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San Diego's Top Weekend Events: So Many Festivals

A photo of San Diego Museum of Art's Rotunda covered in flowers during Art Alive.
Courtesy of San Diego Museum of Art
A photo of San Diego Museum of Art's Rotunda covered in flowers during Art Alive.
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: So Many Festivals
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: So Many Festivals GUEST:Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar

This is KPBS Midday Edition . I am Maureen Cavanaugh. Some of the annual arts events are taking place this weekend. Nina is here to tell us about them. Welcome. Hello. Let's talk about art alive. That is one of the favorite events. Tell us about it. It is the 36th annual Museum fundraiser. It is floral designers coming to the Museum in creating floral interpretations of some of the favorite pieces in the Museum. How does it work? It is a fundraiser but can anyone go? Yes. If you are not a member it is $25. You get to go to this for free if you are a member. People join the Museum just go to this. You walk into this giant rotunda which is overwhelming and beautiful. My advice is to pick your favorite gallery and start moving from there. It is always an honor to be the florist who gets to design that grand rotunda. It was elected this year? A local florist, Carlos Florida. It is his fourth time doing it. It is always dutiful when it is his turn. There is a weekend of events that sort of plan -- are planned around art alive at the Museum. Tonight is the big one. The bloom bash. Saturday you can build terrariums. There is a garden a bit -- of activities for kids where they can go on a floured hunt or read about flowers or make flower crafts. So that is this weekend at the San Diego Museum of Art. You also wanted to add another event on Saturday. It is the children's book party. Tell us about that. This has been going on for 30 years. Children, you can go to sparkles organ Pavilion on Saturday morning and get two free books. They are new. You get them just for showing up. There is entertainment and refreshments and it is from eight. You get them just for showing up. There is entertainment and refreshments and it is from 830 to 1030 on Saturday. On to another part of an. It is the art walk in Little Italy. This event has been around almost as long as art alive. It is 33 years old. It started very small. It used to be inside buildings in Little Italy. Now it is a giant outdoor event and it takes up 17 blocks. What can people expect? There will be 350 or more Artis. You will see everything from watercolors to jewelry to something for every test. What is new is that there will be muralist painting live a giant mural. You can just stop by and help them. While. That has apparently also evolved from just being a place where people can buy art to a dance Festival. Is that right? Yes. A little corner has become a dance Festival on both days. You can see really great pieces from city ballet, California ballet. The biggest dance companies in town. Also locals. They are there both days and you can just catch an art show in such a dance show in some art. It can get pretty crowded. How you navigate? It there early if you plan to drive. Also, there is a big difference if you are there to look or by art. Make that distinction. Then, there are local bands you can just kind of take a break and watch them or step into a coffee shops -- eight coffee shop. Then there is a nice kids area. You can escape their if you bring children. Art walk is Saturday and Sunday throughout Little Italy. Then we have Adams Avenue unplugged. That seems like a newer event, is it? It started in 2012. It was created to replace the Adams Avenue roots Festival which was very popular. I remember that. Does it have the same vibe? It does not. It is a lot smaller and instead of having giant stages, you go into the businesses on Adams Avenue and have pizza and watch a band and then go down to the old sod and there will be bands there. It makes you go into the businesses along the Adams Avenue corridor. Like that's -- Adams Avenue corridor. There is a free trolley so you can hop on the trolley during the whole event. Who is performing? We have yelps Stroman and hot pastrami. Lounge project calm --, a bunch of local and great acts. Gregory page, this is's song, or my own way. [ music ] There is a special reason to pay Gregory pages music. Today is Gregory page day. He does humanitarian work and is a great musician. There will be eight celebration add Java Joe's tonight. He will be at the Avenue -- Adams Avenue unplugged if you can't get there. I have been speaking with Nina. Thank you. Thank you.

Is this the biggest arts event weekend of the year?

Art Alive

Visual Arts

Spring in San Diego means Art Alive at the San Diego Museum of Art.

One of the most beloved arts events, Art Alive 2017 brings more than 100 designers to create floral interpretations of some of the museum's most popular works of art. This year marks the return of Rotunda Designer Carlos Franco of Green Fresh Florals.

The weekend also features the Bloom Bash gala, a terrarium workshop, and garden activities for children.

Details: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. $5 to $25, free for members; additional information.

A 2016 photo of Australian artist Danielle Mate Sullivan at ArtWalk in Little Italy.
Mission Federal ArtWalk
A 2016 photo of Australian artist Danielle Mate Sullivan at ArtWalk in Little Italy.

Mission Federal ArtWalk

Visual Arts/Dance

The 33rd annual Mission Federal ArtWalk is one of the largest fine arts festivals in California.

More than 350 artists will showcase everything from painting and sculpture to photography and jewelry. The event also has a dance festival, live music, food booths, and a designated kids area.

New this year will be a live mural painting by artists Mario Torero and Maxx Moses, and attendees will be able to paint alongside these well-known muralists.

Details: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Throughout Little Italy. Free; additional information.

Adams Avenue Unplugged


Adams Avenue Unplugged may be smaller this year, but the event still promises a weekend of free, quality entertainment.

The festival is now happening on one day, and the performances have gone from outdoor stages to more intimate shows inside local bars, restaurants and coffee shops.

What is not different is that Adams Avenue Unplugged still features musicians along a two-mile stretch from Kensington to University Heights. Among artists scheduled to appear are Jack Tempchin, Gregory Page, Peggy Watson, Fred Heath, Marie Haddad, Robin Henkel, Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi and many more.

There will also still be a free shuttle running along Adams Avenue.

Details: Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. Along Adams Avenue from Kensington to University Heights. Free; additional information.