San Diego Events

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: AWE-INSPIRING APRIL EVENTS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
 
April 7, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) -- Late April brings some awesome events to East County, including  Daffodil Days in Julian, a stargazing party at Mission Trails, a solar eclipse party in Julian, the opening of the Cajon Classic Cruises season, Ramona’s open studios art tour, Latino musical headliners at Viejas Concerts in the Park, Heritage of the Americas Museum’s spring art show, stand-up comedian Kevin Hart at the Magnolia, Lakeside’s rodeo and Western Days parade, and a Neil Young concert at SDSU.

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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: NEW EVENTS IN THE NEW YEAR

By Miriam Raftery

January 20, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – January and February are prime times to enjoy a full moon desert walk, Valentine’s dinners and wine pairings, farm tours, hawk watching, new nature walks at Lakeside’s River Park, concerts, theatrical productions and more in San Diego’s East County.


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CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER SHANE HARRIS TO DELIVER “STATE OF POVERTY” ADDRESS AT MLK DAY BREAKFAST

“Being America’s most expensive city is anti-Dr. King.”—Shane Harris

January 14, 2024  (San Diego) -- Civil rights leader Shane Harris and the People's Association of Justice Advocates  will serve hundreds of unsheltered individuals and low-income families with a free breakfast on Martin Luther King Day, January 15, from 9 a.m.to 11 a.m. at the Living Water Church, 1550 Market Street, San Diego.  Harris will give an MLK Day address announcing new policy efforts to combat poverty, calling new efforts to raise sales taxes in what has already been deemed America's most expensive city 'anti-MLK' as well as calling out San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria for failing to demonstrate dr. King's policies as San Diego further prices out the working class under his leadership 


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HAWK WATCH IN RAMONA TAKES WING SATURDAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

East County News Service

January 8, 2024 (Ramona) – The Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona invites you to Hawk Watch, each Saturday in January and February at 10 a.m. at Begent Ranch, 18528 Highland Valley Rd, in Ramona.  Arrive at 9:30 for coffee and donuts, then enjoy the free program that includes biologist’s talks, Q&A with falconry or ambassador raptors up close, followed by optional roadside observations of wild raptors and other wildlife including a Bald Eagle nest where you'll drive your own car less than 2 miles on paved roads and come and go at your leisure. Biologists and local expert volunteer observers will help you spot and identify birds and show them to you through our high-powered professional telescopes.


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CUYAMACA COLLEGE CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES

East County News Service

Photo:  CC by SA

January 8, 2024 (El Cajon) – Cuyamaca College in El Cajon’s Rancho San Diego community will host the ECHO Chamber Music series at the Samuel M. Cicatti Theatre.  The concerts will be held on select Thursdays at 7 p.m. from January 11 through May 30.

Below is the schedule of performances:


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OPEN FARM TOURS JANUARY 13 AND 27 AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY

East County News Service

January 8, 2024 (Ramona) -- Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona invites you to open farm tours on Saturday, January 13 and January 27 from 12 to 2 p.m.  Enjoy a bird show and camel show, meet and feed camels and lambradoodles, take a camel ride, and enjoy camel milk products such as artisan soaps, lotions, chocolate and camel milk.

Tickets must be purchased online.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: DELIGHTFUL DECEMBER EVENTS

East County News Service

November 27, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – December brings the magic of the holiday season,  with many delightful events and activities. This year’s options in East County include the North Pole Express train ride in Campo, outdoor ice skating rinks in Julian and Alpine, a pottery tour and a Crest Craft festival ideal for holiday gift shopping,  elaborate holiday lighting displays at Santee Lakes,  Enchanted Village in Spring Valley, and Camp Christmas in Pine Valley. There’s a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet in El Cajon, and a contemporary twist on the Nutcracker performed by Kidz Danz Kompany in La Mesa. Plus, you can enjoy tree lighting ceremonies in Lakeside and Ramona , caroling on Mt. Helix, La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village, and Lemon Grove’s annual holiday bonfire.

Scroll down for details on these merry events, and have a joyous holiday season!

Know of a holiday event we've missed? Please post info in our comments section.


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FIND UNIQUE GIFTS AT SAN DIEGO POTTERY TOUR DEC. 9-10

East County News Service

November 27, 2023 (San Diego) — The 16th annual San Diego Pottery Tour features 110 open studios with works of over 35 ceramic artists.  The self-guided tour is held December 9 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour includes several artists in or near East County, including Spring Valley, Rolando and the College area.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS NOV-DEC. 2023

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – East County has a wealth of treasured holiday events coming up this season, from  holiday lighting displays and craft fairs to local festivals, outdoor ice skating rinks, a train ride aboard the North Pole Express, a pottery studio tour, and a performance of the Nutcracker ballet.

Scroll down for details on these merry events, and have a joyous holiday sesaon!


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TASTE OF JULIAN ON NOVEMBER 4 BENEFITS TOWN HALL RENOVATIONS

East County News Service

October 12, 2023 (Julian)-- A Taste of Julian is a rural dining adventure showcasing the culinary delights in the historic mountain town. Just 100 tickets will be sold for this special event on Saturday, November 4.

The self-guided tour includes at least a dozen sites in the Julian area including restaurants, a pub, bakeries, wineries, breweries, a tea shop, and a chocolate tasting room.


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DESTINATON EAST COUNTY: HALLOWEEN HAUNTS AND MORE LATE OCTOBER OUTINGS

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2023 (San Diego’s East County)—Looking for a frightfully good time? You’ll find plenty of spooky special events, from a Haunted Forest at Banner Ranch to HauntFest on Main in El Cajon, as well as haunted train rides in Campo, a Pumpkin Bash and Spooky Campover at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine.

Plus an Autumn Jubilee and an Heirloom  Apple Festival continue in Julian,  while the Borrego Days Desert Festival takes place in Borrego Springs and Santee hosts its Brews and Bites Festival. Theatre aficionados can watch Randy Rainbow’s political comedy show at The Magnolia in El Cajon, or savor an  Old Globe For All experience in Lemon Grove. Plus tribute artist Robert Neary brings his "So Good! The Neil Diamond Experience" to the Magnolia in El Cajon.

Scroll down for details on all of these events and more.


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TASTE OF AFRICA: TICKETS NOW ON SALE! OCT. 8 IN LA MESA, BENEFITS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

View South Africa video

View Zulu Nyala video

September 7, 2023  (La Mesa) –Tickets are now on sale for our “Taste of Africa” event!  The festivities will be Sunday, October 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center in the Arbor Room (4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, CA 91941).

Join us for a fun-filled evening including tastes of African cuisine from local African restaurants and caterers, African dancers and drummers, DJ and dancing, speakers including wildlife conservation leader Coe Lewis of NSEFU and Assembly member Akilah Weber, Africa videos Community Champion awards, raffle, live and silent auction.

The grand prizes are six-night photo safari packages for two at Zulu Nyala - a fabulous private wildlife preserve in South Africa! Other live auction prizes include a larimar bracelet, wine basket, hand-crafted ukelele with African theme, camping gear, and more.

Our raffle and silent auction is huge with many gift certificates and gift baskets from local restaurants, stores, wineries and other vendors, as well as hand-crafted African items and more.

Suggested attire:  African themed (animal print fabric, traditional African, safari wear, or tropical)

Get tickets now! We are nearly sold out.  Questions? Call 619-698-7617


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"HISTORY ALIVE" OCT. 5 IN LEMON GROVE FEATURES FAMOUS BUFFALO SOLDIERS

East County News Service

September 23, 2023 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Historical Society’s 45th annual free "History Alive" lecture series will present the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, led by Trooper Rachel Hilliard (photo,left), founder and president of the San Diego Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers, and several troop members. This special presentation will take place on Thursday, October 5 at 5 p.m. at the H. Lee House Cultural Center,3205 Olive Street in Lemon Grove.

“This extraordinary organization played a major role in America's westward expansion as they helped and saved many wagon trains of migrants, seeking farmland, pasturage and places to establish towns,”says Helen Ofield, historian to the board of the LGHS. “On every level, the Buffalo Soldiers are at the heart of American history. Don't miss this uniformed presentation.”


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: APPLE FESTIVALS, HAUNTING HAPPENINGS AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- As autumn arrives and Halloween draws near, East County has a wealth of festivals and events coming up.  These include Julian’s Autumn Jubilee and an Heirloom Apple Festival, Oktoberfests in La Mesa and El Cajon, the Borrego Days Desert Festival,  Haunt Fest on Main in downtown El  Cajon, a Pumpkin Bash and Spooky Campover at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine,and a Pumpkin Express train ride in Campo.

Plus there are live entertainment stars taking stage in East County, including comics Paula Poundstone and Randy Rainbow at The Magnolia, the rock artist  Sting at SDSU, and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells with his band in a benefit concert to help the homeless in El Cajon.

Scroll down for details on all of these events and more.


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THE POWAY RODEO’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT SEPT. 22-23 PROMISES TO BE BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER

This year’s rodeo provides more ways to enjoy the excitement than ever before, including big-screen video, VIP seating, and special activities just for kids

Story and photos courtesy of Poway Rodeo

September 11, 2023 (Poway) -- The Poway Rodeo returns for its 50th year of bringing the very best in action-packed entertainment to its centrally located north San Diego location. This year’s rodeo promises more ways than ever before to enjoy all the excitement, with big-screen video projection, VIP seating opportunities, and special adventures for even the youngest cowpokes.

Visitors can choose from three performances: one on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m., and two on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. VIP ticketholders enjoy exclusive extras like preferred seating, excellent arena views, personal service, and included food and drinks.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FUN FALL FESTIVITIES

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Fall is in the air –ushering in some of East County’s most iconic festivals including Oktoberfests, Alley Cat Art Walk, Julian Autumn Jubilee, Sycuan's Powwow, and haunting Halloween happenings. Plus comedians Randy Rainbow and Paula Poundstone will be performing in El Cajon and music legend Crystal Gayle will be onstage at Sycuan.

Scroll down for these events in San Diego's inland region, and more.


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POSTPONED TO SEPT. 3: EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB FEAST AT KALI’S GARDEN IN JULIAN

Update:  This event has been rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. due to Hurricane Hilary, which is forecast to drop 12 inches of rain this weekend in the mountains. Stay safe and let us know if you are able to attend on Sept. 3!

By Miriam Raftery

August 4, 2023 (Julian) – Please join us to support  the East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts and East County Magazine reporting at our next East County Dining Club Event!  We’ll be savoring a delicious vegan feast  on Sunday, August 20 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the brand new Kail’s Garden Café and Juice Bar, 1921 Main Street in Julian.

Please RSVP by Aug.17 by sending your name, the number in your party, and your entrée choices to: editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  Questions? Call 619-698-7617.

Feast your eyes on the menu choices below (entrees pictured at left):

Special menu entrée options

1:  Pineapple, cranberry and walnut salad, eggplant/spinach lasagna

2:  Seasoned roasted corn, 3 jackfruit BBQ tacos, mango salsa

3.  Garlic edamame, Yakisoba noodles with tofu, red bell peppers, broccoli

4.  Jackfruit burger with vegan fries

Dessert:  Vegan cheesecake or ube (purple yam) cheesecake

Win prizes! Thanks to our raffle prize donors:  Kali’s Garden, Menghini Winery, Cedar Rio, Purple Owl Café, Jeremy’s on the Hill, Faith’s Embroidery/Julian Toy Chest, Julian Café & Bakery, Julian Mercantile, Zen Mountain Yoga, Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, and more!


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: SUMMER’S END CELEBRATIONS AND EARLY AUTUMN ATTRACTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

August 14, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- As summer draws to a close and autumn fast approaches, some of East County’s most anticipated events of the year are coming up including the Mt. Helix Food and Wine Festival, X-Fest in Santee, the Barona and Sycuan powwows, and the Borrego Days Desert Festival. There are also attractions onstage indoors, including Crystal Gayle in concert and comic Paula Poundstone performing.

Scroll down for details on all of these events.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: HOT AUGUST NIGHTS AND STAR-STUDDED SEPTEMBER EVENTS

July 31, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- August and September events coming up in San Diego’s East County will give you plenty to howl about – including tours at the California Wolf Center, National Night Out with local law enforcement agencies, Julian’s star fest, outdoor concerts in several communities, classic cruises, the Mt. Helix Food and Wine Festival, an X-Fest with extreme sports events, plus a concert by country music legend Crystal Gayle and a comedy show by Paula Poundstone.

Scroll down for details on these events and many more, coming up across San Diego’s inland region.


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MT. HELIX FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL AUGUST 19 HAS WESTERN THEME WITH LIVE MUSIC, A SALOON, TASTINGS AND DANCING UNDER THE STARS

East County  News Service

July 24, 2023  (Mt. Helix) – The Mt. Helix Food and Wine Festival returns on August 19 to benefit the Mt. Helix Park.  The event takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. at the historic and inspiring Mt. Helix amphitheater and 7-acre nature preserve atop one of our region’s tallest peaks, with 360-degree views.

This year’s event features a Wild West theme. Whiskey Ridge band will entertain on the main stage and The Tradesmen up at the cross location as guests savor food and beverages from over 40 sampling booths.  The park will be transformed with a secret Speakeasy Saloon and  line dancing.

Don’t miss the auction with everything from Legoland Tickets and golf outings to yacht experiences and overnights in exotic places, to private parties for you and your friends at Mt. Helix Park.


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JOIN US JULY 20 AT ANNIVENTI LA TRATTORIA IN LEMON GROVE!

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2023 –Our East County Dining Club is back!  East  County Magazine invites you to join us on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m. for a fundraiser where you can savor the flavors of southern Italy at AnniVenti La Trattoria,  a delightful new restaurant at 8099 Broadway in Lemon Grove. RSVP early to save space!

15% of all food and drinks plus 100% of raffle tickets will benefit East County Media to support East County Magazine, nonprofit award-winning community news coverage, and East Coundy Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.

For just $35 per person, (excluding tax and tip), the 4-course feast will include:

Appetizers served family-style (pistachio burrata, calamari, and charcuterie)

Pasta entrée options:

-- Spaghetti Vongole (clams, white wine garlic sauce, pesto and pistachio)

-- Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (chicken pasta in creamy pepper sauce)

-- Busiata Normanna(eggplant, tomato, basil, mint, ricotta)

-- Pappardelle al Ragu (slowly braised beef pasta)                  

Caesar salad

Desert:  Tiramisu,Limoincello, or Cannoli

The restaurant also has a full wine list as well as beer and creative cocktails.

Win prizes! We will also have a raffle with prizes including a gift card to AnniVenti, gift certificates for other local merchants, gift baskets, jewelry, flowers, books, and more! Thanks to our prize sponsors so far: Anniventi La Tratorria,  Mastiff Kitchen, Jasmine Creek Florist,  Elevated Coffee, Mario's Family Clothing Center,  Stephanie Klein at Roots Real Estate, Lemon Grove Antique Mall, El Pollo Grill, Maxwell's House of Books, Mary Ann Chanthala at ASKMary4RealEstate brokered by ΓEA⅃, Moutain Gypsy, Jean's Dance Studio, Busy Bee Garden Co-op, Flowers by Elsa, and more.  

RSVP BY JULY 17: Please email editor@eastcountymagazine.org and include your name, the number of people in your party, and the subject line  “RSP for AnniVenti.” To reserve space for the July 20 event. (Late RSVPs may be accepted on a limited basis, based on availability.) We expect this to be a popular event to welcome Lemon Grove’s newest fine dining restaurant!


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LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS SUMMER BASH” BUSINESS EXPO AUGUST 17

July 5, 2023 (La Mesa) -- On Thursday, August 17, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will produce its 8th Annual “Summer Bash” Business Expo. This special evening will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott  (141 N. Magnolia Ave. El Cajon) from 5-7:30 p.m.

“To encourage you to come out and see us again, tickets are being offered at the low price of $15 apiece and include food from many local restaurants,” says Mary England,  the Chamber’s president. “There will be raffles and business vendors will offer numerous FREE door prizes that evening. You may win free prizes/gifts to use the rest of your summer!”


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JULY 4-AUG. 19

By Miriam Raftery

July 1, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- Fireworks, parades, a deep pit barbecue, a stargazing festival, outdoor concerts, farm tours with berry picking, a food fest and more are all happening in East County as summer heats up.

Scroll down for details on these events and many more, coming up across San Diego’s inland region.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: HOT EVENTS IN LATE JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST

By Miriam Raftery

June 22,2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- Parades, outdoor concerts, dancing under the stars, farm tours, theater productions, a food fest, and more are all happening in East County as summer heats up.

Scroll down for full details on these and many more hot summertime happenings.


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YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN: JUNE 21-24 AT KROC THEATRE

East County News Service

June 17, 2023 (San Diego) — C. Hook Theater will present  “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” June 21-24 at the Ray & Joan Kroc Performing Arts Theatre (6611 University Ave., San Diego).

 

The musical is based on the beloved characters created by Charles Shultz in the comic strip “Peanuts.”


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LA MESA JUNETEENTH AND FRIENDS JUBILEE SUNDAY AT MACARTHUR PARK

East County News Service

June 16, 2023 (La Mesa)—You’re invited to celebrate Black culture, history and life while honoring those who fought for freedom and rights.  La Mesa’s Juneteenth Celebration will be held Sunday,  June 19  from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at MacArthur Park,4900 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.

“We bring a family oriented celebration with participation from local businesses, educators, writers, churches, community leaders, elected officials, and performers in and around La Mesa. All are welcome as we bring our community together and raise awareness of the Juneteenth jubilee and share its important historical significance,” states the website for the La Mesa Juneteenth Foundation.


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ART IN THE PARK JUNE 17 IN LA MESA

East County News Service

June 8,2023 (La Mesa)—You’re invited to enjoy Art in the Park, an evening with appetizers, drinks and entertainment starting at 4 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Garden at MacArthur Park. Socialize while viewing and bidding on artwork for sale from local artists.

Ticket sales help support La Mesa's parks and cost $35 per person. This is a 21+ event.


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EXPERIENCE THE RENAISSANCE JUNE 17 IN SANTEE

East County News Service

June 8, 2023 (Santee) –  Harken back in time to the 16th century to experience the Renaissance on Saturday, June 17 in Santee.  Come as you are, or dress to experience the life of a noble, knight or peasant.

You can try your hand at archery, watch fighting tournaments all day long, learn a craft, learn a dance, listen to a bardic recital, or experience a battle of the bards. Enjoy fun for the entire family – and admission is free.


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ILAN-LAEL FOUNDATION HOSTS SPRING TOURS OF JAMES HUBBELL’S ARTISTIC RESIDENCES

 

Experience the captivating blend of art and nature at Ilan-Lael Foundation's Spring Tours, exploring visionary creations of founder James Hubbell in Santa Ysabel

Story courtesy of Ilan-Lael Foundation

Photos, left by Kristin Kjaero and Miriam Raftery

June 7, 2023 (Santa Ysabel) - Immerse yourself in the enchanting and fantastical world of renowned artist and architect James Hubbell, founder of the Ilan-Lael Foundation at the 2023 Spring Tours. The world-famous compound will open its doors to visitors every Monday, Friday, and Saturday until June 17 with tours running at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Located in the stunning hills of Santa Ysabel, California, Ilan-Lael offers a unique and captivating experience for art and nature enthusiasts alike. Built “from the earth up” as living and working spaces for himself and his family, Hubbell spent over two decades creating the awe-inspiring structures. Despite losing four of the Ilan-Lael buildings in the 2003 Cedar Fire, Hubbell, his family, and team came back stronger and rebuilt with the help of the community. Their Spring Tours provide a rare opportunity to explore this extraordinary space, where Hubbell’s vision can be seen and felt.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: HOT SUMMER HAPPENINGS

By Miriam Raftery

June 8, 2023 (San Diego's East County) --  A Renaissance experience,  the Mt. Helix Food and Wine festival, a Taste of San Diego East, a Team on a Trek challenge, concerts, comedy, the musical Grease onstage,  4tth of July celebrations and fireworks are all coming up in San Diego’s East County this summer.

Scroll down for full details on these and more festive events coming up.


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