Festivals of the Month
January 22, 2014 (Lakeside) – Riverview Elementary School and the Lakeside Union School District will host a Chinese New Year celebration ushering in the Year of the Horse. Festivities will be held on Saturday, January 25 from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Activities include professional lion dancing, a Chinese cultural show by the Confucius Institute, students performing songs and dances, and Chinese arts and crafts booths. The event is open to the public. Riverview Elementary, a Spanish and Mandarin language immersion school, will hold the event at Tierra Del Sol Middle School, 9611 Petite Lane in Lakeside.
January 15, 2014 (Borrego Springs) -– With the help of Borrego Springs volunteers, a retired California State Park Ranger will watch his dream come true January 23 – 26 when the curtain goes up on the first Annual Borrego Springs Film Festival.
Fred Jee, a former ranger at the Anza Borrego State Park, started collecting historical data of movies shot in and around the little desert community early in his 34-year-career. “As it turned out, Borrego Springs’ involvement in the silver screen dates back nearly to the infancy of the film industry”, Jee explained. “It seemed only natural that someday the community should have its own festival to commemorate this association.”
January 2, 2014 (La Mesa) –The Flying A Studio once produced silent movies from its studio in La Mesa, filming on location across East County.
On January 11, the La Mesa Historical Society in partnership with the Theatre Organ Society of San Diego presents an original, locally-produced 1911 Allan Dwan directed Flying A one-reeler silent movie, "The Ranchman's Nerve" along with Douglas Fairbanks in his swashbuckling silent farewell from 1929 "The Iron Mask." Showtime begins at 7 p.m.
January 2, 2014 (San Diego) – You’re invited to a star party with Mission Trails Regional Park guide and resident astronomer George Varga on Saturday, January 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.
The Moon is past First Quarter and waxing. Jupiter will be rising in the Eastern sky. Up for viewing are The Pleiades (Seven Sisters), the Double Cluster in Perseus, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) high overhead as well as the great Orion Nebula rising in the East.
January 2, 2014 (Lemon Grove) – Writer-teacher Estelle Lauer will discuss “New Immigrants to Lemon Grove: History Right Now.” The event, sponsored by the Lemon Grove Historical Society as part of its History Alive series, will take place on Thursday, January 9 at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive in Lemon Grove.
By Nadin Abbott
December 22, 2013 (East County) If you’re looking for some festive ways to ring in the New Year, you don’t have to head to the East Coast, since East County has plenty of celebrations--from New York-style parties to gourmet dinners, concerts, an art show, and more.
A Winter Solstice hike up Cowles Mountain will be held on Friday, December 20th from 6 to 8 a.m. will be led by a Mission Trails Regional Park trail guide.
December 10, 2013 (La Mesa)--La Mesa is transformed into a Victorian wonderland on December 13-14 during its old-fashioned Christmas in the Village. The family friendly event features horse-drawn carriages, strolling minstrels, carolers and street entertainers along La Mesa Boulevard.
Carnival rides, ponies, puppet shows, live music stages, bonfires and an outdoor market round out the traditional holiday fun.
December 4, 2013 (El Cajon) – If home-grown music is your thing, then the place to be this Friday night is the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theater, the venue for the always eclectic and entertaining Winter Wonder Jam, produced by students in the college’s Music Industry program.
Set for 7-10 p.m. Dec. 7, concert-goers will be treated to music ranging from rock, pop, jazz, acoustic and hip- hop.
December 4, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Cuyamaca College’s Annual “Winter Wonder Jam” takes stage this Friday, December 6 at 7 p.m. This event is to promote students' efforts in showcasing new local talent; the public is invited to come out and enjoy the music. These home-grown singer-songwriters will present a variety of acoustic, rock, jazz and hip hop genres
This concert takes place at the Performing Arts Theatre at Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego. The festival features four local artists performing their all-original music compositions. This event is FREE with a donation to the San Diego Food Bank and there is plenty of free parking.
November 28, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers have a new schedule with many interesting outings coming up. A favorite among participants is the Jacumba Walk About coming up this Saturday, November 30 to explore Jacumba’s hidden treasures.
This three to four mile roundtrip walk is rated easy. It is also dog friendly, though dogs must be on a six foot leash.
November 15, 2013 (El Cajon) – The 67th annual Mother Goose Parade will roll out at 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 24 complete with floats, marching bands, and radio personality Shotgun Tom Kelly as grand marshal. Mother Goose Village will also be set up at the Prescott Promenade, 201 East Main Street, with fun actiivites from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The parade, a cherished East County tradition that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, begins at the corner of Main and Magnolia in downtown El Cajon, continuing eastbound to Second Street and East Main.
November 20, 2013 (Santee) -- On Thanksgiving Day, November 28, at 8:00 am, Pathways Community Church will be hosting the 2nd Annual Waddle and Trot 5K and Fun Run. This fun family event is intended for runners and walkers of every fitness level and all proceeds will go to Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank.
“We were so overwhelmed by the response we received last year from the community and local businesses,” says Phil Herrington, Pastor at Pathways Community Church. “Last year was our inaugural event and we had over 650 participants and 20 vendors which allowed us to raise $12,000 for Santee Santas and Santee Food Bank. We look forward to making this event an annual Thanksgiving tradition and continuing our support of these two worthy charities.”
November 16, 2013 (El Cajon ) -- Saturday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will be a day of food, crafts and entertainment for the whole family in El Cajon, where a craft fair will be held to support Rady Children’s Hospital. Activities include bounce houses, face painting, carnival games, a Kid Zone, an on-site DJ and live band.
The location is the 900 & 1000 block of Arnele Avenue, at Lexus El Cajon, Subaru El Cajon and Mazda El Cajon.
November 14, 2013 (Descanso) – Looking for a place to do some early holiday shopping? Descanso is hosting an Arts and Crafts Fair, where you can enjoy free refreshments, listen to some wonderful live music, and purchase hand-crafted items, all while taking in the fresh mountain air along with a little backcountry hospitality.
November 14, 2013 (San Diego) -- Join Mission Trails Regional Park's resident stargazer, George Vargas, for a "star party" on Saturday November 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. Meet at the far end of the Kumeyaay Campground day use parking lot, where a telescope will be available to veiw the nighttime sky.
The moon will be one day short of being Full so it will contribute to light pollution. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and its companion M32 are well in position for viewing. Light from these two objects takes about 2.5 – 2.9 million years to reach Earth. The Double Cluster in Perseus will also be visible be in the northeastern sky.
November 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Arbor Day in Mission Trails is being celebrated at the Equestrian Staging area on Saturday, December 7, 2013, 9:00 a.m. The public is invited to take part in the donation and/or planting of oak trees. Volunteers may help with the planting - or act as cheerleaders. Volunteers are also needed to pull weeds and help with general landscape maintenance of the area. Some shovels will be available, but Mission Trails says it would be helpful if you could bring your own. Gloves and comfortable shoes are recommended. To make a donation, please complete and mail the Arbor Day Donation Form.
November 8, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine branch of the San Diego County Library will be honoring our veterans on November 7 at 6 p.m., at 2130 Arnold Way, Alpine.
The event will feature speaker Diana Saenger, author of “Mission Honored – A Dream Achieved; True stories of the Veterans on the Alpine Wall of Honor.” A musical tribute will be performed by the East County Children’s Choir.
November 8, 2011 (Alpine) -- On Monday, November 11th, 2013, at 11:00 a.m., a ceremony will be held at the Alpine Wall of Honor (next to Alpine's Community Center) to celebrate the addition of an additional row of heroes and remember all of the great men and women on the Wall of Honor who have served our country or are currently serving.
VFW Post 9578 will be providing our Color Guard, and Peter Hastings will perform some patriotic songs.
After the ceremony, the VFW will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs at the Post and is inviting all who are interested to continue the day's celebration.
November 7, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band of San Diego County is having its 65th annual Tartan Ball on Nov. 16, 2013 at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. The Camerons have a long history, being one of the oldest continuously competing bands in the west coast. The group also offers free bagpiping and drumming lessons at Helix High School every Wednesday from7 to 9 PM.
"We are always in the look out for new guests to join us for an evening of bagpiping, singing, dinner, and highland dancing," said spokesman Robert Yslas, Jr.
November 6, 2013 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon invites the public to join in the Centennial Farewell festivities on Tuesday, November 12 at the Centennial Plaza, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Centennial Plaza is located at 200 Civic Center Way. This Farewell Celebration will also include a special tribute to veterans, as well as honoring those who have volunteered more than 100 hours in the El Cajon Community, through the 100 Hours, Honoring 100 Years Centennial Volunteer program.
November 6, 2013 (El Cajon) – Exceeding expectations, the second Annual HauntFest on Main celebration, held on Friday, October 25, was deemed as an overwhelming success by City officials. The Halloween themed event drew an estimated 20,000 people to downtown El Cajon.
Festivities were from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. with free admission. Partygoers enjoyed live bands on multiple stages, such as: Paul Cannon, Fuzzy Rankins, Rockola, Jason Weber and Back to the Garden. Families enjoyed the Terror Truck, the classic cars, the trick or treating booths, the movies on the giant movie screen, rides and games, pumpkin patch, craft booths, costumes, art show, and more.
September 30, 2013 (Ramona) – The H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project of Ramona, along with their sponsors, will present the First Annual Ramona Art and Wine Festival, to be held at the Amy Strong Castle at Mount Woodson. The festival will be held on November 2, 2013 from noon to 6 pm. Art, wine and food enthusiasts may purchase passports to the event by visiting www.RamonaArtandWineFest.net. General admission passports are $60, and a V.I.P. Passport is being offered for $110 that will include an exclusive “Winemakers’ Dinner” in the spring of 2014 (date TBD).
October 27, 2013 (San Diego) – The African American Writers & Artists, Inc. presents an anti-bullying event and masquerade party, “Boo on Bullying” on October 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Malcolm X Library and Performance Arts Center, 51458 Market Street, San Diego. The event will include an SDSU students’ panel on Anti-Bullying Strategies, a presentation on identifying bullying and bullies, as well as entertainment, raffles and prizes.
East County welcomes “You Missed”, a new comedy program starring Diane Jean, Al Gavi, Chris Clobber, Young Lucas, and Charlie the Yellow Bird.
“You Missed” is packed with humor, lots of strange stories from around the world, political perspectives from the right, left and people that just don’t give a damn.
“You Missed” is recording live at the Space Bar in La Mesa on Sunday Nights from 6-7PM. The show will air on KNSJ 89.1 Community Radio, Networking for social justice, Friday-Sunday at 4PM streaming worldwide on www.KNSJ.org. “You Missed” Pod Cast coming soon.
By Miriam Raftery
September 28, 2013 (Lakeside) – On the tenth anniversary of the Cedar Fire, community leaders and fire survivors will gather to dedicate a historic memorial commemorating the worst wildfire in California history. The ceremony will take place on October 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.at River Park Fire Station #2, 12216 Lakeside Avene in Lakeside, a community that suffered devastating losses when the firestorm trapped people caught unaware of the inferno raging during the fire's first night.
The event will also honor first responders and celebrate fire survivor families’ lifelong connection as guests pause to “reflect, remember and reconnect.” There will be exhibits, disaster prevention program information, book signings by Sandra Younger, author of The Fire Outside My Window, a VFW band, food and beverages, a moment of remembrance, and appreciation of community support.
Speakers will include Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Fire Chief Andy Parr, David Kassel from the Cedar Fire Rebuilding Resource Group, and Fire Chief Andy Parr. Presentations will be made from the offices of Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblyman Brian Jones, and Congressman Duncan Hunter.
Commemoration of the 2003 Cedar Fire ten-year anniversary will take place October 26 from 1-4 pm at the Crest Clubhouse in Crest.
The Crest Community Association is planning to mark the occasion with a commemorative event that will bring the community together to share their experience, thank those who helped Crest get back on its feet, and to learn how to be more prepared for any natural disaster.
October 23, 2013 (Borrego Springs) – Dori Holladay’s 48th Annual Borrego Days Desert Festival is October 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and October 26 & 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s event, renamed in honor of Dori Holladay (1937-2013), fondly called the Grand Dame of Borrego Springs will be anything but dry with a weekend filled with family entertainment.
The free festival features a music festival parade, artists, arts & crafts and food booths, and beer garden. There will even be a carnival for the little ones.
By Miriam Raftery
October 18, 2013 (Ramona) – At the Tournament of the Phoenix in Poway this weekend, Ramona resident Jeffrey Hedgecock is one of six competitors from around the world vying for glory in a global jousting competition. These armored competitors joust with real weapons—unlike the mock battles at Renaissance fairs. The action takes place October 18-20 at the Poway Rodeo Grounds.
“This is an honest competition, a true competition. It’s not staged; it’s not fake,” noted Hedgecock, who makes his living as an armor maker and has won several international competitions, most recently in France. The Tournament features medieval sporting competitions as well as a living history encampment, vendors, food and more.
By Miriam Raftery
October 19, 2013 (Jamul) – SoCal Parrot, the only local nonprofit which rescues wild parrots in our region, invites the public to “Picnic with the Parrots” on October 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held at the SoCal Parrot Sanctuary and Garden, 3621 Hidden Ridge Road in Jamul.
Activities include tours, wild parrot aviary viewing, meet the SoCal parrot ambassadors, a petting zoo, koi pond feeding, harvest festival and pumpkin carving. A silent auction and raffles will also be held. The event also features guest speakers. Box lunches can be purchased or bring your own picnic. The event costs $15 per adult, $10 per child, or $40 per family.