April 17 2013 02:00 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week


1 Party for preservation

Chicano Park is celebrating two major milestones this year. Not only is the park celebrating its 43rd anniversary; it was also recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

That means the park, with its long and rich cultural history and significance to the Chicano and Mexican-American community, will be preserved by the National Park Service. It's a godsend for those who've been working to fight gentrification in Barrio Logan and were active in getting the land turned into a park in 1970.

"One of our members"—of the activist Chicano Park Steering Committee—"entered the park in the National Register, which is a good thing, because now developers can't come and say they're going to use this land now to build condominiums and high rises," says Tommie Camarillo, chairperson of the Chicano Park Steering Committee and head coordinator of Chicano Park Day. "We're already seeing some of that in the area. But now the park is protected. They can't touch it. Long after we're all gone, Chicano Park and its murals will still be here."

It took 13 years of research and a written proposal by one committee member. In honor of the park's induction, this year's Chicano Park Day, happening Saturday, April 20, is themed "Chicano Park: Aztlan's Jewel and a National Treasure."

The entertainment at the event will also reflect that theme, with various speakers expounding on the significance of these milestones. There'll be traditional Aztec dance performances coordinated by Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca, ballet folklorico, mariachi and a presentation of low-rider cars from Amigos Car Club.

Live bands with a Latino vibe will also take the stage, including Agua Dulce, Quino & Friends, Cumbia Machin, Kid Frost and many more. It all goes down from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. chicano-park.org

2 Keep it green

In this high-tech, plugged-in world, it's nice to have a guy like Richard Louv around. Author of the books Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, he's a strong advocate of the outdoors, arguing that nature, not just technology, plays a crucial role in our development. Louv will share his vision at We Are Not Robots: Richard Louv on Reconnecting with Our Humanity, a lecture and book signing that happens at the Museum of Man (1350 El Prado in Balboa Park) at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Organized in partnership with local group Write Out Loud for this month's "The Big Read" events, Louv will start by exploring the themes of Ray Bradburyís classic dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451. Get tickets ($15) at museumofman.org

Devil’s in the dance

Picture The Last Supper with Jesus and the apostles in hoodies, sitting cross-legged, moving rapidly in sync to experimental and new-age music, and that's what you get for one part of the dance performance 33. The production, similar to a one-act play, incorporates modern and classical music and doesn't have a story line but centers around visuals of The Last Supper. The show has a theme of betrayal, and it's the third installment of a trilogy. It's also part of Live Arts Fest, which is featuring other dance productions this month. This show's sole performance, however, is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at White Box Theatre (2590 Truxtun Road in Point Loma). Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. sandiegodancetheater.org

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.