photo: Santee Fire Department

Meet firefighters, explore a fire truck and watch contests in power boat racing, longboard surfing and swoop freestyle. This weekend is an action-packed adrenaline rush! Or you can keep it low-key at an artwalk or book festival––whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a great time. Read on for the details.

Mission Bay

San Diego Bayfair
San Diego Bayfair has been an end of summer tradition in San Diego since 1964. The three-day festival features overnight RV camping on Mission Bay, dazzling power boat racing, live music, family fun, beach party, BBQ festival and more. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

El Cajon

8th Annual Alley Cat Artwalk
Sophie’s Gallery, a program at St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, will join the 8th Annual Alley Cat Art Walk where eight art galleries and museums in downtown El Cajon are hosting an event held in Arts Alley. Entertainment includes art shows/demonstrations, hands-on craft booths, wine tastings, opportunity drawings including a $50 coupon at Por Favor restaurant, a beer garden by the El Cajon German American Club and live music. The Alley Cat Art Walk features a collection of rustic barn wood planks painted by regional artists. Sales support the painting of a mural in Downtown El Cajon. The gallery is a collection of artworks made by SMSC’s students and has a variety of creative works from jewelry, paintings, cards. The gallery has a gift shop, allowing SMSC students to showcase their work, while also raising funds for many of the programs at SMSC. Fri. Event details.

Normal Heights

Childcare + Co-Working
Need to get some extra hours in on the weekend but there’s no one to entertain your little ones? Come to the Collective Impact Center where you can check-in your child to their on-site childcare center, while you work in the co-working space. The Collective Childcare Saturday Series is free for all parents and kids (ages 6 months – 4 years). Please reserve your spot prior so they may staff accordingly to ensure your kiddo has an enjoyable experience. Sat. Event details.


Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships
Swoop Freestyle is the latest extreme sport and the only parachuting event to take place within major cities worldwide, bringing the action straight to people’s doorstep. Following up on the first leg of the world championships in Copenhagen, they meet in San Diego for the second and final leg of the world championships. There will be training and Swoop Night Lights Fri., Sept. 14th and qualifying and finals Sat., Sept. 15th. See 18 parachute pilots from 12 countries and watch the 2018 world champion get crowned. With the competition as its centerpiece, this will be a weekend of entertainment suitable for the whole family. There will also be water based and land based activities as well as live musical acts. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Balboa Park

Mexican Independence Day Celebration
Featuring Las Colibrí live in concert, with special host and local radio personality Tony Valencia, this event brings dance, art and music to Copley Plaza in honor of Mexican Independence Day. Sat. Event details.


Meet a Firefighter & Explore an Engine
Bring the kids for a free day of fun and learning at the Santee Historical Society and Museum! This is an open house style event, so drop by anytime between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Meet real-life firefighters and explore a fire engine with the Santee Fire Department. Talk with members of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and learn important crime-prevention tips for the Santee community. Explore the barn museum, including displays of vintage fire equipment and a player piano. Sat. Event details.

Pacific Beach

Classic Longboard Surfing Contest
The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all surf enthusiasts to grab their vintage surfboards and gather for a nostalgic competition at the North Side of Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach for the 25th Annual Classic Longboard Surfing Contest. Proceeds from the event go to benefit Drowning Prevention Foundation of San Diego AKA San Diego Junior Lifeguards. Check-in for the contest will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the first heat paddle out at 8:15 a.m. All contestants must surf on 1969 or older longboards, 9’ or longer, with no leash. There are separate divisions for Open, Wahine and Menehune (youth 16 years old and under). Those who are interested in competing in the 25th Annual Classic Longboard Surfing Contest or watching the action can find more information here. Sat. Event details.


Latino Book & Family Festival
Make like a bookworm and wind your way down to the largest gathering of authors in North San Diego County history. This festival will include meeting the authors, workshops, author panels, dances, storytelling, Mexican folktales and fun activities for the kiddos. Sat. Event details.

––Beth Shea