How to Celebrate Mexican Independence Day in San Diego

Mexican Independence Day is a major celebration that commemorates the day when Mexico declared independence from Spain, September 16, 1821. Every year, San Diego hosts a variety of celebrations, from Old Town to Chula Vista to almost any restaurant in the county: In the San Diego area, you are guaranteed to find a way to celebrate nearby!


In honor of Mexican Independence Day, here are our two favorite celebrations in San Diego!


Fiestas Patrias Old Town

Every year, Old Town State Historic Park hosts a free festival filled with lively entertainment, including traditional music and dance, crafts, games, and delicious food! The celebration will kick off at noon with the symbolic ringing of the bell in La Casa de Estudillo. Guests can enjoy a picnic in the grassy area in front of the stage where there will be music, entertainment, and piñatas for kids.

When: Saturday, September 14 11AM – 4PM

Where: Old Town State Historic Park

San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street

San Diego, CA 92110


Know Before You Go:

  • Admission is free.
  • Parking is limited, so consider taking public transportation or using a rideshare service. Check out Old Town San Diego’s parking map.
  • The festival is outdoors, so be sure to wear breathable fabrics like cotton, bring layers, and wear tennis shoes that allow you to comfortably walk and stand for long periods of time.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day. We recommend bringing a mini cooler for your water bottles.
  • Bring your picnic necessities! There is a grassy area that’s perfect for a family picnic while enjoying the live entertainment.


Chula Vista Fiestas Patrias

Enjoy a full day of food, cultural dance performances, and live music all while soaking in the amazing view of Chula Vista’s Marina and shopping district! With the support of the City of Chula Vista and partnership with the Latino Food Industry Association nonprofit, more than 20 musical and dance performances will be showcased, making the Chula Vista Independence Day celebration entertaining from beginning to end. There will also be fun zones for children, live mariachi, and a 5k fun run.

When: Sunday, September 22 11AM – 6PM

Where: Bayside Park

999 Bayside Parkway

Chula Vista, CA 91910


Know Before You Go:

  • Admission is free.
  • The festival is outdoors, so we encourage you to wear breathable fabrics, bring layers, and wear comfortable walking shoes. Find more tips on how to beat the heat to plan for your full day outside.
  • Parking is limited, so we recommend that you arrive early or consider taking public transportation or using a rideshare service.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal before heading out to give you energy and avoid overindulging in unhealthy foods. There will be many food vendors, so portion your food wisely!
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day, and avoid sugary drinks.


Celebrate Mexican Independence Day in San Diego’s treasured neighborhoods. Enjoy and appreciate this historic day through traditional music, cultural dances, and delicious food! However, you decide to celebrate, we hope that you and your family have a safe, fun, and healthy day!


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