San Diego Essential Guide

Festivals

San Diegans enjoy free summer concerts

Girlfriends play at Mission Hills summer concerts

Girlfriends play at Mission Hills summer concerts

Free twilight concerts have become summertime traditions in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. They’re an opportunity for visitors, locals and their families to socialize, picnic, enjoy music together – and maybe even dance as the sun sets on another perfect San Diego summer day.

Here’s a sampling of what will be staged during the summer of 2014:

•    The Point Loma Summer Concert Series opens July 11 with the Mighty Untouchables and continues on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 8 when Detroit Underground takes the stage. Shows run 5:30-8:30 PM.  Pack a picnic or buy food at the venue. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and Frisbees to Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd.

•    Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green are set for Sundays July 20 through Aug. 10.  Shows run from 4-6:30 PM at Kate Sessions Park (Lamont Street, just north of Beryl).  Bring your own food and drink.

•    Mission Hills’ Concerts in the Park series opens June 20 at Pioneer Park and continues on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 22. Pioneer Park is at 1425 Washington Place.

•    Balboa Park’s Twilight in the Park concert series kicks off at 6:15 PM June 17 and continues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 28 at the park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The hour-long shows feature everything from classical music to R&B.

Summer concert at Kate Sessions Park in Pacific Beach

Summer concert at Kate Sessions Park in Pacific Beach

•    Enjoy organ music? The International Summer Organ Festival features top organists from around the world. Showtime is 7:30 – 9:30 PM on Mondays, June 23 through Aug. 25, at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

•   The Bird Park Concert Series in North Park opens June 14 with the Bill Magee Blues Band. More concerts are scheduled June 28 (folk), July 12 (indie rock), July 26 (country) and Aug. 9 (Zydeco). All shows run 5:30-7:30 PM. Bird Park is at 28th and Thorn streets.

•    Coronado’s Concerts in the Park series is set for 6 PM on Sundays, through Sept. 7, at Spreckels Park, 7th and Orange. Families (but no dogs) are welcome to picnic during the 90-minute shows.
•    Del Mar’s Summer Twilight Concerts  are set for Powerhouse Park, overlooking the Pacific, at 1600 Coast Blvd.  The series begins June 17 with Rockola, followed by Back to the Garden on July 1, the Heroes on July 22, Haute Chile on Aug. 12 and   Sully and the Blue Eyed Soul Band on Sept. 7. Show time is 7 PM, with pre-show entertainment beginning at 6 PM.

•    Carlsbad’s TGIF Jazz in the Park is staged at four community parks. The 29th season opens at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino de los Coches), with concerts on June 27, July 4. The party moves to Alga Norte Community Park (6565 Alicante Road) for concerts on July 11 and 18. Then it’s on to Poinsettia Park (6600 Hidden Valley Road) for concerts on July 25, Aug. 1 and 8.  The season closes at Calavera Hills Park (2997 Glasgow Drive) with concerts on Aug. 15 and 22.  Showtime is 6-8 PM.  Wear your dancing shoes.

The Mighty Untouchables rock the house.

The Mighty Untouchables rock the house.

•    El Cajon’s Dinner & a Concert series is set for 6-8 PM Fridays through Sept. 26 on the Prescott Promenade near East Main Street and Rea Avenue in downtown El Cajon. The family oriented venue is smoke-, alcohol- and dog-free.  No need to pack a picnic; about a dozen restaurants edge the promenade, offering on-the-spot dining or picnics to go.

•    Santee’s Free Summer Concerts are scheduled 6:30-8:30 PM on Thursdays, June 19 through Aug. 28. (except July 3) at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive in Santee.  The Catillacs will open the series. Picnics are welcome, but know that food trucks rally nearby.