DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 10 - MARCH 10

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By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes Cupids and Canines at Grossmont Center, open farm day at the Oasis Camel Dairy, hawk watch in Ramona, chamber music in La Mesa, a valentine’s tea and valentines dinners in Julian.

Plus, we’ll have coming attractions including a valentine tour at the Water Conservation Garden, a jazz concert at a La Mesa winery, gospel music in Lemon Grove, a star party, a Celtic harp concert and international performer Gregory Page at Mission Trails, Seussical the Musical in Spring Valley, live bands at the Riviera Supper Club, the Boots Ball benefit for the Anza Borrego Foundation in Borrego Springs, and a St. Patrick’s Day half marathon in El Cajon.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

CUPID AND CANINES FEB. 10 AT GROSSMONT CENTER

Grossmont Center shopping mall in La Mesa invites you to “Cupid and Canines” on February 10th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The San Diego Animal Support Foundation & Grossmont Center are bringing together dozens of rescue groups and shelters featuring hundreds of adoptable dogs and even some cats for this mega Adoption Event inside the mall.

Find purebred breeds from chihuahuas to Great Pyrenees, as well as all-American mutts. Everything from Great Pyrenees to Chihuahuas, purebreds to All-American Mutts.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, you can find your new best friend, or the perfect family pet. 

For more information, visit www.GrossmontCenter.com.

OPEN FARM DAY FEB. 10-11 AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY

You’re invited to bring the family to open farm day at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona on February 10th and 11th from 1 to 4 p.m., with a live animal show at 1:30 p.m. The show features talking parrots, galloping, gobbling turkeys, dedicated farm dogs and of the biggest stars – camels!

You can also feed treats to camels, cuddle with camels, shop for camel’s milk soaps and lotions, take crazy camel selfies or ride a camel. For details, visit www.CamelDairy.com.

HAWK WATCH AT RAMONA GRASSLANDS EACH SATURDAY IN FEB.

The Wildlife Research Institute invites you to Hawk Watch. Each Saturday in February at 10 a.m., visitors can see birds of prey such as hawks, eagles and owls. Sponsored by the Wildlife Research Institute, this year Hawk Watch will not be held at the Institute’s headquarters, but instead at Begent Ranch (18528 Highland Valley Road), a private ranch open only for the Hawk Watch events.

Guests are advised to arrive a half hour early for parking, bring binoculars, and enjoy coffee and doughnuts before viewing the raptors that make their homes in the Ramona Grasslands. For more information, you can visit http://www.wildlife-research.org/.

SAN DIEGO CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY FEB. 10 IN LA MESA

Bruce and Beverly Dorcy with the San Diego Chamber Music Society will perform a concert with piano and horn at the La Mesa Library on February 10th at 1 p.m.  The La Mesa Library hosts free concerts on the second Saturday each month, thanks to support from Friends of La Mesa Library.

VALENTINE TEAS FEB. 8-14 IN JULIAN

Julian Tea and Cottage Arts will be serving up Valentine’s Teas February 8th through February 14th, with several seating times available.

The romantically inspired menu will include four courses including soups, scones, finger sandwiches and a dessert tray. For reservations visit www.JulianTea.com.

VALENTINE DINNERS AT JEREMY’S ON THE HILL FEB. 10-14

Jeremy’s on the Hill in the Julian area will be serving up four-course Valentine’s dinners paired with local wines on February 10th through 14th.

This romantic feast begins with ceviche and your choice of lobster bisque or a salad topped with ripe fruits, followed by a choice of salmon, duck or steak entrees. The meal concludes with a bananas foster vanilla layer cake with chocolate espresso sauce and chai tea whipped cream.

If you come on the 10th, 11th or 12th, you can also enjoy live music: classical guitar, piano or acoustic guitar. For reservations, visit www.BestRestaurantInJulian.com.

NOW FOR A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS…

VALENTINE’S TOUR: LOVE FOR SEX IN THE GARDEN: FEB. 17

On February 17th, the Water Conservation Garden invites you to a Valentine’s Tour titled “Love for Sex in the Garden.” 

Think humans work hard at finding a partner? You’ll be astounded at the creativity, deceit, competitiveness and even murder that plants attempt to achieve pollination.

Bring your sweetheart and celebrate nature’s creativity with Tour Guide Rosalie Dosik – the self-described Dr. Ruth of the plant world plus chocolate for all who attend.  This PG-rated tour is based on the book “Sex in The Garden.”

For more information, visit www.TheGarden.org.

STAGE 4 JAZZ CONCERT FEB. 17 AT SAN PASQUAL TASTING ROOM, LA MESA

San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room (8364 La Mesa Blvd.) in La Mesa’s downtown village will host live music by Stage 4 Jazz on February 17th at 7 p.m. 

Stage 4 is a dynamic group with a repertoire that spans jazz, rhythm and blues and more.

Learn more at sanpasqualwinery.com/.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. COMMUNITY CHOIR ENSEMBLE CONCERT FEB. 17

The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir of San Diego’s Ensemble will be performing gospel and inspirational songs at the Lemon Grove Library on Saturday, February 17th at 2 p.m.  The Lemon Grove Library is located at 3001 School Lane in Lemon Grove.

The ensemble’s music celebrates the history of negro spirituals, aspiring to be inspirational and uplifting. 

For more information, you can visit the musical group’s website at MLKCCSD.org.

STAR PARTY AT MISSION TRAILS FEB. 17

View the Andromeda galaxy, the Orion Nebula and other celestial sights during a Star Party at Mission Trails Regional Park on Saturday, February 17th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Amateur astronomer and trail guide George Varga will have a telescope available for viewing the night sky at the far end of the Kumeyaay Lake Campground’s day use parking lot.

 Learn more at www.MTRP.org.

CELTIC HARP CONCERT FEB. 18 AT MISSION TRAILS

Amy Lynn Kanner will perform a Celtic harp concert at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center auditorium on Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. The performance will feature Pachelbel's "Canon" and Debussy's "Clair de Lune," and Praetorious' "Terpsichore." The program also features popular music like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "A Thousand Years," "Stairway to Heaven," and more.

Admission is free. For details and directions, visit Mission Trails Regional Park.

LA MESA BEAUTIFUL MEETING FEB. 18

Learn tips for attracting pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden at La Mesa Beautiful’s annual meeting on February 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Nan Couts Cottage, 5045 Memorial Drive, La Mesa.

Marcia Van Loy, a volunteer with the Master Gardener Association for 17 years, will be the speaker. A home gardener for over 35 years in the Clairemont area, she has coordinated their Town Council’s annual garden tour many times and is a popular speaker who has shared her depth of knowledge with many regional gardening organizations. Growing plants for all types of pollinators in her hillside garden is one of Loy’s favorite subjects to share with others.

Her garden is a Certified Wildlife Habitat, a Certified Earth Friendly Garden and was featured in the San Diego Home and Garden Magazine’s April 2013 edition. And, after many years of collecting rustic birdhouses, she now teaches Master Gardeners how to build them as a way to raise funds for their educational programs.

The program is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to lamesabeautiful@gmail.com

SEUSSICAL, THE MUSICAL FEB. 22 - MARCH 4 IN SPRING VALLEY

Young Actors Theatre will present “Seussical, the Musical” at the Encore! Theatre in the Casa de Oro area of Spring Valley from February 22 through March 4th.  This musical production brings to life your favorite Dr. Seuss characters, from the Cat in the Hat to Horton the Elephant.  For tickets, visit www.YATSanDiego.org.

LIVE BANDS AT RIVIERA SUPPER CLUB IN LA MESA

Riviera Supper Club in La Mesa has live bands onstage in the Turquoise Room most nights throughout February and March.  Upcoming Saturday night headliners include Baja Bugs, Ron and the Reapers, Gino and the Lone Gunmen, Black Market 111, Shark Jones, and Vinyl Pirates.  For a full list of entertainment, visit http://rivierasupperclub.com/.

BOOTS BALL MARCH 3

You’re invited to don your “desert dressy” attire and finest hiking boots for the second annual “Boots Ball” hosted by the Anza Borrego Foundation on Saturday, March 3 from 2-5 p.m.

Guests will enjoy musical entertainment, food, live and silent auctions and learn about the Foundation’s vision for the next 50 years. The guest speaker, Obi Kaufmann, is a poet, artist, and advocate for wilderness conservation.

The Boots Ball will be held at the Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center in Borrego Springs. For tickets and registration for the Boots Ball fundraiser, visit the Anza Borrego Foundation’s website at www.TheABF.org.

GREGORY PAGE AT MISSION TRAILS MARCH 4

Gregory Page, an international touring and recording artist, returns to Mission Trails Regional Park auditorium for a concert (free!) on Sunday, March 4th at 3 p.m.

This London born Irish-Armenian citizen of the world has imagination and conscience as well as vocal talent.  He will share his stunning guitar work, songs of peace, ballads of “Optimistic Melancholy” and in his words, “true stories he makes up” with the Mission Trails listening audience in performance for the whole family.

For more information, visit the Mission Trails Regional Park website at  www.MTRP.org.

ST PATRICK’S DAY HALF MARATHON MARCH 4

Run East County invites you to take part in the annual St. Patrick’s Day half marathon, 5K race, and Green Mile through downtown El Cajon on Sunday March 4th.  There’s also a Tribes and Clans CrossFit competition, a Tribes and Clans for Kids event, and a beer garden.

Participants are encouraged to wear green and participate in a costume contest as you join avid runners and walkers for a morning of fun – all to benefit local East County charities.  

To register for the St. Patrick’s Day Half Marathon race or other events, you can visit www.StPatricksDayHalf.com

ROMAS, BEEFSTEAKS, STRIPES AND MORE AT TOMATOMANIA MARCH 10TH

Countless people are heard to utter, “There is nothing like eating a homegrown tomato” at Scott Daigre’s Tomatomania® event every year in March. Tomatomania® returns on March 10th and 11th from 9.a.m.  to 3 p.m. at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College.  This famous weekend-long sale features heirloom and hybrid tomato seedlings of every size, shape, color, and taste profile.

Planting tomatoes marks the beginning of spring for gardeners and who can’t resist the fresh taste of a garden tomato? Daigre and his staff provide expert advice and tools of the trade will be available for purchase.

Admission to Tomatomania® is free, with a nominal charge for classes, offered at 11:00 a.m. each day. Docents will lead you on a free tour of The Garden at 10:00 a.m. each day, where you can get firsthand information on the plants and trees growing at The Garden.

Stay awhile to delight your palate with some time-honored tomato refreshments.

Seating is limited for presentations; attendees are encouraged to pre-register. 619-660-0614 ext. 10.

Find more delicious details at https://thegarden.org/events/tomatomania2018/.

That’s all for this week!

If you have an event you’d like added to our calendar, or if you would like to sponsor the Destination East County column on our website, or the Destination East County show on KNSJ Radio, you can contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  Destination East County is the most-read feature on our website.

We’ll be back next week with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County!