San Diego Events and Festivals

(San Diego, California - CA, USA)

Given the favorable year-round climate of San Diego, it's no surprise that the local calendar is full of fun-filled outdoor events and quality seasonal attractions, ranging from cultural celebrations to county fairs and film festivals.

January kicks off with both the San Diego Black Film Festival and the Farmers Insurance Open, the latter of which is a professional golfing championship held at the 36-hole Torrey Pines Golf Course and now boasting a prize fund in the region of $6 million.

July is another month that really stands out, with both the US Open Sandcastle Competition and the Comic-Con International drawing thousands to the city. The Comic-Con in particular has grown to become a huge four-day festival hosted by the sizeable San Diego Convention Center and other venues such as both Petco Park and the Marriott Hotel. So many people now attend that crowding issues have been experienced in recent years, with convention tickets being sold out well in advance.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • San Diego Black Film Festival - late January, recognizing African American movies with an awards ceremony, first held in 2003 and now taking place each year during the last week of the month. A related Expo is staged at the Westfield Horton Plaza Mall
  • Farmers Insurance Open - late January, a pro golf tournament established in 1952, won by Tiger Woods on multiple occasions


  • Buick Invitational - mid-February, a popular event held at the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla and attracting the world's top golfers and famous celebrities


  • Ocean Beach Kite Festival - early March, showcasing kite making, decorating and flying competitions


  • No significant festivals in San Diego during April


  • Fiesta Cinco de Mayo - early May, a huge event held in the Old Town celebrating Hispanic culture in a burst of color along with traditional food, dance, music and entertainment, as well as kid's rides and historical re-enactments
  • American Indian Cultural Days - held at Balboa Park and including Native American dancing, music and arts and crafts


  • Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off - late June, a popular street festival featuring plenty of live music and entertainment, art and craft displays, a children's area, hundred's of food booths and the famous chili cook-off
  • San Diego County Fair - mid-June to early July, a spectacular fair featuring live entertainment and hundreds of different rides, based at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on the Jimmy Durante Boulevard


  • US Open Sandcastle Competition - mid-July, held at Imperial Beach, this event sees participants compete using their sandcastle-making skills
  • San Diego Comic-Con International - mid-July, first held in 1970 and attracting more than 125,000 attendees from all over the world. This event is now much more than just 'comic books' and incorporates sci-fi movie and television stars, pop culture, video games, lectures and presentations, collectible toys and animations


  • Hillcrest City Fest - mid-August, a lively street fair featuring plenty of stalls and live entertainment
  • San Diego Street Scene Festival - late August to early September, held in the Gaslamp Quarter and featuring live entertainment, dance exhibitions and food, as well as a number of micro-festivals


  • Pacific Islander Festival - late September, this event celebrates the cultural heritage and arts and crafts of Pacific Islander people from the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia
  • San Diego Asian Film Festival - late September, showcasing over 130 short and feature films from across Asia and North America


  • Little Italy Precious Festa - early October, the West Coast's largest Italian-American festival featuring delicious food, arts and crafts and live entertainment
  • San Diego Girl Film Festival - early October, a thought provoking range of short films made by women about women
  • Oktoberfest - late October, a weekend-long festival featuring heaps of bands who perform across four stages, plenty of traditional food and beer from dozens of breweries and a bratwurst-eating contest


  • San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival - mid-November, a three-day wine tasting and culinary extravaganza


  • Holiday Jazz and Blues Festival - mid-December, a family event featuring Santa, holiday food and entertainment as well as excellent live music
  • San Diego Harbor Parade of Lights - early and mid-December, a spectacular display of lights adorning boats of all sizes
  • Starlight Parade - early December, a huge parade in San Diego featuring carolers, floats, marching bands, a tree-lighting ceremony and Santa Claus