San Diego’s Top Weekend Events August 18-21: TwainFest, Festival of Books and More


Here are the main events taking place in San Diego from Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21.


Sarah Alida Leclair, left, Andréa Agosto and Sutheshna Mani in Moxie Theater’s “The Pleasure Trials.”

(Moxie Theater)

“Trials of Pleasure”

The Moxie Theater opened its 18th season with Sarah Saltwick’s new play about two researchers who launch a clinical trial for a pill that enhances women’s sexual pleasure. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 2 p.m. on Sunday. Until September 11. Moxie Theater, 6663 El Cajon Blvd., Suite N, San Diego. $25 to $48. (858) 598-7620.


Charl Brown, center, rehearses for Moonlight Stage Productions'

Charl Brown, center, rehearses a scene as ragtime pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Moonlight Stage Productions’ “Ragtime.”

(Courtesy of Fred Tracey)


Moonlight Stage Productions presents this award-winning musical adaptation of EL Doctorow’s novel about three families – white, black and immigrant – in turn-of-the-century New York. 8 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Until September 3. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Moonlight Amphitheater, Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. $17 to $61. (760) 724-2110.

“As You Like It”

The New Fortune Theater presents William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy of love in an outdoor production. 7 p.m. from Friday to Sunday. Until August 28. Exterior Amphitheater of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3598 Talbot St., San Diego. $10-$30 (beach chairs and blankets are recommended).


Woman with telescope looking at stars.  Star gazing woman and night sky.

(Allexxandar/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Julian Natural Wonderfest

The historic mining town presents a family afternoon and evening to celebrate nature. Visit the park kiosks and participate in activities and crafts; meet wildlife ambassadors like hawks and barn owls. Amateur stargazers will have their gear set up for free after-dark viewing of the summer Milky Way, after some twilight tales. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Jess Martin Park, 2663 Apple Lane; car park at Julian and free shuttles. Free.

San Diego Union-Tribune Book Festival

The sixth San Diego Union-Tribune Book Festival on Saturday is the first to be held in person since 2019. It’s also the first in a new home: the University of San Diego campus. This move to USD follows three years of book festivals at Liberty Station in Point Loma and two virtual festivals necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half of the hilltop campus will be used for events, activities and performances, with parking lots at either end of campus and trolley service available for visitors. More than 75 authors will be present in a day-long program that includes more than 50 panel discussions and workshops.10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego. All sessions are free except for the Shiley Main Stage ($5, a portion of which is donated to the San Diego Council on Literacy).


Write Out Loud presents the 13th Annual TwainFest, an all-day event celebrating Mark Twain and the literature and culture of 19th century America. Play old-fashioned arcade games, watch literary performances, and meet some of your favorite classic characters and fellow authors, including Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry David Thoreau. Free books from the Book Emporium for everyone who participates in the activities. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Heritage County Park, 2455 Heritage Park Row, Old Town. Free, but reservations required at

Food Truck Summer Festival

Bates Nut Farm offers plenty of food choices – as well as music – at this gathering, held alongside its Camping Under the Stars event (which is already sold out). Area food vendors will include Two For The Road, Mr. Greek, Margie’s Shuckwagon, Smokin’ Fools BBQ and Mariposa Ice Cream. Live music from the Alias ​​Band, plus Fancy Nancy Faces & Henna, Snow’s Pony Rides, Big Slide and the ever-popular Bates Farm Zoo. 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. Bates Nut Farm, 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center. Free to attend.

Say hello

Balboa Park’s House of the Chamorros (indigenous people of the Mariana Islands) holds its inauguration among the park’s international cottages with a half-day HAFA Adai (“Hi!” or “Hello!”) festival. Learn about Pacific Island culture through guest speakers, information booths, craft demonstrations including bone carving, weaving and jewelry making, and food at this family-friendly event. The house will be blessed at 10 a.m. with spiritual songs by the I Man Urritåo iya Gåni dance troupe from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the local dance troupes Imahen TaoTao Tano and Uno Hit. Musical guests include Parker Yobei, Ben Benavente, Felix Sablan and Island Mist and Friends. 10am-5pm Saturday. Balboa Park International Cottages, 2100 Pan American Road East, San Diego. Free.

Race fans cheer for the second race on opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack.

Horse racing fans cheer for the second race on opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack on Friday July 22, 2022 in Del Mar, Calif.

(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Taco & Beer Festival on the trail

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosts this tasting event with over 50 local and regional beers, seltzers, and tequilas, plus games, DJs, and tacos sold by local vendors.1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Seaside Cabana, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. $40-$55 (ticket includes four 5-ounce beer tasters and free admission to the track).

Gelson Hosts Live Chili Roasting

Carlsbad’s Gelson Supermarket will host a live Hatch chili roasting event on Saturday, and it will serve several ready-to-eat and take-out dishes made with New Mexico’s roasted chiles, including cornbread, salad and macaroni. with cheese. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 7660 El Camino Real, Carlsbad.

Multimedia exhibition

Art Scene West opens an exhibition of over 30 mixed-media abstract artworks by Janet Perkin, whose acrylic and collage works bear influences from Matisse, Bonnard and Klimt. Opens Saturday and closes September 11. 312 S. Cedros Ave., Suite 130, Solana Beach. (888) 847-8993.


“Synergy: The Planets”

The La Jolla Music Society SummerFest continues with two programs featuring choreographer John Heginbotham’s Dance Heginbotham Company. First, at 2 p.m. today, Heginbotham will host a movement and free dance class for people with Parkinson’s and their families. Then, over the weekend, the dancers will be featured in four immersive music and dance performances of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” performed by the New York Knights Orchestra. 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. The JHA, Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. $78. (858) 459-3728.


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