of people dressed up like superheroes and villains walking around downtown.

Comic-Con is here.

What might have once been stereotyped as a “nerd convention” has grown into arguably one of the most popular events that San Diego has to offer.  Over 130,000 people piled into the San Diego Convention Center for this pop-culture mega-conference last year, and even more are expected to attend this year.

Comic-Con officially begins today at 9:30am and will last until Sunday, but for anyone lucky enough to have scored a ticket, there is a conference Preview Night tonight from 6-9pm.  The North County Times reported last year that all 15,000 four-day passes that included a ticket to this year’s Comic-Con event plus Preview Night sold out two hours before last year’s conference even ended.

It’s tough to even know where to begin when describing the activities available to those in attendance.  Celebrity sightings, sneak previews of new movies, television shows and cartoons, and generally all things pop-culture abound.  This year’s popular events are sure to include panels of directors including Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh and Frances Ford Coppola discussing their upcoming projects, a “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” movie panel in which the actors will discuss the upcoming film and release footage, and panels of actors from popular television shows such as Glee and True Blood, to name a very few.  The conference will also feature actor/director Kevin Smith interviewing actors William Shatner and Avery Brooks as well as cartoonist Mike Judge discussing with fans the return of “Bevis and Butthead.”

If that isn’t enough, just walking around the convention center people-watching is sure to provide hours of entertainment by itself.

Tickets for Comic-Con have been sold out for quite some time, so if you are interested in attending, Craigslist might be your best bet.

If you need to drive anywhere near the convention center this weekend. . . reconsider.

Soccer at Qualcomm

Finally some football!

The NFL lockout may still be in full effect, but that didn’t stop football from being played at 8pm yesterday at Qualcomm Stadium.

Only we don’t call it football here in the United States, we call it soccer.

Fans were in for a treat as Spanish League powerhouse Real Madrid will square off against one of the most successful soccer clubs in Mexico, Chivas de Guadalajara, on the pitch of the Charger’s home field as part of a preseason exhibition tournament called the World Football Challenge.

The match gave soccer enthusiasts the rare opportunity to catch some of the world’s greatest players live in action including Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Photos courtesy of ewen and donabel, americanistadechiapas via flickr and comic-con international via wikimedia commons

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