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Stories written by valerierose

Opening Day enthusiasts tip their hats to the races

Feathers, tulle, palm trees, flowers, peacocks – even a papier-m√Ęche horse head adorned one of the thousands of hats that graced Opening Day on July 22 at the Del Mar Racetrack.

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Home is where the party is: The Nest home editor shares cost-effective entertaining tips

It’s comforting. It’s budget-friendly. And, these days, it’s trendy. From potlucks to sit-around-the-table dinner parties to game nights, people are embracing the concept of entertaining at home.

Summer Organ Festival opens with Jared Jacobsen, chorus

The 22nd annual Summer Organ Festival opened June 22 at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Organist Jared Jacobsen performed works by Bach, Stravinsky, Brahms and others. The La Jolla Symphony Chorus, led by Choral Director David Chase, accompanied Jacobsen during several works.

Booming and bright: Fourth of July fireworks celebrations take their mark

On the beach, at the fair, aboard a ship – there are plenty of places to get your pyrotechnic fix on July 4. And thanks to the calendar gods, those super-flashy displays happen on Saturday this year (unless otherwise noted). Check ‘em out:

An unconventional time had by all at Sushi’s Red Ball

After a two-year hiatus, Sushi Arts’ Red Ball returned on June 13 with an evening full of eccentric happenings. Zirk Ubu, which was voted “San Diego’s Best Weird Circus Folk 2008″ by San Diego City Beat, performed along with the Balkan gypsy band Wolfgang von Cope and his Orkestra Moustachio. A stilt-walking auctioneer hosted the live art auction and disc jockeys spun tunes – all of which contributed to the evening’s steampunk motif. (If you don’t know what that means, friends, consult your handy-dandy Wikipedia.)

‘Shangri-Paw’ gala benefits Helen Woodward center

Man and his best friend made their way out to the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s 21st annual Spring Fling, themed “Shangri-Paw,” on June 6 at Fairbanks Village Plaza in Rancho Santa Fe.

Symphony’s ‘Partner with a Player’ recognizes supporter

The San Diego Symphony hosted the annual “Partner with a Player” event May 14 at Copley Symphony Hall. The event celebrated the orchestra’s top supporters and its musicians. Each supporter individually selected and partnered with a musician from the orchestra.

Cinco de Mayo: Grab a margarita at one of these local spots

History lesson: Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

While the defeat was important (it delayed the French invasion of Mexico), Cinco de Mayo has limited significance in Mexico. Here in the U.S., however, we like to give a little shout out to Mexican heritage each May 5 by way of drinking cold, limey beverages with a kick.

MCASD’s alt.pictureshows moving to downtown

The seventh annual alt.pictureshows showcase returns Aug. 27, but for the first time, the short-film festival will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s downtown location. The festival was held at the museum’s La Jolla location for the past six years.

‘State of Play’: Thank you for the love letter

In a time when newspapers are going bankrupt; accessorizing with “For Sale” signs; minimizing due to paper cuts (ouch); being marginalized by the Internet; and closing their doors, it’s surprising that Hollywood would center a film on our industry in waiting. Unexpected, but nice.