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11 Things To Do in San Diego This Weekend: Oct. 19–22

Support independent filmmakers, have a haunting time in El Cajon, and sample the city’s best brews at Rancho BEERnardo
San Diego International Film Festival 2023
SD International Film Festival

October 18–22

San Diego International Film Festival

The 22nd annual San Diego International Film Festival kicks off this Wednesday with an opening night film premiere and reception at the Museum of Photographic Arts, followed by four more days of film-focused fun. This year, the festival’s theme is “Celebrating the Power of Film.” In addition to panels, parties, and several screenings of features, documentaries, and shorts from independent international filmmakers, the fest will also include special events like Culinary Cinema, a food-focused movie screening followed by dishes from local chefs, and the Night of the Stars Tribute, which will recognize several impactful actors, directors, and filmmakers. | Citywide

October 19–December 30

Danielle Dean: Bazar

Artist Danielle Dean’s Bazar draws inspiration from the famed French department store Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville and its 150 years of retail catalogs to craft a powerful critique of capitalism, colonialism, and corporations. Dean’s exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art North will leverage live-action film and animation to explore how advertising and consumption are central to shaping national identities. | 1550 South El Camino Real, Encinitas 

October 20

HauntFest on Main

Downtown El Cajon hosts a night of free, family-friendly frights this Friday evening on Main Street, featuring two stages of live music, a costume contest, and a pumpkin patch. Stop by to enjoy carnival rides, games, a car show, a kids zone, face painting, an LED rock wall, a candy challenge, and more from 4 to 9 p.m. | 200 East Main Street, El Cajon

Rancho BEERnardo 2023
Courtesy of Rancho BEERnardo Festival

October 21

Rancho BEERnardo Festival

Held at Webb Park, this beer festival brings together more than 30 local breweries, taprooms, and restaurants to serve up brews, wines, and spirits to the tune of live music. General admission ($65) to the festival includes unlimited two-ounce pours, while VIP admission ($90) gets you an extra hour of sipping, plus exclusive VIP area access, preferred parking, and complimentary food. | 16826 Bernardo Center Drive, Rancho Bernardo

Taste of Africa

The WorldBeat Cultural Center hosts this culinary celebration, where you can sample delicious concoctions from African food and drink vendors and check out live entertainment from African performers. The food festival will also feature a jollof rice competition, an Afro-beat dance workshop, kemetic yoga, and an Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Tickets to Taste of Africa are $20 online and $25 at the door. | 2100 Park Boulevard, Balboa Park

Novo Dia Wellness Festival 2023
Courtesy of Novo Dia Wellness Experience

Novo Dia Wellness Experience

This feel-good festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla includes yoga and pilates classes, guided meditations, sound healing sessions, tarot readings, and more, in addition to a wellness market and a fun closing reception. Depending on the ticket option you choose, you can indulge in up to nine hours of serious self-care, plus healthy eats, tasty mocktails, and exclusive spa treatments. | 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla

October 21–22

Borrego Days Desert Festival

Christmas Circle Community Park hosts the 57th iteration of the family-friendly Borrego Days Desert Festival, welcoming live bands, comedy hypnosis, art exhibits, food and artisan vendors, a beer garden, and more. Stop by on Saturday to catch the airplane flyover and ogle heaps of hot rods at the Shine & Show car show. | Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs

Bella Vita Fest

More than 40 chalk artists appear on India Street in Little Italy for a celebration of five centuries of Italian street-painting. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, taste wine, munch on Italian eats, purchase cultural goods, and see some truly extraordinary chalk masterpieces. | India Street, Little Italy

Oceanside Dia de los Muertos 2023
Courtesy of Oceanside Dia De Los Muertos Festival

October 22

Oceanside Dia De Los Muertos Festival 

Oceanside’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival returns to downtown for its 22nd year this Sunday. Experience ballet folklorico, mariachi, and several other live music and dance performances all afternoon long, plus decorative ofrendas, arts and crafts, a chalk cemetery, and a classic car show, for which locals will set up their trunks with beautiful altars. | 300 North Coast Highway, Oceanside

Lila Downs

Hosted by the La Jolla Music Society, Oaxacan-American musician Lila Downs appears at the Balboa Theatre at 7 p.m. this Sunday for a performance honoring Dia de Muertos. The activist and Grammy winner draws upon a broad swath of musical influences to lift up underrepresented voices and stories and call for a more just world. | 868 Fourth Avenue, Gaslamp

October 22 – December 30

Stefanie Bales: Amor Terrae: Letters to the Wild

Sparks Gallery’s final exhibition of the year is artist Stephanie Bales’ Amor Terrae: Letters to the Wild. Bales’ soothing, sunset-soaked paintings explore daydreams and memories by melding several landscapes into a single scene that is both familiar and nonexistent. RSVP here to attend the gallery’s free opening reception this Sunday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. | 530 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp

By Ryan Hardison

Ryan Hardison is a freelance arts and entertainment writer and recent graduate of San Diego State. When he's not staring at his laptop, he's likely eating an adobada burrito or getting sunburnt at the beach.

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