Festivals of the Month

GERMAN AMERICAN SOCIETIES TO HOST NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA

East County News Service

December 18, 2015 (El Cajon) — The German American Societies of San Diego invite you to ring in the New Year during a gala at their headquarters in El Cajon (1017 S. Mollison Ave.) on Wednesday, December 31st.   Come dressed up and enjoy dinner and dessert, the Blue Birds show band to put you in a dancing mood, party favors, a midnight snack and champagne.

FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING PARTY WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE SUNDAY: YOU'RE INVITED!

December 17, 2015 (Mt. Helix) -- Our holiday parties are legendary! Come join the fun Sunday, December 20 from 2-6 p.m. at our editor's home on Mt. Helix.

  • Delicious feast! Glazed ham and yams, cinnamon baked apples, beet/strawberry and eggplant salads from Baba al Hara,  pasta and salad from Olive Graden, desserts from New York Bakery
  •  Wine tasting with Grant James Vineyard and Pearson Bros. Winery, plus holiday beverages (21 and up.)
  • Live music (folk, rock, and holiday songs) with Paul Nichols, Cindy Burnham, Tim and Marijo Luranc,
  • Holiday games, prizes and surprises! Prizes include a mountain vacation,  wine lover’s baskets, dance lessons, silver jewelry, hand-woven shawl from Weaving Works in Santa Ysabel, California Wolf Preserve tour in Julian,  Passes and big-cat feeding for 2 at Lions Tigers &  Bears, dinner at Descanso Junction, Glamour Girlz gift basket, personal trainer for a month at CHN Fitness in Santee, yoga lessons at CHN Yoga, and much more. 

SNOW IN LA MESA AT CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE DEC. 11-12

 

East County News Service

December 10, 2015 (La Mesa) – This year’s Christmas in the Village will feature snow, Santa, carolers, holiday movies, kids’ face painting, fire pits, entertainment and more family fun. The event will be held rain or shine on Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the historic La Mesa Village.

VINE SPIRITS: HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL CONTINUES DEC. 12-13

 

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2015 (Ramona)--The Ramona Valley Vineyard invites you to take a break from the holiday hustle and give yourself and and your friends a unique holiday wine experience.  You can join  Join 15 RVVA member wineries on December 12th & 13th for the second weekend of wine, fun and holiday spirits along the Holiday Wine Trail.

Your “Get Your Merry On” Holiday Wine Trail Passport is your ticket to great deals and festive fun over all four days of the wine trail.  Each participating winery is offering different holiday wine trail specials including heavily discounted tastings and pairings, bottle and merchandise discounts, unique holiday gift items featuring local artisans.

ALPINE VILLAGE CHRISTMAS PARADE OF LIGHTS & SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 4

East County News Service

November 30, 2015 (Alpine) – The community of Alpine welcomes visitors to the 20th annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights and Snow Festival on Friday, December 4th.

The free Snow Festival includes a real snow hill, lighting of the Alpine Community Christmas Tree, Santa Claus (bring your camera!), family activities, vendors, crafters and more.  The parade starts at 6:30  p.m. (with entrants lining up starting at 6 p.m. at Alpine Blvd. and West Victoria Drive,) and ends at the Alpine Creek Town Center (1347 Tavern Road) for the Snow Festival from 7 to 9 p.m.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS DEC. 4-13

 

December 1, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes an array of holiday happenings including major community festivals such as the Alpine Parade of Lights and Snow Festival, Lakeside’s Christmas on Maine, a tree-lighting and sleigh rides in Ramona’s Old Town, Santa at Santee Lakes, as well as holiday music performances and stage productions, plus a Chaldean Christmas Gala to help people in need.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including La Mesa Shimmers, La Mesa’s Christmas in the Village, a holiday home tour in Alpine, and a holiday open house at an alpaca farm in Descanso. Scroll down for all of these events and more.

HOLIDAY OPEN RANCH AT ALPACAS OF SAN DIEGO IN DESCANSO DEC. 13

 

November 30, 2015 (Descanso) – You’re invited to a Holiday Open House at Alpacas of San Diego, located at 10499 Highway 79 in Descanso, on December 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Admission is free.

Learn all about alpacas and alpaca ownership see why these animals are so loveable and eco friendly, and you can do some holiday shopping for gift items such as luxurious alpaca scarves, throws, socks, yarn skeins and plush toys.  There will also be a craft table and activities for the kids, as well as a raffle gift basket giveaway.

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ON MAINE: DEC. 5 IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

November 26, 2015 (Lakeside) – Santa and his elves are hard at work getting ready for the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce’s 17th annual Spirit of Christmas on Maine Ave. in Lakeside.  The holiday tradition takes place on December 5th from 4 to 9 p.m. and is free to the public.

With an atmosphere of an old-fashioned, hometown Christmas, the event features the sights and sounds of Christmas including local school performances, Santa Claus and photos with Santa, food and drink, kids activities, rides and jumpy jumps, booths, crafters, and lighting of the community Christmas tree.

LA MESA SHIMMERS ON DEC. 9: CELEBRATING COMPLETION OF DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE

 

East County News Service

November 25, 2015 (La Mesa)—You’re invited to join the City of La Mesa in celebrating completion of the $5 million downtown streetscape renovation project on La Mesa Boulevard in La Mesa’s quaint village. Experience the newly brightened Downtown Village on December 9th from 4:00-6:00 pm.

La Mesa Shimmer will feature a lighting ceremony at 4:30 pm at Palm Ave. and La Mesa Blvd.  Refreshments will be provided during the event at Palm Ave. and La Mesa Blvd.  and near Date Ave. and La Mesa Blvd.  Live bands and students from Peter Pan Junior Theatre will perform along the Boulevard from 4:00-6:00 pm.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS NOV. 27-DEC. 12

November 24, 2015 (San Diego's East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes a tree-lighting ceremony and ice skating in downtown El Cajon, Pomegranate Days at a camel dairy, and a holiday music festival.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including a Chaldean Christmas party to benefit local refugees in need,  the Jingle Paws Walk helping shelter pets, sleigh rides and a tree-lighting in Ramona’s Old Town, a holiday party with lions, tigers and bears, Santee at Santee Lakes, and several musical productions. So scroll down for all of these events and more.

TREE-LIGHTING, SLEIGHT RIDES AND MORE IN RAMONA'S OLD TOWN DEC. 5

East County News Service

Photo, left: historic buildings at the Guy B. Woodward Museum in Ramona's Old Town

November 23, 2015 (Ramona)--The Ramona Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Christmas tree lighting event on December 5th from 5-8 p.m. in Old Town Ramona. The event features sleigh rides, carolers, Santa’s Village, performers and Santa Claus.

The tree-lighting will be at the Guy B. Woodward Museum (645 Main St..),  which includes a collection of historical buildings form Ramona's western past. The Holiday Craft Village with Santa will be in Ramona’s Town Hall.  Around town, watch for other activities and shops competing for the best-dressed window contest.

In addition, Old Town Ramona shops invite you to join in a “Find the Elf” contest from 3 -8 p.m. on the same day.

WADDLE & TROT 5K: THANKSIGIVING DAY IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

November 22, 2015 (Santee) – Santee Santas invites you to join its 4th annual Waddle & Trot 5K and Fun Run happening at 8:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 26th. Runners and walkers of all levels are welcome.

This fast & flat 5K race starts and finishes at the Pathways Center in Santee, and loops around through scenic Santee Lakes. The 1/4 mile Fun Run takes place at the Pathways Center campus. All proceeds benefit Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS ON MAIN NOV. 28 INCLUDES TREE LIGHTING, ICE RINK AND SANTA’S VILLAGE IN EL CAJON

By Robert Gehr © 2015

November 21, 2015 (El Cajon )—El Cajon’s first-ever Holiday Lights on Main celebration will be held November 28th from 12 noon to 7 p.m.  Festivities take place at Prescott Promenade Park and in downtown El Cajon.

This special event features a Santa’s village complete with Santa Claus and an elf making an appearance just in time for Christmas! There will also be an ice skating rink, craft and food vendors, a train ride, community acts, plus live music featuring Danielle Tucker from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

A special Christmas tree lighting at 6:00 p.m. in front of Starbucks and Urbn St. Brewing Co. at Main St. and Magnolia Ave. will coincide with all the lights throughout downtown and Prescott Promenade Park being turned on to brighten the holidays for everyone.

GIFT OF GIVING CHRISTMAS GALA: DEC. 4 AT ST. MICHAEL'S WILL BENEFIT LOCAL CHALDEAN AND ASSYRIAN REFUGEES IN NEED

 

November 21, 2015 (El Cajon)—St. Michael’s Chaldean Catholic Church will host its first annual “Gift of Giving Christmas Gala” on Friday, December 4 at 8 p.m.  The 21+ wine and cheese gala will feature a silent auction, raffle items, a selection of wines from local wineries, craft beers and donated foods.

CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS

East County News Service

Lions, Tigers and Bears invites you to a Christmas Festival on  Saturday, December 5th from 1 to 4 p.m.  You can watch the animals open their Christmas presents –and get holiday shopping all in one day at the exotic animal rescue facility east of Alpine.

There will be also be many local vendors, food, entertainment and a special appearance by the man in red--Santa Claus.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: NOV. 21-DEC. 6

 

By Miriam Raftery and Leon Thompson

November 18, 2015 (El Cajon)--This week’s Destination East County includes the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon, cowboy and Indian tales along the Butterfield stage coach route, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy, and the start of Parkway Plaza’s holiday music festival.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including Santa Claus and snow at Santee Lakes, a joyous holiday music concert by the San Diego Festival Chorus, the Christmas in Alpine homes tour, a production of Kracked Nutz, and a Christmas  festival at Lions, Tigers and Bears.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 13 - DEC. 23

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a banjo jam at Grossmont Center, a famed harmonica performer in Ramona, a western dinner theater show in El Cajon, and a storytelling celebration in Santee.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including the Mother Goose Parade, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy, and a holiday music festival at Parkway Plaza.

FREE HOLIDAY MUSIC CONCERTS AT PARKWAY PLAZA

 

East County News Service

November 10, 2015 (El Cajon)--Parkway Plaza shopping mall in El Cajon will be hosting a Holiday Music Festival that’s free for the community from Saturday, November 28th through Wednesday, December 23. 

These holiday concerts will include jazz, big bands, saxophone, fiddle, violin and vocal performances.

SUMMERS PAST FARMS HOSTS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE NOV. 12

 

November 10, 2015 (Flinn Springs)--You are invited to start your holiday season at Summers Past Farms, which is hosting a holiday open house on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring fall and Christmas gifts plus home decor. The barn will be filled with lights and the trimmings of the season. The store will glisten with holiday sparkle and  scents of the season. The Soap Shoppe will also be open with special holiday soaps and gifts .

Making this an old fashion open house please bring a plate of your favorite homemade cookies for the cookie table. Summers Past will have Christmas music & hot wassail for you to enjoy at this most enjoyable event under the Christmas lights.

JINGLE PAWS WALK FOR PETS: DEC. 5 AT THE GARDEN

November 9, 2015 (ElCajon)—The sign-up is now open for Jingle Paws, an annual holiday walk to benefit the El Cajon Animal Shelter through ACES, an organization that funds surgeries for shelter pets and helps meet other needs.  You can sign up online to walk with your pet at https://www.crowdrise.com/JINGLEPAWSWALKFORPETS2015 or arrive early and register at the event.

This year, Jingle Paws will be held at the beautiful Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College on December 5th.

EL CAJON'S ANNUAL MOTHER GOOSE PARADE FEATURES A NEW DAY & START TIME: SAT. NOV. 21

 

By Robert Gehr © 2015

 

November 6, 2015 (El Cajon ) -- The annual Mother Goose Parade is nearly upon us, still going strong after nearly 70 years. This very popular event began in 1947 and some changes this year should breathe new life into this fantastic family attraction. This year, the parade shifts to a Saturday,  Nov. 21st starting at 10 a.m.

BLACK FRIDAY IS THE NEW “HUMP DAY”: POMEGRANATE DAYS AT THE OASIS CAMEL DAIRY NOV. 27-29

 

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (Ramona) – One of East County’s most unique holiday traditions is Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona. 

Instead of battling crowds at the mall on the post-Thanksgiving weekend, why not head up to the Pomegranate Festival to enjoy feeding pomegranates to camels, camel rides for kids 3-14 (just print the coupon below)  watching a turkey stampede  (as seen at the county fair),  tropical bird show, and this year, circus performers as the high-flying McCandles family brings their aerial show to the site.

You can also buy holiday gift items such as a new product this year, Camel Milk Bath Bombs. Owners claim, “Cleopatra herself never had such a luxurious milk bath!”

COMMUNITY -WIDE YARD SALE & CHINESE CASTLE TOUR IN JACUMBA NOV. 14

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springa) – The town of Jacumba will host a community-wide yard sale on Saturday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring hand-made crafts, art work, household items and other yard sale treasures.  Parking and admittance are free.

In addition, tours will be offered of the Chinese Castle, a historic icon in Jacumba. There is a $5 charge for the castle tour and proceeds benefit the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Alliance, a 501c3.

5 PEAK CHALLENGE LAUNCHES NOV. 7 AT MISSION TRAILS



 

East County News Service

November 6, 2015 (Mission Trails) –Join San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, and La Mesa Councilmember Kristine Alessio on Saturday, November 7th at 10:00 a.m. at the East Kwaay Paay Trailhead, just west of Bushy Hill Drive and the Kumeyaay Lake Campground, on Father Junipero Serra Trail to officially launch Mission Trails Regional Park’s new 5-Peak Challenge program.

The 5-Peak Challenge involves hiking to the summit of the five highest peaks in the park: Cowles Mountain (1,592’), Pyles Peak (1,579’), North Fortuna (1,291’), Kwaay Paay (1,194’) and South Fortuna (1,094’).   Complete the challenge by hiking to the summit of all five peaks in any order and within your own timeframe. This will provide you the opportunity to discover all the less-visited areas of the park.  After completing the 5-Peak Challenge, not only will you have seen San Diego from different perspectives, but you may also adopt your new favorite hiking trail along the way.   

Here’s how to officially complete the 5-Peak Challenge: http://mtrp.org/five_peaks01

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 5-21

 

East County News Service

November 5, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes guitar concerts, a Plantstravaganza, the Toast of East County featuring local wineries, the Ramona Art and Wine Festival, and a Punkin Chunkin contest!

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including a  harmonica concert, Wrangler at Red Mountain Ranch dinner theatre, a storytelling celebration, and the Mother Goose Parade. Scroll down for details on these events and many more.

GROWING LOCAL WINE INDUSTRY TO BE HIGHLIGHTED AT TOAST TO EAST COUNTY

 

 

Inaugural event also features craft brews, honey, olives plus other local food offerings

November 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s not quite Napa…yet… but East San Diego County has established a vibrant and growing wine industry. There are more than 50 wineries in San Diego County, with more than 40 east of Highway 15. Many of those local east county vintners will have their products highlighted at the inaugural Toast to East County, to be held Sunday, November 8 at Cottonwood Golf Club in El Cajon.

A RIGHT JOLLY OLD ELf: MR. CLAUS COMES TO LEMON GROVE NOV. 5

 

By Helen Ofield, President, Lemon Grove Historical Society

 

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there.

November 1, 2015 (Lemon Grove) -- He will be. The witching hour is 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.

Of course, you knew that.  Come November, neither you, we, nor anyone within earshot is exempt from visions of sugar plums, the hope of reindeer hooves on the roof, the hearkening to Donner and Blitzen, and the careful setting out of a post prandial libation and figgy pudding for The Great Claus.

He is William Swank and the name fits.  He is swell, swank, super-duper and silver-tongued.  He's been Santa Claus for 14 years, including seven in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. He's an author of 10 books, too, bringing us to the main event.

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