December 7, 2009 (Alpine) – San Diego East Visitors Bureau celebrated the grand opening last week of its new office in the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine. The site is an official California Welcome Center, providing information for tourists on attractions in East County and the San Diego region.
“This is the first California Welcome Center ever opened on tribal lands,” said Charlie Brown, director of Viejas Community Relations.
November 24, 2009 – Tribal Council leaders rolled out the first strikes following a ribbon cutting ceremony today at the new Viejas Bowl, located in the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine. (www.shopviejas.com. Opening ceremonies included a blessing and smudging, or burning of sage, to bring good luck to Viejas’ newest entertainment venture.
October 25th, 2009 (Alpine) -- “Smokin’ in the Park,” the state’s largest BBQ competition sponsored by Viejas, was held Oct. 17 at the Viejas Outlet Center. Last year’s event drew over 9,000 people and from the looks of the long lines of hungry barbecue aficionados waiting to sample the fare here, I’d say this year’s event was an equally savory success.
Viejas Outlet Center transforms into a winter wonderland complete with ice skating, holiday tree lighting & shows
November 10, 2009 (Alpine)– Viejas Outlet Center officially kicks off the holiday season this Friday, November 13, with the opening of Southern California’s largest ice rink including skating show at 6 p.m., holiday tree lighting at 7:30. p.m., the return of the Legend of the Ice Princess performance, plus holiday savings at all retail stores.
October 30, 2009 (Alpine) -- A traditional Kumeyaay blessing, birdsinging and smudging conducted by Viejas Tribal Councilmember Virginia Christman heralded the opening of a new Asian Cuisine restaurant, Far East Winds, at the Viejas Casino in Alpine last week.
October 29, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Want to be a winner at a casino—without having to gamble any money? Several area casinos are hosting Halloween costume contests and paying out big cash prizes. Others are offering parties, gifts, and Halloween eve concerts.
Teams from around the country cook up a good time at free “Smokin’ in the Park” Festival
October 14, 2009 (Alpine) – Looking to spice up your week? Viejas Casino & Outlet Center will host California’s largest BBQ cooking championship again this year in one of East County's most popular free events of the season. The “Smokin’ in the Park” BBQ Championship & Festival (www.viejasbbq.com) is back for its fifth year…bigger and better than ever. This year, more than 60 teams will compete for $23,000 in cash and prizes, making it the largest competition of its kind in the state.
Thousands enjoyed free concert, car show and kids fun zone
Story and Photos by Leon Thompson
Viejas (September 26, 2009) Thousands of enthusiastic rock music fans of all ages convened in the parking lot of Viejas Casino to hear a free concert co-sponsored by radio station Magic 92.5 on Saturday, October 3. The event, new this year, was clearly a success—as evidenced by a line of cars backed up to the freeway exit by mid-afternoon.
The event featured attractions for the whole family including free rides in the fun zone for the young and young at heart, a vintage and custom car show. A troop of young spray-can outlaws fascinated the crowd by transforming a blank wall into living art that seemed to jump from the wall. (The artists, who declined to have their faces photographed, honed their skills from years of practice in places not so welcoming as here.)
October 5, 2009 (Alpine) – On Thursday, over 250 school children will join firefighters, tribal representatives, Smokey the Bear and Sparky the firedog from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for hands-on learning about the importance of fire safety. The event, held at Viejas Recreation Center in Alpine, is being held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week.
September 3, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Thousands of tribal members from across the United States as well as many local participants and spectators are expected to flock to the Barona and Syucan reservations in East County during the first two weekends in September.
August 16, 2009 (La Jolla) – It was a day filled with education and excitement for Native American youngsters enrolled in Camp Heyaay Coome Kooknumch, which means “The Elders Long Ago Tell Our Stories.”
July 15, 2009 (San Diego)--Congressman Bob Filner announced that the Campo Band of Kumeyaay Indians, along with six other Indian Tribes in California, will have improved access to vital water services through funds awarded from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the stimulus bill.
July 7, 2009 (San Diego)--A new chapter was added to the history books at San Diego State University on July 1. The arena on the SDSU campus has been known as Cox Arena ever since it opened its doors 1997. But Wednesday, the name officially changed to Viejas Arena.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — June 1, 2009 — For the first time, Viejas Outlet Center is excited to welcome all dogs to the center for a “doggone” day of fun. On Saturday, June 6 Viejas will host the 5th Annual Novelty Fun Dog Show and the Service Dog Celebration.
June 1, 2009 (Warner Springs)—“It’s always fun when we get an adult to volunteer to be the cow,” Sherri Freeman quipped, then deftly lassoed a running parent. Nearby, youngsters saddled up on a bucking mechanical horse, ground acorns, studied history of the Butterfield Stage Coach, hiked with an ecologist, visited farm animals, and learned about wild herbs from a Native American healer.
May 28, 2009 (Alpine)-- The Alpine Little League presented a plaque to the Viejas Tribal Council on May 27th, expressing the organization’s appreciation for the Tribe’s ongoing support of their efforts to promote youth sports in the Alpine area community.
ALPINE, Calif. — May 28, 2009 — As the weather begins to heat up and children get out of school, Viejas offers a place to beat the heat with an array family-friendly events. The annual Power of Nightfire show will feature performances at 9 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday, until Labor Day. The unique performance intrigues the audience with water fountains, lasers, pyrotechnics, special effects and intricate choreography. The show tells the story of an ancient Kumeyaay Indian who saved his people from the evil “water spirit” and brings the valuable water back to his village.
May 27, 2009 (Alpine)--MMA Veteran Vernon “Tiger” White will face one of Temecula Team Quest’s stand out Lew Polley at Wargods “Five” at the Viejas Casino in Alpine, California on Saturday, May 30th. Doors open at 5:30 for the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m.
“I had a dream that I would have a drum,” recalled Neka’asawe, a drum maker who was among the many vendors displaying indigenous crafts at the Sage & Songbirds Festival at Viejas Outlet Center in early May. “I went into a sweat lodge and prayed. A spirit told me I would make many drums.”
Reprinted with permission from East County Communities Action Coalition (ECCAC)
May 6, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--On March 23, 2009, the Viejas Bank of Kumeyaay Indians filed their appeal against the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) challenging the agency’s “Record of Decision” on the Sunrise Powerlink.
April 23, 2009 (Viejas Indian Reservation)—Preparing for fire season, fire
engine crews from more than 60 fire protection agencies donned full safety
gear and participated in structure protection drills, wildland hose lays, pumping
evolutions and other exercises. Aerial resources, including helicopters, practiced
coordinated fire attacks with ground crews under simulated fire conditions.
The eighth annual event was hosted this year at the Viejas Indian Reservation
east of Alpine on April 18, 21, 22 and 23.
Bird dancers demonstrate hand-made gourds at Warner Springs Native American museum.
--A broken song beneath the snow, the echo of a soaring joy, a shape in the mist, a touch, in the rain in wilderness you come again. You tell us what we used to know. You speak for all the free wild things whose ways were ours when the world had wings.—Bev Doolittle
April 20, 2009 (Warner Springs)- Inscribed on a wall in the new Outdoor Academic Experience (O.A.E.) Native American Museum in Warner Springs, the quote above reflects the rich cultural heritage and traditions of local Cahuilla, Luiseño, Cupeño and Kumeyaay tribes preserved and displayed here. To commemorate the museum’s grand opening on April 13, a trio of Native American bird singers performed traditional songs for visiting Girl Scouts from Troop 3125 and demonstrated gourd rattles which they crafted by hand.
La Mesa Chamber of Commerce President Mary England and Viejas spokesman Charlie Brown
By Miriam Raftery
March 26, 2009 (Alpine) —“We don’t just hold mixers. We make cash registers ring,” La Mesa Chamber of Commerce president Mary England told a crowd of approximately 100 members and guests at a mixer hosted by the Chamber at the Dreamcatcher Lounge in Viejas Casino. England presented a plaque to Viejas, which donated dinners for all Chamber members and guests.
Charlie Brown is honored for his ongoing contribution to the Burn Institute.
March 23, 2009 (San Diego, Calif.) - Charlie Brown, a Viejas Tribal Member and Director of Viejas Community Relations, was awarded the Health Hero Award by the Combined Health Agencies for his contributions to the local health industry and community activism.
March 17, 2009 (San Diego) — The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians hosted the Inter-Tribal Sports (ITS) Basketball Championships on the Viejas Reservation on Sunday, March 15. The sports league, consisting of teams from 16 different tribes or tribal organizations in the Southern California area, provides athletic opportunities along with native cultural and spiritual development.
March 17, 2009 (San Diego)--The on campus sports and entertainment venue at San Diego State University will be renamed Viejas Arena, under a new agreement between the university and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the two announced today. "We're very pleased that the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, who are such an important member of the San Diego community, has decided to partner with us," said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. "SDSU's arena is one of the top sports and entertainment venues in San Diego County.
March 3, 2009 (San Diego)--At an inaugural celebration, Viejas Enterprises was awarded the East County Regional Business of the Year by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. The first "Bet on the Chamber" celebration, held at Viejas' DreamCatcher Lounge, recognized over 20 outstanding East County businesses.The Chamber annually recognizes businesses throughout East County that have made a substantial contribution to the community.
February 23, 2009 (El Cajon)--The 21st annual Grossmont College Pow-Wow, a celebration of American Indian culture, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the college's Student Center. Admission is free. The day-long event, which begins at noon with gourd dancing and giveaways, features American Indian dancers and drummers. Vendors will sell American Indian cuisine, clothing, art and jewelry. The Grand Entry, a procession of about 100 dancers, begins at 6 p.m.