Happy Memorial Day weekend!  Luckily there is so much to do around Southern California you won’t have a shortage of fun to kick off the start of summer. Besides the typical Memorial Day activities — BBQ, beach and friends — there are strawberry festivals in OC and San Diego, a traditional Soap Box Derby Race, the 33rd Annual Ethnic Food Fair in Balboa Park, and several cultural festivals. Enjoy the long weekend!

soap box derby

San Diego

33rd Annual Ethnic Food Fair
The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages will serve food from 32 different cultures along with festive live entertainment on stage. Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, Free admission. All ages. Event details.

North County

Valley Center Western Days
This community event features a celebration of the western and equestrian heritage of the area. Kiddos will enjoy the big carnival located next door to the Community Center on Lilac Road. The Community Center features the Western Days Faire with all sorts of local western, arts and craft and food vendors. Fri. – Sun., 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Valley Center Community Center, Cost varies. All ages. Event details.

Savvy Soiree Mother-Daughter Tea
Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon for mothers and daughters of all ages!  Get in your girly time together by sitting down for a pot of tea, sandwiches and lovely desserts. Sat., 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Encinitas Community Center, Free. All ages. Event details.

Vista Strawberry Festival and Run
The 2013 Vista Strawberry Run will feature a 10k, 5k, 1-Mile and 1/4-Mile run. For kids 12 and younger, there is a 1-mile run. For kids 5 and younger, there is a 1/4 mile dash. The Vista Strawberry Festival will feature vendors, carnival rides, a Strawberry Pie Eating contest, Strawberry Idol, Ms. Strawberry Shortcake, and much more. Sun., 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, Downtown Vista. Race is $20 – $40. All ages. Event details.

East County

Lebanese Festival
Bring the family to the 10th annualLebanese Festival featuring authentic Lebanese food, folkloric performances, music, dancing, and a kids zone with carnival rides. Fri. – Sun., 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, St. Ephrem Maronite Catholic Church, $2. All ages. Event details.

Santee Street Fair
Bring the family out for more than 300 food and vendor booths, three stages of live music and entertainment, rides and lots of family fun! Sat., 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Santee Trolley Square Town Center, Free. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Community Portrait Fotoaktionas
Join San Diego artist Perry Vasquez in FotoAktion, an interactive photo opportunity and portrait drawing workshop. Young artists will develop new art skills while helping to document the people and energy of the neighborhood! Fri., 1:30 – 3:30 pm, Castle Park Middle School, Free. All ages. Event details.

Soap Box Derby Race
More than 40 kids will participate in this competition using gravity powered race cars they built themselves with the help of a parent/adult. This year’s event will bring hundreds of local families and community members together to celebrate this premier youth and family oriented racing program and an American tradition. Sat., 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Sherman Heights, Free. All ages. Event details.

Orange County

Strawberry Festival
Enjoy the traditional festival that is also a parade and carnival celebrating the city’s strawberry-growing history. Fri. – Mon., 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Garden Grove, Free. All ages. Event details.

What are you doing this weekend? Heading to the beach or to an event around town?

–Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of  the San Diego All-American Soap Box Derby Facebook page