May 15 2013 01:25 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Sicilian Festival parade


Springtime is here and with the season comes the requisite blooming flowers, bunnies frolicking through meadows and street festivals offering good grub and fun. This weekend alone, there are three cool free festivals. Instead of making them go head-to-head Thunderdome-style for your affections, we decided to let them share the top spot.

Kicking off festival weekend is the North Park Festival of Arts, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Now in its 17th year, the festival brings all manner of art to University Avenue between 30th and 32nd streets. There’ll also be live music throughout the day by Midnight Pine, The Palace Ballroom, Bulletins and more. For $25 to $30, you can quench your thirst at the festival’s Craft Beer Block, which will serve suds from 25 local breweries. Get details at

Vintage collectors can shop their little twee hearts out on Sunday, May 19, at the La Mesa Antique Street Faire, organized by the La Mesa Village Merchant’s Association. Cruise booth after booth of antiques, vintage goods and collectibles from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and even get your old finds appraised by experts.

Event spokesperson Audrey Burrows says the absence of food vendors and cell-phone providers makes this event extra-special. There are no distractions—just good, ol’ vintage picking.

“There’s so much cool stuff, from little tiny knick-knacks and huge pieces of furniture,” Burrows says. “We get vendors from all over Southern California. It’s popular with people into steampunk because a lot of the antiques and collectibles are fun for that generation.”

The event occurs along La Mesa Boulevard in downtown La Mesa. Check

If vintage isn’t your bag, you can celebrate Italian culture at the San Diego Sicilian Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 19. The 20th-annual event will feature great food, grape stomping, live music, a parade and folk dancing in Little Italy. Learn more at


Check out the video trailer on Diavolo Dance Theater’s website, diavolo.orgAre you a little creeped-out by the dancers slithering from openings in a giant 2001-meets-Mad Max square box? How about the guys who seem milliseconds away from being smushed by a huge, rocking wood platform? Diavolo was founded by Jacques Heim, who choreographed Cirque du Soleil’s Ka. But unlike Cirque, which is all about spectacle, for Diavolo, Heim strips it down, putting the focus on his acrobatic dancers and how they interact with the strange, postmodern structures that inhabit the stage, proving there’s greatness in simplicity. Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive in La Jolla. $28 to $42.


The human eye is a taker. It takes in the sights, and it just keeps taking. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego recognizes this. Riffing off its longstanding policy—people 25 and younger get in free—the museum recently held the 25 and Under Art Contest, inviting the young folks to make and submit works of art themed around what the museum calls the “Greedy Organ.” The work of the contest’s 25 finalists will be on view at a showcase at MCASD Downtown (1100 Kettner Blvd.) from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16. Four winners will be selected in Curator’s Choice and People’s Choice categories. Vote for your favorites at and at the event. Free with admission ($5 to $10).

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