Things to do in San Diego in summer 2021 – NBC 7 San Diego
As pandemic-era restrictions lift and San Diego County continues to reopen Return to California on June 15 – some of the biggest local events that were forced to fall into obscurity in 2020 will rise again in the summer of 2021. Here’s a look at some of the San Diego staples returning this summer.
US Open Championship (June 17 to June 20)
Not an annual San Diego event but always special, the USGA US Open Championship arrives at Torrey Pines Golf Course June 17-20. NBC 7 SportsWrap will follow all the action leading up to the big tournament, during the event and after.
Pandemic modifications: Unlike the annual Farmers Insurance Open at the Torrey Pines Golf Course last January, spectators – with limited capacity – will be allowed into the US Open Championship. California residents will be able to attend by providing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Fans coming from out of state will need to provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated two weeks or more before the tournament. Face masks will be required.
The famous Southern Course is set to become a major challenge for the world’s best golfers, just as it was in 2008.
San Diego County Fair (June 11 to July 4)
The event that always starts in the summer in San Diego is the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar. In June 2020 – at the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and the summer outbreak of local cases – the event was canceled . But this summer – from June 11 to July 4 – the fair is back for a smaller, shorter version of itself – with pandemic era changes, including participation capacity limits.
After more than a year at various stages of COVID restrictions in San Diego County, the theme for this year’s fair is “Home Grown Fun,” and the event is billed as a place families can “hang out for. some real life, in person and some fun at home. As always, the fair will feature all kinds of food, shopping, demos, agricultural themed exhibits, live magic, contests, pig races, pony rides and access to the Ferris wheel and the carousel. The doors will open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (they are closed Monday and Tuesday). Tickets – which cannot be purchased in advance online this year – costs $ 10 for ages 6 and up and free for children up to age 5. Parking costs $ 12 (must also be purchased in advance). For more on things to do this year at the San Diego County Fair, read it.
Pandemic changes: Among the changes to this 2021 mini season of the show, there is the sale of tickets online only which includes a arriving time for visitors (this will help limit the number of people inside the fairground at any given time). Contactless payment is also recommended for all purchases at the fair, and some sellers may not accept cash, so keep that in mind.
According to the show website, all customers aged 2 and over must wear a face shield. Employees will also be masked – including those who have been vaccinated. Guests will be given temperature control with a non-contact thermometer and anyone with a temperature of 100.8 degrees or above will not be allowed entry. Various hand disinfection and hand washing stations will be operational at the fair, as well as signs announcing health and safety rules for visitors.
The San Diego County Fair typically attracts 1.5 million visitors each summer and is the largest annual local event and one of the 10 largest fairs in the U.S. In non-pandemic years, the season typically extends from the beginning of June to approximately July 4.e vacation.
The Big Bay Boom (July 4)
The Big Bay Boom – the long-running July 4th fireworks display in San Diego, known for lighting the skies around the downtown waterfront – will return live this summer, the Port of San Diego confirmed earlier this week. The show was of course canceled last July amid the local surge in COVID-19 cases at that time.
The port said the fireworks will take place in its traditional format: it will last 20 minutes and start at 9 p.m. on July 4. As always, spectators will be able to view the show from these areas of San Diego Bay:
- Shelter Island
- Harbor Island
- North Embarcadero
- South Embarcadero
- Cesar E. Chavez Park
- Disembarking from the Coronado ferry
People can also watch from the water, in their boats. More visualization information can be found here.
The Big Bay Boom event typically draws around 500,000 spectators to the downtown San Diego waterfront. The San Diego Tourism Authority told NBC 7 this week that the event is expected to be a big draw.
By the way, the people of San Diegans will remember Big Bay Boom 2012 – when all the fireworks scheduled for the 20-minute show went off at the same time. We have this video in our NBC archives 7 here.
In 2012, the Big Bay Boom fireworks display did not go as planned. With no show in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, let’s look back on another strange year.
Pride of San Diego (July 10 to July 18)
As in summer 2020, San Diego Pride goes virtual again in July – at least for its grand pride parade – and shrinks a bit due to the pandemic. The 2021 Pride celebration is scheduled for July 11 through July 18, and while some of them are virtual, organizers are also planning to offer limited capacity in-person events. The list of events is expected to be announced the first week of June and capacity could increase as Pride Week draws closer and new health restrictions are lifted.
Here’s what San Diego Pride has planned for this July, so far:
- July 10: She Fest (in-person event)
- July 14: Light up the Cathedral (in-person event)
- July 16: Spirit of Stonewall Rally (in person event)
- July 16-18: Virtual Pride 5K (virtual event)
- July 17: Pride Live (virtual – replaces the Pride Parade as the biggest celebration of the week)
For more details on San Diego Pride 2021, visit this website.
Del Mar Racing (July 16 to September 6)
The 2021 horse racing season at Del Mar Motor Circuit is scheduled to run from July 16 to September 6, 2021 and tickets are expected to go on sale from June 18. The Del Mar Racing calendar shows the famous Opening day hat contest is also July 16.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced on Friday that it plans to open its 2021 summer competition with 100% capacity for fans in its seats. A press release added: “This decision was made in accordance with state and county public health guidelines effective June 15, 2021.”
San Diego Comic-Con International (VIRTUAL Event July 23 – July 25)
For the second July in a row, San Diego Comic-Con International – at least its traditional in-person summer weekend event in downtown San Diego – will not take place this season. But if we’ve learned anything from superheroes and avid Comic-Con fans over the years, it’s not all that way. There is more to the plot.
Instead, San Diego Comic-Con International 2021 will transform into Comic-Con @ Home, an exclusively virtual event that runs July 23 through July 25. Comic-Con @ Home details to be released here.
SDCC 2021 has canceled all in-person activities due to COVID-19. It will become rather virtual, as it did in 2020.
In the fall, Comic-Con organizers are planning a smaller in-person event dubbed Comic-Con Special Edition, a bonus offer that runs from November 26-28.
“We hope that at this point conditions will allow for such in-person public gatherings. As details are being finalized, the cost of badges, ability to participate and related information will become available, ”the Comic-Con website says.
Comic-Con returns to San Diego this fall for its first * in-person * event since the start of the pandemic. As NBC 7’s Lauren Coronado reports, the scaled-down convention is slated for Thanksgiving weekend and local businesses are eager to wait.
Bayside Concerts at Rady Shell (August 6 to November 14)
The San Diego Symphony recently unveiled its new permanent bayfront performance venue along South Embarcadero: The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The outdoor venue was supposed to debut in the summer of 2020 but, you know, COVID.
The Rady Shell is where the Symphony will host its annual summer concert series – formerly known as Bayside Summer Nights – and earlier this month the venue’s inaugural season lineup was released. .
The live performances will begin on August 6 and end on November 14 and will range from classical acts to Latin acts, including jazz, pop, Broadway and comedy. Films will also be screened there, supported by a full orchestra playing the sheet music live – from “Rocketman” to “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”. Tickets can be purchased in packages that include multiple shows here.
CityFest 2021 (August 8)
CityFest, the 39e the annual dance and street fair party in the heart of Hillcrest, will return, in person, in August. Organizers said the event is slated for August 8, with DJs and live music on the main stage, as well as more than 250 vendors lined up in the 6-block party area. Other highlights: an international food court, the 21+ beer garden and a new kid’s area for the little ones. More information about CityFest 2021 can be found here.
As some of those big events make a modified comeback this summer, the San Diego Tourism Authority told NBC 7 this week that the city’s outdoor amenities – along with reopened attractions and museums – should help tourism, too. to recover a little this summer. The Tourism Authority has said this summer will be a “year of transition” for events as they are slowly starting to return.
With some events back on the calendar, some local business owners are having hope – for the first time in a long time.
“It was essentially a ghost town during the pandemic,” said Gerald Torres, owner of City Tacos in San Diego’s East Village.
Torres is now up and running for business and ready for a busy summer.
“It makes you want to hire more employees and prepare for these things,” he added.
California’s wider reopening on June 15 will also likely boost events and tourism.
Travel to San Diego is picking up, but limitations on major events are one of the latest obstacles to tourism numbers returning to normal, reports NBC 7’s Priya Sridhar.