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Weekend Preview: Casual Encounters, Love Notes and The HeART of Lotería

Walter Ritter, Write Out Loud's executive director, will read at Love Notes.

Above: Walter Ritter, Write Out Loud's executive director, will read at Love Notes.


Claire Caraska, freelance writer, editor and DJ

Barbarella Fokos, NBC Universal correspondent and writer at the San Diego Reader


Love is in the air today, and we're recommending a couple Valentine's Day events for those looking celebrate. Beyond today's holiday, we've got several other things to keep you busy this weekend, from a fungus fair to a lotería art exhibition.

Tonight (Thursday, February 14) you can head to downtown bar Quality Social for Casual Encounters, a Valentine's-themed evening hosted by local party girl Maystar. Take in a classic burlesque performance by Keyhole Cabaret, music by DJ Mike Delgado and an aphrodisiac-inspired menu with love-themed cocktails.

Also happening tonight is Love Notes, a spoken word event at the Atheneum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla. Members of local theatre company Write Out Loud will perform both classic and contemporary love stories that are such to kindle romance. Guests will also imbibe on champagne, fresh fruit and chocolates during intermission.

Beyond Valentine's Day, head to Balboa Park's Casa Del Prado for the San Diego Mycological Society's 15th Annual Mushroom Fair on Sunday. Here you can mingle with other mushroom lovers and discuss all things mushroom-related. Guests are encouraged to BYOM: Bring Your Own Mushrooms, so that experts can identify them. There will also be cooking demos, talks by local mushroom authorities and vendor booths.

Art enthusiasts will want to head to the Centro Cultural de la Raza at Balboa Park on Saturday for The HeART of Lotería, the largest lotería art show in California. Artists from California, Mexico and even the U.K. have created works inspired by the Latin American board game that resembles Bingo. The event will go beyond the basic art exhibit with a market area selling food and drink, live music and other interactive elements.

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