5 Fun-Filled May Events in Downtown San Diego

Baseball. Eating and drinking Mexican-style. Food and drink the New Orleans way. Stage performances from the fringe. And a walk-run across the bay.
You can’t miss Cinco de Mayo festivities in downtown San Diego. (Courtesy photo)

Get out your e-calendars and save some dates. Downtown San Diego steps up to the plate for a solid slate of events in May 2023, including: A dozen home games for the local Boys of Summer (including a 3-day series with the LaLa Lamesters from the north); The region’s heaviest one-day concentration of tacos and tequila in the Gaslamp Quarter; a celebration of all things Big Easy; a slew of bizarre stage shows; and a rare chance to traverse by foot on a cars-only aerial roadway. 

Check below to see what we’re talking about:

San Diego Padres (12 dates)

Who won the 2022 NL Division Series? Not the Dodgers. (Photo by Sal Giametta)

After a nine-game road trip (and a pair of wild wins in Mexico City) the Padres return to Petco Park to play 12 games in May. The Friars host the Cincinnati Reds (May 1-3). Then the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town for the first time since the Pads knocked them out of last year’s playoffs (May 5-7). Kansas City visits for three games (May 15-17); and the Boston Red Sox make a rare appearance at Petco (May 19-21). For more info, go to: Padres tickets.

Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Cinco de Mayo in the Gaslamp Quarter. (Courtesy photo)

The Mexican Army defeated France in 1862, hence the totally non-essential May 5 celebration of all things Mexican in the United States. Cinco de Mayo will be omnipresent in the Gaslamp Quarter. Look for: The Cinco de Mayo SD bar-hopping party that starts at American Junkie and includes stops at 20 bars and clubs. Other downtown fiestas to consider: El Chingon, Tin Roof, Garage Kitchen & Bar, Henry’s Pub and mucho other spots offering food and drink deals. 

Gator By the Bay (May 11-14)

Gator by the Bay. (Courtesy photo by Rick Raney)

This four-day celebration of food, music and things N’awlins coincides with Mother’s Day (May 14). Treat mom and the entire family to access to seven stages with more than 100 musical acts performing Zydeco, blues, rockabilly, swing and New Orleans jazz. Organizers truck 10,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish to Spanish Landing Park (near the airport) for this annual fun-fest. For more info go to: Gator!      

Fringe Festival (May 18-28) 

Fringe Festival. (Courtesy photo)

The San Diego International Fringe Festival promises to bring the beautiful, bizarre and unexpected to local stages. The performing-arts event showcases works “unconstrained by censorship, judgment or the status quo.” Tickets are never more than $10; a festival pass is available. Downtown’s two venues in Balboa Park are the Centro Cultural de la Razo and the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre. For more info go to: Fringe.

Coronado Bay Bridge Run-Walk (May 21)

The Coronado Bay Bridge Run-Walk. (Facebook)

The Navy’s 36th Bay Bridge Run-Walk is a rare chance to hoof it across the autos-only span from downtown San Diego to Coronado. The event offers one-of-a-kind views of the San Diego cityscape and Tidelands Park in Coronado. Entry fees: $53 for individuals; $46 for seniors; $32 for kids 10-under. Virtual entry closes May 10. For more info, go to: Bridge Run-Walk. SDSun

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