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View videos of Eric Runningpath:   Video 1 (Crow Dance) and Video 2 (Hoop Dance)


By Ariele Johannson

If you missed the festivities, our East County Magazine event, “Celebrate Our Roots” at the Heritage of the Americas Museum on June 19 was a huge success! The event brought together people in a fun and educational way to celebrate East County’s cultural and agricultural heritage. Highlights of the event were recorded by Mike Hancock from KNSJ, East County’s NEW Community Radio Station with its transmitter in Descanso.  The East County Magazine LIVE! Radio Show will debut this week, airing Mondays through Fridays at 5 p.m. and 9 a.m.

As guests arrived at the museum, they were treated to live music by Krista Timm and Vicky Archibold with San Diego Performance Academy.

Sunbelt Publications brought local authors and had books about San Diego’s culture, and history, our backcountry and desert regions, Native American heritage, and more.

On the tropical garden patio, guests tasted wines by Campo Creek and Westfall Vineyards as Jim Hannibal played his handmade Native American flutes. Guests browsed at fascinating exhibits inside the museum and savored an outdoor feast featuring multi-cultural dishes from Tiramisu Trattoria, Dolce Café Italiano, J’s Greek Café, Rubio’s, and Vine Ripe Market.








In this casual format, guests mingled and also visited the vendors on the desert landscape and patio garden: Sullivan Solar, Crazy Coops, A.R.C.H.E.S. from Alpine, San Diego Farm Bureau, and El Cajon Historical Society. Later on, Native American dancer Eric Runningpath, spoke to the crowd and danced on this same patio to Native American taped music, including  a dazzling hoop dance and another dance with his young daughter also in full regalia.

Networking was alive that night, also, as speakers briefly informed everyone about their local cultural or agricultural organization.

Kathleen Oatsvall, Director of the Heritage of the Americas Museum, was the first speaker to be introduced by our own editor of East County Magazine, Miriam Raftery, who moderated the program. Oatsvall explained that the museum was planned especially for educational field trips. This jewel of a museum is right here in East County on the campus of Cuyamaca College in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon. Speaking of jewels, many of our readers may know the museum from its collection of crystals, gems, and other minerals. There are more than 500 necklaces in the collection. Beads of jade, stone, ivory, shell, gold, silver, copper and pottery range in age from 600 BC to 1200 AD are just a part of the museum’s exhibits.

Tribal cultures of the Americas are represented with displays of pipes, pottery, stone axes and decorative prehistoric beads and ornaments. The four wings of the museum were created to provide the opportunity for visitors to experience four small museums in one: Natural History, Anthropology, Archaeology, and Art.

Drawing prizes were displayed in the museum that night as well, including a vacation from JVD Golf and Vacations, Gift Certificate and Succulent Arrangement from St. Madeline Sophie, Sunbelt Publications Books, Primeval Gardens Handmade Soaps and Balms, Maness Vineyards Wines and Vineyard Tour, Ranch Feed and Pet Supply Doggie Supplies Gift Basket, A.R.C.H.E.S (Alpine Ranch Creative Health and Ecological Solutions) Garden Gift Basket, McGrath Family YMCA Membership, and a Crazy Coops Gift Certificate (toward unique chicken coops, rabbit hutches, and more).

Before the evening was over, Miriam Raftery and Ariele Johannson-with help from a young cowboy from Campo Creek Ranch and John, co-founder of East County Produce Exchange, announced the winners of the drawings. The crowd then participated in the East County Magazine Live! Trivia Quiz for prizes. Episodes of the Trivia Quiz will be broadcast on the East County Magazine LIVE! Radio Show in the future. 

We are gearing up for our next fun event, which is a WILD WEST FEST at the historic Descanso Town Hall on Saturday, August 10 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The event features Western gunfight reenactors; BBQ Smoked Original Recipe Jack Daniels Tri-Tip dinner provided by Tammy Cooker, owner of Descanso Junction Restaurant; a live country band; silent auction and drawing prizes; and more! Save the date and stay tuned for updates through www.eastcountymagazine.org and KNSJ 89.1 FM.

Reservations are requested for earlybird rates and for our food count. Please RSVP right away to editor@eastcountymagazine.org. Ticket prices are $15.00 by July 31, 2013 and $20.00 after that date.


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