DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: OCT. 31 - NOV. 15

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East County News Service

October 29, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes lots of fun festive activities including an ice-skating Halloween costume party in Alpine , an art and wine festival at a Ramona castle, and the trout fishing season opener at Santee Lakes. Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including an Acorn Festival and a Hike by the Light of the Moon in our mountain regions.

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more, from East County Magazine!

COSTUME PARTY ON ICE OCT. 31 AT VIEJAS OUTLETS

Viejas Outlets Center in Alpine kicks off the holiday season on October 31st with the opening of the popular Viejas Ice Rink – the largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California.

This Halloween night, you can skate in costume from 5 to 10 pm and trick-or-treat at Viejas Outlets stores from 6 to 9 p.m. The Viejas Outlets ice rink, which is larger than the world-famous Rockefeller Square rink,  has quickly grown to become one the most popular holiday traditions in Southern California.  If you bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Viejas Holiday Toy Drive, you can also get reduced pricing at the ice rink. For more information visit Viejas.com/ice-rink.

RAMONA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL NOV. 1

The 2nd annual Ramona Art and Wine Festival will be held at the historic Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson in Ramona on November 1st from noon to 5 p.m.  Guests will enjoy tasting handcrafted wine from area wineries and food prepared by area chefs. Artists will display and sell their work. Highlighting the event is a live auction of wine barrels painted by local artists.

The proceeds from the Festival will be used to benefit the Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project, Inc. Not normally open to the public, The Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson is one of only two “castles” in San Diego County. While tasting wine and checking out the art, guests can explore this 27-room 12,000 square foot castle completed in 1921 as the dream home for dress designer Amy Strong.  For ticket information and reservations visit www.RamonaArtAndWineFest.net.

LA MESA HISTORIC HOME TOUR NOV.1

Five historic homes will be featured on the La Mesa Historic Home Tour on Saturday, November 1st. The La Mesa Historical Society's tour features residences from the 1920s to mid-century, each unique in its own way, from antique furnishings to eclectic collections. A shuttle center will depart from the La Mesa Women's Club on Grossmont Boulevard, across from Discount Tire, at 10 a.m. For information and tickets ($20 in advance, $25 at the door) visit www.LaMesaHistory.com.

CHILI COOK-OFF IN LEMON GROVE NOV. 1

If you’re looking for a hot time,  you can head out to Lemon Grove for 10th annual Western Roundup and Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, November 1 from 6 to 9 p.m.  The event organized by the Soroptomist International of Lemon Grove will benefit holiday giving via the Lemon Grove Food Bank to help needy families.  Celebrity chefs will compete for the coveted Chili Champ Trophy judged by diners and courageous celebrity judges. The organizers promise,”good grub”, “boot stomping” live music and dancing, along with a raffle and silent auction. Western attire is encouraged and families are welcome.  The event will be held at St. John of the Cross Social all at 8086 Broadway in Lemon Grove.  For more information, e-mail soroptgloria@gmail.com or call(619)303-6346.

JAZZ GUITARIST PETER SPRAGUE AT MISSION TRAILS NOV. 2

On November 2nd, acclaimed jazz guitarist and composer Peter Sprague will perform a free concert at Mission Trails Regional Park ‘s theater in the visitor center at 3 p.m.  Sprague has performed at many international venues. Seating is limited so arrive early.   Plus mark your calendars for November 16, when Mission Trails will feature the Pomerado Brass Quintet

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL DRAMA AT SDSU OCT. 31-NOV. 9

San Diego State University’s Experimental Theatre will present the Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Water by the Spoonful” from October 31st through November 9th.  The play recounts a young Iraqi war veterans struggle to readjust to civilian life.  Haunting secrets are exposed as the familiar boundaries of family and community morph across time and cyberspace.

TROUT OPENER NOV. 1­-2 AT SANTEE LAKES

There are 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout including fish weighing in at up to 12 pounds at Santee Lakes, where the trout season opener takes place Saturday and Sunday, November 1st and 2nd. Prizes will be awarded for the five largest fish caught. There will also be a breakfast sponsored by the local Lion’s Club and prizes include fishing poles, tackle boxes, bicycles, camping gear and free fishing passes to Santee Lakes.  If you catch a trout five pounds or larger and you will be entered in the Grand Prize drawing for a flat screen TV! For more information, visit www.SanteeLakes.com.

Now for a preview of coming attractions…

HIKE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON NOV. 7 IN SANTA YSABEL

You’re invited to hike by the light of the moon on Friday, November 7th at 6 p.m. at the Santa Ysabel Preserve. Meet at 600 Farmer Road in Julian and bring a flashlight, along with warm clothes, water and sturdy hiking shoes. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

ACORN HARVEST FESTIVAL NOV. 8 IN LAKESIDE

Howka! In celebration of the acorn harvests once held by local Native Americans in these foothills, the Louis A. Stelzer County Park in Lakeside will hold an Acorn Harvest Festival on Sunday, November 8th from 1 to 4 p.m.   Guests will learn Kumeyaay traditions as the park comes alive with interactive displays, crafts, storytelling and acorn grinding. The park is located at 11470 Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside.

That’s all for this week! You can find details on all of these events and more on our Calendar and in our Festivals and Events section online at http://www.eastcountymagazine.org.

If you have an event you’d like added to our calendar, or if you would like to sponsor the Destination East County column on our website, or the  Destination East County show on KNSJ radio, you can contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  Destination East County is the most-read feature on our website!

We’ll be back next week with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County.