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26 Things to Do in August 2011

August 1-29

Dr. Seuss’s Secrets of the Deep
Dr. Seuss fans will head to downtown’s animation mecca—the Chuck Jones Gallery—for this premiere exhibition of little-known Seuss creations, limited editions, and incredibly rare originals. An opening night reception will be held on July 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. 619-294-9880, chuckjonesgallery.com.

August 2

Nook Dining
Old Town’s happening Harney Sushi launches a new offering for dinner guests with an adventurous appetite. The first Tuesday of every month, a select group of eight diners can experience an intimate 10-course tasting menu in a private booth tucked away with a group of friends. 619-295-3272, harneysushi.com.

August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Roppongi Summer Socials
Nothing says summer like sipping specialty cocktails on a seaside patio. Roppongi in La Jolla invites mid-week revelers to spend their Wednesday nights socializing around the outdoor fire pit at its Summer Social, scheduled through Labor Day. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 858-551-5252, roppongiusa.com.

August 4

Culinary Cinema Series
The Oceanside Museum of Art invites film-loving foodies to combine their love of cinema and culinary arts at this unique event series. This month, the museum hosts a pre-film reception and screening of Noodle, an award-winning Israeli film, followed by a casual cocktail party featuring samplings of Israeli cuisine. 6 p.m. 760-435-3721, oma-online.org. 

August 5-7

Latin American Festival & Mata Ortiz Pottery Market
The Bazaar Del Mundo comes to life with authentic artistry at this annual folk art festival, featuring traditional clothing and textiles, collectibles and jewelry, music, and Mexican cuisine. 619-296-3161, bazaardelmundo.com.

August 6

Del Mar Beer Fest and Weezer Concert
Each year, the Del Mar Racetrack proves it’s about so much more than just the ponies with its incredible lineup of festivals and concerts. This year is no exception, as the venue brings back Weezer for a Saturday show on its Seaside Stage, alongside another hugely popular event: the Del Mar Beer Fest, featuring more than 60 brews on tap. 1 p.m. 858-755-1141, delmarscene.com

August 7

Lemon Festival
San Diego County’s southern city of Chula Vista recognizes its roots as the “Lemon Capital of the World” at this 15th annual street fair, which has less to do with lemons than it does with live music, vendors, food, and family fun. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 619-422-1982, thirdavenuevillage.com.

August 7

Luxurious Ladies Day at the Races
Once again, Del Mar doesn’t disappoint—especially if you’re a gal in need of a serious spa-cation. Spa Gregorie’s takes over the racetrack’s Seaside Cabana offering ladies free mini spa treatments, salon services, shopping, and wine sipping. Why bet on the horses when you can indulge in this sure thing? Complimentary passes are available at Spa Gregorie’s locations. Noon. 858-481-6672, spagregories.com.

August 8

Coronado Grub Sprawl
Foodies cross the bridge for tasty bites of some of Coronado’s best restaurants at sample-sized prices during this Grub Sprawl. Simply snag a free wristband at the sprawl’s start, The Brigantine, then stroll your way to participating restaurants for a $5 sample of that spot’s specialty. 6 to 10 p.m. grubsprawl.com.

August 9

Katy Perry
“California Gurl” Katy Perry brings her bubblegum hits—and possibly kooky hubby Russell Brand—to the Valley View Casino Center for a night of catchy pop and guilty pleasure. 7:30 p.m. 619-224-4171, katyperry.com.

August 13

BrewFest Encinitas
Mira Costa College’s San Elijo Campus caters to craft beer lovers at this evening event featuring San Diego’s finest beer brands—including Stone Brewing Co., Ballast Point and Pizza Port—accompanied by finger foods galore from a fleet of gourmet food trucks. 4 to 7 p.m. brewfestencinitas.com.

August 13

Everyone’s Italian in Little Italy’s Amici Park, which is transformed into old Venice at this second annual Venetian masquerade, where costumed guests dine on food from fine local restaurants—including Bencotto, Acqua Al 2, and Craft & Commerce—and sip prosecco and limoncello in true Italian fashion. 6 to 10 p.m. ferragostosd.org.

August 13

The Perfect Picnic
If you haven’t planned a picnic lately, now’s the time—especially after learning all the tricks to throwing the hippest picnic on the planet from Snake Oil Cocktail’s Ian Ward, Searsucker and Whisknladle’s Lucien Connor, and EGO Culinary Trends’ Chef Chad White at this hands-on class at Cups Culinary. Map of San Diego’s top 10 picnic spots included; BYOB (the last B is for blanket). 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. 858-459-2877, cupslj.com.

August 14

CityFest 2011
Hillcrest gets fabulous at this 27th annual festival, which attracts more than 150,000 revelers to its vendor booths, live music stages, and, of course, beer garden. Noon to 9 p.m. 619-299-3330, fabuloushillcrest.com.

August 15

Phil’s Big BBQ at the Ballpark
Forget peanuts and Cracker Jack! At this ballgame it’s all about barbequed chicken and ribs, as the always-awesome Phil’s BBQ sets up shop at PETCO Park for its annual tailgate fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Your $25 ticket allows you to get your grub on and then watch the Padres take on the New York Mets—all to benefit Operation Bigs, a program for kids with deployed military parents. 5 to 7 p.m. 858-536-4900 ext. 205, philsbbq.net. 

August 17

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
For decades, Steve Martin has shown his comedic chops in stand-up routines, television appearances, and an endless list of movies, from The Jerk to Three Amigos. These days, he lends his talent to a totally different genre: the musical world of bluegrass. This month, Martin joins the Steep Canyon Rangers on stage at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay for a toe-tapping banjo bonanza. 8 p.m. 800-745-3000, humphreysconcerts.com.

August 19

Best of San Diego Party
If you like what you see in this month’s Best of San Diego issue, you’ll love what you experience at the year’s not-to-be-missed celebration of the best of the best our fine city has to offer. Always a sell-out, the event at NTC Promenade at Liberty Station treats attendees to food samplings, fashion, fine wine, and craft beer. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. sandiegomagazine.com.

August 20

Gourmet Food Truck Festival
It used to be that the only food truck you’d be excited to see was the one that played static-filled music and was driven by the ice cream man. These days, you can find all your food groups, and then some, in the magical meals on wheels known as gourmet food trucks—40 of which will be on-hand offering their eclectic treats at the Del Mar Racetrack’s inaugural food feast. Noon to 6 p.m. 858-755-1141, delmarscene.com.

August 25

San Diego Symphony:
The Music of the Rolling Stones
It’s the music of Mick Jagger and the boys as you’ve never heard it before at this San Diego Symphony tribute to The Rolling Stones, performed on the Summer Pops stage at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. 7:30 p.m. 619-235-0804, sandiegosymphony.org.

August 25-28

Julian StarFest
Stargazers will be in their glory at the Menghini Winery in Julian, which hosts this four-day fest for amateur astronomers who camp out under the stars, tour the skies through abundant telescopes, and simply enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors. julianstarfest.com.

August 27

Symphony at Salk
Broadway superstar Idina Menzel headlines this year’s performance along with the San Diego Symphony at the spectacular Salk Institute. The 16th annual event includes a champagne reception and dinner prepared by Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille. 5:30 p.m. 858-453-4100, salk.edu.

August 27

Grape Stomp 2011
Kick up your heels, hitch up your skirt and channel your inner Lucille Ball as Orfila Winery in Escondido rolls out the barrels for its annual harvest event, featuring food, live music, vineyard tractor rides, and a ton of grape-stomping fun. 4 to 8 p.m. 760-738-6500 ext. 27, orfila.com.

August 27

Liberty Station Movie Mania
It’s Avatar under the stars at Liberty Station, which presents its free summer movie series. Screenings start at dusk, but arrive early to enjoy food and drink deals from Wine Steals and Sail Ho Bar & Grill. libertystation.com.

August 27

Carnaval do Rio
Fluff up your feather boa, don your sassiest sequins and head down to the New Children’s Museum for the hottest carnaval this side of Rio, where you’ll sip caipirinhas, feast on Brazilian churrascaria, and dance like it’s the Copacabana. 6 p.m. to midnight. 619-233-8792, thinkplaycreate.org.

August 27

Beer Con
For one day only, the best speakers and the best beers will come together to celebrate craft beer.  Beer-Con is a unique beer conference open to the public where attendees will get exclusive insider access to the world of craft beer.  A line-up of industry pros from around the country has been assembled in order to bring you a full day of learning, sharing, and tasting of great craft brews. beer-con.com

August 28

Ride the Bridge - Bike the Bay
For this month’s fitness fix, bicycle enthusiasts of all ages and abilities get the rare opportunity to bike their way across one of San Diego’s most famous landmarks: the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. This “fun ride”—which organizers insist is “not a race” —meanders 25 miles through San Diego, Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, and National City before concluding at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. Bonus: If you’re thirsty after biking 25 miles, a Karl Strauss beer garden awaits. 6:30 a.m. 619-269-6873, bikethebay.net.

August 31

Taste at the Cove
If you hear “Hell’s Bells” in your head at this 10th annual tasting event and fashion show at Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove, you’re not going crazy—it’s just former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman arriving to accept the honor of community legend. 5 to 8:30 p.m. 858-492-1116, tasteatthecove.com.