San Diego's Gaslamp - Where the party's at! Flickr; laullon



If you are looking for the center of the social scene in San Diego, look no further than the Gaslamp Quarter. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Gaslamp became a shining example of urban renewal after several decades of decay. Today, the 16 ½ blocks around Fourth and Fifth Avenue are home to over 100 restaurants, 35 bars and nightclubs, and dozens of shops, theaters, art galleries housed in grand Victorian buildings. So what’s going on in the Gaslamp? Here a just a few of the celebrations you won’t want to miss while in town.

Mardi Gras – Watch out New Orleans because San Diego is trying to give you a run for your money. On Fat Tuesday DJs will be bumping sounds throughout the Gaslamp from 6:00 p.m. to midnight turning the entire neighborhood into a 21 and over street party.  Bars and restaurants will feature their own entertainment while dancers, street performers and the Incredible Masquerade Parade will keep the revelers in the street in the party mood. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the event. Don’t forget your beads!

ShamROCK –  Celebrating 17 years on the 17th of March, the Gaslamp’s ShamROCK celebration could very well be the biggest St. Paddy’s Day celebration on the West Coast this year. This year, event planners are turning the streets green with 80,000 square feet of Astroturf, as 20,000 attendees party from 2:00 p.m. to midnight. Three stages will provide entertainment ranging from Irish river dancers to Irish punk rock to Electronica. Of course there will be plenty of green beer and Jameson Irish Whiskey to keep the celebration festive. This event typically sells out so the sooner you purchase tickets, the better. Go green or go home!

Taste of Gaslamp – Foodies should book their flights to San Diego for June when the focus turns to all the fabulous food available in this hip and tasty part of town. This year’s culinary walk tour is scheduled for June 9th and 10th and your admission fee will pay for your ticket to sample specialties from more than 30 different eateries per day. Tasters are given a walking map and the ability to sample items in the order they choose. Prioritize because it will be hard to get to them all.

Halloween in the Gaslamp – Remember when Halloween was just a holiday for kids? These days Halloween is one of the biggest party times of the year and the Gaslamp is a great place to celebrate. First, get scared silly at the Haunted Hotel where you are guaranteed a new and terrifying tour every season. Professional actors and sophisticated visual effects help bring this creepy spectacle to life. After the frightfest, head over to the Dos Equis XX Monster Bash for a chance to win $3,000 for the best costume of the night while dancing, mingling, and partying with some of the hottest partygoers in all of San Diego.

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Photo: laullon

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