THE SAN DIEGO PARTICIPANT OBSERVER Participant Observation is the Process of Learning by Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
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01/14/2020 - Book Signing: Jews on the Chocolate Trail
Join Rabbi Deborah Prinz on the chocolate trail as we explore the surprising Jewish connections to chocolate in this gastronomic and historical adventure through cultures, countries, centuries and convictions. Rabbi Deborah Prinz draws from her world travels on the trail of chocolate to enchant chocolate lovers as she unravels Jewish specialization in the business of chocolate. A book signing will follow the event.

Admission/Cost: $15 - $18

Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
4126 Executive Drive
San Diego, CA 92037

Tuesday, January 14 - 7:00 PM
12/29/2019 - Wild Foodie Tours
Wild Foodie Tours conducts walking food tours in San Diego and Tijuana to celebrate food and culture! We venture off the beaten path to engage food lovers and travelers in a region's culture through food and adventure. Join us as we eat, play, and travel with locals!

All tours led by a native English speaking guide from start to finish. Perfect for dates, get-togethers, reunions, family outings, birthday celebrations, and day trips.

Tours include:
San Diego Dim Sum Tour
San Diego International Food Tour
Tijuana Street Food Tour for Foodies
Caesar's Restaurant & Downtown Tijuana Tour
Rosarito Sunset Dinner Tour
Puerto Nuevo Lobster Dinner Tour

Admssion/Cost: Varies, generally $69 - $89 Reservations required


Dates and time:
Varies (usually on weekends)

For more information please call: (858) 951-7470 or email:
01/05/2020 - Mochitsuki: New Year's Rice Cake Pounding Festival
Celebrate the New Year with Japanese music, food and fun. Bring your family and friends to Shimbashi’s annual Mochitsuki, Rice Cake Pounding festival. Enjoy complimentary mochi (rice cakes), ozoni (Japanese New Year’s soup), demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages. A local Japanese choir group, Chorus Kaguya, will perform during the event. There also will be many other offerings.

Admission/Cost: FREE

Shimbashi Izakaya
Del Mar Plaza
1555 Camino del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014

Sunday, January 5 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
12/26/2019 - Holiday Food Truck Festival
Celebrate the holidays with visiting family and friends under Balboa Park’s dazzling holiday light display. For five days and evenings between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the annual Holiday Food Truck Festival serves up gourmet food from over a dozen of San Diego’s top food trucks, along with FREE live entertainment and fun activities for families. There will also be a rotating selection of games/activities on the Plaza, including giant checkers, hula hoops, bowling, cornhole, and giant tumbling blocks. Food trucks open for business at 12 noon each day, with the first set of live performances beginning shortly thereafter. From 4:00pm to 7:00pm, a different musical group performs in the Plaza de Panama. This year’s featured evening bands are Carmen Murray Jazz Trio (12/26), Finnegan Blue (12/27), Theo and the Zydeco Patrol (12/28), Sue Palmer (12/29), and the Bayou Brothers (12/30). Select museums are open extended hours, and various park organizations and community partners are offering booth activities for families in the Plaza de Panama. Visit for details and food truck roster.

Admission/Cost: FREE

Balboa Park Visitors' Center
1549 El Prado
Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101
MAP - [Park Map]

Dates and times:
Thursday, December 26 - 7:00 PM
Friday, December 27 - 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 28 - 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 29 - 7:00 PM
Monday, December 30 - 7:00 PM
12/22/2019 - Food: AfroVegan Pop Up
Sabor Piri Piri Kitchen: Combining Traditional Dishes From Mozambique Along With Other Neighboring Countries To Provide An Authentic And Unique Taste.

Freshly Faded
2850 El Cajon Blvd Suite 1
San Diego, CA 92114

Sunday, December 22 - 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
12/13/2019 - Via Posada Holiday Celebration Fundraiser
Join Via International for a traditional Mexican holiday celebration, an evening full of Christmas Carols, Pinatas, Food and Drink.

Right now over 10,000 people wait in Tijuana for an initial asylum hearing with US officials, and thousands of deportees have also been left there, even if not originally from Tijuana. Some are lucky enough to wait in shelters, many wait in the streets.

These people are not criminals. They are families, men, women and children and unaccompanied minors fleeing criminal violence, political corruption and persecution, hunger and food insecurity, and failing economies in their home country. This is about people trying to survive! These migrants have limited resources, little access to traditional work opportunities and the reality is that most of those seeking asylum will be turned away. Many will stay in Tijuana, where the social service infrastructure is insufficient to help them.

In order to address this humanitarian crisis at our border, Via International has joined a coalition of non-profits and faith-based organizations to establish Via Migrante, a program to fill the social-service gaps that exist on the ground in Tijuana. This program will provide case-management to help migrants deal with trauma, secure permanent residence and work eligibility in Mexico, find permanent housing, and access financial resources and other community integration programs.

Without sufficient support, many families will remain stuck in a cycle of homelessness or despair, or be drawn into the drug trade, sex trafficking or child labor. Our entire border region will suffer if we fail to integrate these new neighbors into our communities.

Your contributions will be used in support of the Via Migrante Program. Thank you!

Admission/Cost: FREE However Via will be collecting contributions in support of the Via A Migrante Program.

Bread & Salt
1955 Julian Avenue
San Diego, CA 92113

Friday, December 13 - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
12/07/2019 - Tamale Making Workshop
La Tamalada is an authentic Mexican tradition associated with Christmastime. With the tamal-making process being so time-intensive , what better way to do it than celebrating with loved ones. Celebrate one of our beloved traditions with an Olivewood twist. Learn how to prepare hand-made authentic tamales using fresh and traditional ingredients such as banana leaf and corn husk from our amazing Olivewood Kitchenistas, while celebrating life and togetherness. Participants will master their tamal-making skills, connect with their food and community, and take home recipes, tamales, and know-how to share with family and friends! Due to the popularity and authenticity of this class, there is a very limited amount of tickets available, so get your tickets now! Each ticket sold helps Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center maintain our presence in National City through our current programs empowering students and families to lead healthier lifestyles.

Admission/Cost: $75 - $195

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center
2525 N Ave
National City, CA 91950

Saturday, December 7 - 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM
11/21/2019 - Spanish Wine Night
Join your expert on 'feel-good' street food for Third Thursday Wine Nights with a Salud to Spain. Enjoy 3 Spanish wine tastings and 3 small plates.

Admission/Cost: $25

Inchin's Bamboo Garden
8242 Mira Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92126

Thursday, November 21 - 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
11/20/2019 - International Chocolate Tasting
Join us on Wednesday, November 20th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM to sample chocolates made here in San Diego and from around the world. This is a casual event designed to provide an opportunity for people to meet and explore a food that is popular around the globe.

Chocolates and palate cleansers will be provided. If you have a favorite chocolate that you would like to share, feel free to bring it!

The HI San Diego Point Loma hostel has happy hour at this time. Therefore, you are welcome to bring a beverage to enjoy.

This is a FREE event, however space is limited to 20 people. If you cannot attend, please let us know by sending an email to

Admission/Cost: FREE

HI USA San Diego Point Loma
3790 Udall Street
San Diego, CA 92107

Wednesay, November 20 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

For ore information, please visit :
11/16/2019 - Scandinavian Lutefisk/Meatball Dinner
Valhall Lodge is holding their annual Lutefisk/Meatball Dinner. Seatings are at 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30. The Ladies of Valhall will be holding their Lille Butikken featuring Scandinavian items and baked goods. Reservations 619-443-942, Indicate whether you would like Lutefisk, meatballs, or half and half.

Admission/Cost: $20 - $25

Masonic Lodge #407
4731 Date Street
San Diego, CA 91942

Saturday, November 16 - 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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