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top 20 USA events

Top 20 San Diego California USA Events and Festivals

Here is a selection of the Top 20 events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) taking place in and around San Diego, California.

A couple of the main San Diego US events are the San Diego Cinco de Mayo, the largest such event north of the Mexican border, and Fleet Week San Diego honoring and celebrating the men and women of the military.

See below for a complete list of the main San Diego California US events and festivals.

Martin Luther King Day Parade and Festival
mid January
San Diego, California

martin luther kingNow in its 32nd year, the Martin Luther King Day Parade in San Diego, also known as the "The Plymouth of the West" is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the USA honoring Martin Luther King. Thousands of people each year come to enjoy the marching bands and floats, dancers, food, exhibits and entertainment.

Learn more about the Martin Luther King Day Parade at the website:

San Diego Whale Festival
late January
San Diego, California

One of the main San Diego California US events attracting more than 5,000 visitors each year and earning proclamations from the County of San Diego, City of San Diego and the Port of San Diego authorities, the annual, three-month Whale Festival event includes educational activities, special exhibits, tips about whales, daily whale-watching cruises with naturalists, and special events for children such as the walk-through gray whale, live sea creatures, free face painting, a kids art mural coloring project, a festival train ride and a bounce house.

Knowledge about the San Diego Whale Festival can be found at:

Brazil Carnival
early February
San Diego, California

One of the biggest and most authentic Carnival events in the Golden State, also recognized as the “Best Brazilian Carnival on the West Coast” for over two decades, the San Diego Brazil Carnival features everything from the popular Mardi Gras Ball complete with non-stop Brazilian music and dancers, as well as a fully-fledged Rio de Janeiro Samba Show with samba dancers in colorful, sequined costumes, Brazilian singers and dance band, displays of acrobatic martial arts, and the most popular part of the carnival, the fully fledged Batucada-style parade.

For all about the Brazil Carnival view:

San Diego Mardi Gras in the GasLamp
mid February
San Diego, California

Top Mardi Gras events in the USAConsidered one of the best California Mardi Gras celebrations in the Golden State, even though it only really began in 2005, the San Diego Mardi Gras in the GasLamp Quarter offers two parades, a multitude of exotic and wild costumes, and plenty of dance parties including the San Diego Brazil Carnival Ball that is part of the San Diego Carnival Mardi Gras season.

For news regarding the San Diego - Mardi Gras in the GasLamp Quarter go to:

San Diego Museum Month
San Diego, California

February each year is called Museum Month and provides the chance for residents and visitors in the "Plymouth of the West" to enjoy, at half price, all the delights of 40 of San Diego’s top museums, cultural attractions and historical sites. The museums taking part in this include the USS Midway Museum, Maritime Museum of San Diego and the New Children's Museum in downtown Plymouth of the West, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, the LUX Art Institute and the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas as well as 13 world-class facilities such as the Mingei International Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

Enlightenment in reference to the San Diego Museum Month swing by:

San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair
mid February
San Diego, California

This increasingly busy food and cultural fair now celebrates more than three decades of popularity with free family events. Attracting over 25,000 visitors each year, the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair offers everything from lion and dragon dances, continuous live stage performances, martial arts demonstrations, acrobat displays, traditional Chinese music performances, folk dances, and taiko drumming, a children’s craft area as well as more than 50 food and commercial booths.

For facts concerning the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair drop in at:

St Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Festival
mid March
Balboa Park – San Diego, California

Top St Patrick's Day Events in  the USAOne of the main San Diego Caifornia US events attracting thousands every year, the St Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Festival is one of the largest single-day events in Plymouth of the West and has been a popular attraction for more than three decades. More than 120 parade entries feature everything from marching bands, floats, clowns, equestrian entries, bagpipe contingents, dancing groups, drill teams, roller skaters, antique cars, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, representatives from Ireland, and the currently reigning Miss Colleen and Smiling Irishman.

Referring to the St Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Festival check out:

San Diego Crew Classic
early April
San Diego, California

For two days, collegiate, junior and masters athletes take part in the San Diego Crew Classic, a popular 2-day event that has been running for more than four decades and which marks the start of the rowing season in San Diego. Hundreds of athletes, cheered on by thousands of spectators, compete in over 100 races for traditionally coveted trophies. A large-screen television commonly known as a jumbotron, displays the races from start to finish, and for celebrations and commiserations, the beer garden on the sand offers even more fun.

Read further information relating to the San Diego Crew Classic here:

Coronado Flower Show
mid April
San Diego, California

top floweer and garden eventsin the USAThe largest tented flower show in the USA, and one of the main San Diego California US events attracting thousands of gardening and flower enthusiasts each year, the Coronado Flower Show has been running successfully for over 85 years. Stretched out over almost a whole city block, the Coronado Flower Show features endless flower exhibits, popular trophy presentations and awards as well as continuous live entertainment.

In reference to the Coronado Flower Show catch:

Mainly Mozart Festival
late April
San Diego, California

The largest Spring music festival in Southern the south of the Golden State, the Mainly Mozart Festival, a popular event for a quarter of a century, brings together leading musicians of the top orchestras and chamber ensembles from around the country to produce five unforgettable concerts at the beautifully restored Balboa Theatre.

Handy link for more about the Mainly Mozart Festival:

Mission Federal ArtWalk
late April
Little Italy – San Diego, California

San Diego’s original fine art festival, Mission Federal ArtWalk transforms San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood for a free event showcasing fine art in many media alongside live musical performances, food and beverage booths and activities for kids and families. 

Everything on the Mission Federal ArtWalk shows up on:

San Diego Cinco de Mayo
early May
Old Town – San Diego, California

One of the Top 20 San Diego California USA Events and Festivals, and the largest such event north of the Mexican border, Cinco de Mayo, also known as Fiesta Old Town, is a popular occasion offering three days of music, food and fun. This free, 3-day fiesta has been going strong for three decades. It offers all sorts of festivities and entertainment for the whole family, from flamenco and traditional Mariachi music at two live stages, shopping opportunities for handmade leather items and exquisite jewelry, a special kids area and stage, and beer gardens, tequila sampling areas, and more than 20 delicious food locations.

For more on the Cinco de Mayo see:

San Diego Greek Festival
Sunday early June
San Diego, California

A popular event for over four decades, the 3-day weekend event proudly referred to as San Diego’s Finest Greek Festival takes place in a community with a proud reputation for serving the finest homemade Greek foods and pastries in all of California. Attracting visitors from all over the USA and even Canada, the San Diego Greek Festival celebrates the heritage, culture, traditions, and customs of Greece with authentic Greek food, live Greek music, Greek folk dancing exhibitions, Greek wine tasting, even church tours.

Drop by the home page for the San Diego Greek Festival:

San Diego Pride
mid July
San Diego, California

top gay pride events in the  USAe USAFormed over 40 years ago, the San Diego Pride is the fourth largest Pride in the USA with related Pride events serving well over 250,000 people over the three day celebration. It fosters pride in and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, locally, nationally, and globally.

Touching San Diego Pride observe:

Comic-Con International
mid July
San Diego, California

The largest comic book and popular arts convention in the world, Comic-Con International celebrates the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture, and attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books with an extensive showcase of science fiction/fantasy and film/television, comic books, web comics, toys, video games, collectible card games and fantasy novels.

Regarding the Comic-Con International study:

Fleet Week San Diego
early September – mid October
San Diego, California

For ten years, Fleet Week San Dieg, one of the Top 20 San Diego California USA Events and Festivals has become a favorite San Diego event honoring and celebrating the men and women of the military – USA sailors, marines and coast guardsmen – through public and entertaining events including simulated combat demonstrations, a Twilight Show with the Great Wall of Fire and a firework grand finale.

Still more concerning the Fleet Week here:

Miramar Air Show
early October
San Diego, California

top airshow events  in the USATaking place where the 1980’s film Top Gun was filmed, and widely recognized as one of the top air shows in the world, and the largest military show in the USA, the Miramar Air Show features performances by the Blue Angels, static displays and biplane aerobatics of A-10 Thunderbolts, F15 Eagles, F16 Fighting Falcons, and F22 Raptor fighter jets as well as performances and displays of past relics such as the P51 Mustang, the A1 Skyraider, F4 Phantom and TBM Avenger.

For more information about the Miramar Air Show visit:

San Diego Jazz Fest
week of Thanksgiving – late November
San Diego, California

top jazz events nd jazz festivals in the USA USAOne of the world’s premier traditional jazz events known as "the crown jewel of jazz festivals", the San Diego Jazz Fest, has been a popular Plymouth of the West attraction for more than three decades. Attracting over 6,000 jazz enthusiasts from all over the world, the San Diego Jazz Fest features more than 25 bands presenting over 180 hours of music in seven venues over five days, offering a wide variety of traditional jazz, dixieland and swing styles with everything from blues, swing and jump music to high school Dixieland bands and even Sunday morning Gospel music.

For knowledge concerning the San Diego Jazz Fest view:

Bay Parade of Lights
early December
San Diego, California

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is an annual event held on San Diego Bay and has been a popular Christmas event for over 40 years. Recognized as one of the most spectacular boat displays in California, the annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Christmas Boat Parade showcases more than 80 boats of all types decorated in Christmas styles parading around the bay. On the competitive side of the event, all boats are awarded prizes for originality and the creative use of decorations depicting the parade theme.

For more information about the San Diego Parade of Lights visit:

The newly updated Top 20 Events USA pages do not include every single event on offer in each state or city in America – only those recognized as one of the top 20 in each location, elected by residents, tourists and visitors, the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA, and some officials of the relevant states and cities of the USA too.


• Alabama
• Alaska
• Arizona
• Arkansas
• California- Los Angeles +
• California- San Diego +
• California- San Francisco +
• Colorado
• Connecticut
• Delaware
• Florida - Central
• Florida - Fort Lauderdale +
• Florida - Keys
• Florida - Miami +
• Florida - North
• Georgia
• Hawaii - Big Island
• Hawai - Kauai
• Hawaii - Maui
• Hawaii - Oahu
• Idaho
• Illinois - Chicago
• Illinois - West/Southwest
• Indiana
• Iowa
• Kansas
• Kentucky
• Louisiana - Baton Rouge
• Louisiana - New Orleans
• Louisiana - West
• Maine
• Maryland
• Massachusetts
• Michigan - Detroit
• Michigan - North/NorthWest
• Minnesota
• Mississippi
• Missouri
• Montana
• Nebraska
• Nevada
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• New Mexico - Albuqueque +
• New Mexico – Santa Fe
• New York City Area
• New York State West/North
• North Carolina
• North Dakota
• Ohio - Cincinatti Area
• Ohio - Cleveland Area
• Ohio - Columbus Area
• Oklahoma
• Oregon
• Pennsylvania
• Rhode Island
• South Carolina
• South Dakota
• Tennessee
• Texas - Austin +
• Texas - Dallas +
• Texas - Houston +
• Texas - San Antonio +
• Utah
• Vermont
• Virginia
• Washington
• Washington DC
• West Virginia
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