DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: OCTOBER HAUNTS AND HAPPENINGS

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By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Oktoberfests in El Cajon and La Mesa, fall festivals in Jacumba and Jamul, Kids Care Fest in Lemon Grove, the Ramona Air Fair, Fall at the Farm and Julian’s Autumn Jubilee.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including Ms. Smarty Plants Goes Batty at the Water Conservation Garden, La Mesa’s Fair Trade gift faire, a spooky campover at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine, vocalist Lillian Palmer at Mission Trails Church, headliner shows at The Magnolia Center in El Cajon, a chamber music series at Cuyamaca College, the Borrego Days desert festival and parade, Pints 4 the Park in Borrego Springs, a Spooky Camp-O-Ween at Lake Jennings, a Green Homes tour, Haunt Fest on Main in El Cajon,  Halloween costume contests for people and dogs at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center, and Trunk or Treat in downtown El Cajon.

 

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

 

LA MESA OKTOBERFEST OCTOBER 4-5

 

You’re invited to don your Lederhosen for the 46th annual La Mesa Oktoberfest, which is gearing up for over 100,000 revelers celebrating German traditions October 4th through 6th.

La Mesa’s Oktoberfest features 3 bier halls including a new Palm Avenue location with flowing pints of craft beer and Oktoberfest games. You can bring your dancing shoes to step lively to traditional German music, non-traditional entertainment, and the chicken dance.

Guests can also savor authentic food, festivities and family-friendly activities such as a German Kinder Karneval complete with Ferris wheel, rock-climbing wall, inflatable slides, interactive art, brat-eating competitions, scavenger hunts and the ever-popular wiener-dachshund races. There will also be over 200 vendor booths with everything from handmade crafts to holiday-themed décor.

For more information, you can visit www.LaMesaOktoberfest.org

 

FALL FIESTA OCT. 5 IN JAMUL 

East County Magazine and our East County Dining Club invite you to party hearty at our very own Fall Fiesta on Saturday, October 5th from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. at D&S farms, home to Granite Lion Cellars winery in Jamul.  

La Loteria de Jamul will provide a catered dinner including chicken poblano or fish in jalapeño/pineapple sauce, plus apple salad, ceviche and more. 

We’ll also have live Spanish music by Sergio Tala ranging from flamenco to rhumba, plus wine tasting and prize drawings.  

Tickets are available at www.EastCountyMagazine.org/FallFiesta, with earlybird discounts for reservations made by September 30th for the October 5th event.

Proceeds benefit East County Media, a nonprofit which supports East County Magazine and the East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts.

KIDS CARE FEST OCTOBER 5 IN LEMON GROVE

 

Grossmont Healthcare District invites you to Kids Care Fest on Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center  in Lemon Grove.  

 

The event includes healthy fun for the kid in all of us including fun and active games, plus dental and vision screenings, flu shots and more.  For details, visit www.KidsCareFest.org.

 

JACUMBA FALL FESTIVAL OCT. 5

The Jacumba Community Service District invites you to its Fall Festival on Saturday,  Oct. 5th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Jacumba Community Park (44653 Old Highway 80).

The event features live music, food provided by Jay’s Southern Café, raffles for adults, youths and children, plus vendor booths. All proceeds benefit the community park.

RAMONA AIR FAIR AND FLY-IN OCT. 5 

The 24th annual Ramona Air Fair & Fly-in is coming to the County’s Ramona Airport (2926 Montecito Road, Ramona) on Saturday, October 5th from from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

This year’s event will feature displays of airplanes, helicopters, tours of CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service firefighting aircraft, rides on tethered hot air balloons and with experimental aircraft (free).

The Ramona Air Fair will also feature meet and greets with the Red Eagles Formation Team, Ramona Rattlers, March Aero Club, and Air Group One. Tours of the airport’s other facilities, including the Classic Rotors Museum and the control tower will be available.

Visitors can also enjoy a classic car show, meet Smokey Bear, relax in the Hangar 24 beer garden, enjoy food from food trucks, and listen to live music performed by country artist “Whiskey Ridge.” An all-day Kids’ Zone will include face painting, balloon making, and piñatas.

JULIAN AUTUMN JUBILEE EACH WEEKEND IN OCTOBER

Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures will host its Julian Autumn Jubilee each weekend in October.  Fort Cross is located on Highway 78 in Santa Ysabel, just outside of Julian. Hours are Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

All are welcome to enjoy visiting the U-pick pumpkin patch.  Additional activities are available for a fee and packages are available. Options include cider pressing and tasting, mini pumpkin painting, a petting zoo, reptile show, hayride, hoedown, candle making, tire swings, archery, tomahawk throwing, and paint balls at the Ghost Town slingshot range. 

Guests are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with views of Volcan Mountain. You can find more information at www.fortcross.com.

MAGNOLIA CENTER CONCERTS

 

The Magnolia Center, formerly known as the East County Performing Arts Center, has a full season of stellar entertainment lined up. 

 

Concerts coming up in the last half of October are triple Grammy award winner Bruce Hornsby, who formerly performed with the Grateful Dead, and his band,theNoisemakers, the Taj Express, Master Chef Junior, Latin American singer Leo Dan, Grammy award winning singers Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, the legendary singer Englebert Humperdink and progressive metal band Dream Theater.

 

For tickets and the full lineup, visit www.MagnoliaSanDiego.com or the Magnolia on Facebook. 

 

CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE SEPT. 28-JUNE 4

 

The ECHO Chamber Music Series hosts 14 concerts at Cuyamaca College’s Performing Arts Theatre this season, featuring classical music performers such as Jason Vieaux, Bach Collegium, the Dalí Quartet, members of the San Diego Symphony and other internationally acclaimed musicians who have performed across the globe.

The season runs from now through June 4th.  Find a full list of performers and ticket information at EchoChamberMusic.org

 

FALL AT THE FARM EACH OCTOBER WEEKEND

 

Julian Farm and Orchard invites you to Fall at the Farm, each weekend now through October 31st from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The fun includes hayrides, apple cider pressing, a pumpkin patch, farm animals, berry and apple picking. You can also see an apple pie making demonstration, or try your hand at archery, candle-dipping or axe-throwing. There’s also a seasonal farm store featuring country wares and more.

You can find more information at JulianMiningCompany.com and click on the U-pick link to find activities at Julian Farm and Orchard, under the same family ownership.  

MS.SMARTY-PLANTS GOES BATTY OCT. 12 AT THE GARDEN

Are you ready to have fun and learn about creatures whooo go BOOOO in the night?  The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College invites you to don your Halloween costume for “Ms. Smarty-Plants Goes Batty” on October 12 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

 

This event features a Ms. Smarty-Plants™ Show, Trick or Treat Trails, and Creepy Critter Encounters for a SPOOKtcular good time. For tickets, visit www.TheGarden.org

 

LA MESA FAIR TRADE’S GIFT FAIRE OCT. 13

 

Just in time for  holiday shopping, La Mesa Fair Trade will host a Gift Faire on Sunday, Oct. 13th from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Martin of Tours Parish Hall in La Mesa. 

The event features sales of hand-crafted fair trade gifts, home décor, clothing and jewelry through a variety of vendors. There will also be fair trade coffee, teas, ice cream and chocolate to savor.

The goal of fair trade is to assure fair wages to create brighter futures for families in developing countries.

For more information, you can call (619) 466-3241

VOCALIST LILLIAN PALMER AT MISSION TRAILS CHURCH OCT. 13

Vocalist Lillian Palmer has performed in concert at performing arts centers across our region and at the Old Globe Theatre. Next up, she’ll be singing at Mission Trails Church, located at 4880 Zion Ave. in San Diego near Kaiser Hospital, on Oct. 13th from 3-4 p.m.

 

She began her vocal study at age 15 beginning with classical music.  She then moved on to musical theater and discovered her passion for American popular music. Now she sings jazz, swing, Latin and music from the "Great American Songbook.”

 

Her concert is part of the Second Sundays concert series held each month at the Mission Trails Church.

 

BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL OCT. 18-20

 

The 52nd annual Borrego Days Desert Festival in Borrego Springs will be held Friday through Sunday, October 18ththrough 20th. This year’s theme is “Bloom in Borrego.”

 

The Borrego Days Parade will roll out at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 18th, including a multi-plane flyover before the parade begins. The parade itself features floats, Western trick-riding cowboys and their horses, marching bands,  plus classic cars with the Borrego Springs queens and princesses.

 

At Christmas Circle, you can visit booths offering artwork, handmake goods, crafts and foods. There’s also a carnival fun zone for kids and for adults, a beer garden and live music to dance into the sunset and under the clear starry night sky.

 

For more information, visit https://borregodays.com/

 

PINTS 4 THE PARK OCT. 19 IN BORREGO SPRINGS

 

Anza Borrego Foundation is kicking off the fall season with its fourth annual “Pints 4 the Park” as part of Borrego Days on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

 

The event includes tastes from microbreweries, live music and food from Carmelita’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, all to benefit the foundation which supports California’s largest state park, the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

 

The event will be held at the Mall in Borrego Springs and tickets are available at www.TheABF.org

 

GREEN HOMES TOUR OCT. 19-20

The San Diego Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable building and community practices in San Diego, will host its 10th annual Green Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20.

The tour has been expanded this year to two full days, showcasing a diverse collection of the most innovative eco-friendly homes in our region.  Saturday will include homes in central San Diego, East County and South County. Sunday will focus on homes in North County.

 

Find more information at sdgreenhomestour.org/

 

HAUNTFEST OCT. 25 IN EL CAJON

 

HauntFest in downtown El Cajon is expected to draw around 40,000 visitors in Friday, October 25th from 5 to 10 p.m.  

 

The 8th annual HauntFest includes live music on two stages, costume contests on the Main Street stage, expanded carnival rides and games, candy challenge activities, a Kidz Zone, face painting, performances by TNT dancers and the Arts in Motion Crew and Junior Crew. There’s also the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Pumpkin Patch, craft and game booths, an LED rock wall, inflatable jumps for kids, showings of the first two Harry Potter movies and more.

 

Find more haunting details at www.HauntFest.org

COSTUME CONTESTS AT BATES NUT FARM

 

Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center has Halloween-themed events coming up including a Howl-o-Ween doggie costume contest and parade on October 26th and then a costume contest and parade for people on October 27th.  

 

Guests can also enjoy music, food and more.  For additional information and these and other events, you can visit  www.BatesNutFarm.biz

 

SPOOKY CAMP-O-WEEN AT LAKE JENNINGS

 

Spooky stories and s’mores, campsite trick-or-treating, creepy crafts and a campsite decorating contest are all part of Spooky Camp-o-Ween at Lake Jennings the last two weekends in October.

 

The grand prize in the costume contest is a camping weekend at the lake complete with boat rental and fishing permits.

For a full schedule of Spooky Camp-o-Ween events, activities and reservations, you can visit www.LakeJennings.org.

 

LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS HOSTS SPOOKY CAMPOVER AND PUMPKIN BASH OCT. 25

 

You’re invited to pack your camping gear for a wild and ghoulish overnight adventure at Lions, Tigers and Bears animal sanctuary in Alpine on Friday night, October 25th and Saturday morning, October 26th.


Camp under the stars alongside the rescued exotic animals, all in their secured habitats. 


The fun begins Friday evening with pumpkin carving, campfire songs, s’mores and hot cocoa, plus an animal trivia challenge.   


On Saturday morning, join in a costume contest and watch the animals enjoy their stuffed pumpkin treats during the 10 a.m. pumpkin bash.


Bring camping gear including tent, sleeping bag, flashlight or lantern, warm clothes and shoes, dinner, snacks and breakfast foods, and a pumpkin or two to carve, plus a costume.


Guests must be age three or older for this event.

For tickets, visit https://www.lionstigersandbears.org.

TRUNK OR TREAT OCT. 30 IN EL CAJON 

 

El Cajon’s Classic Cruise Nights ends its season October 30th with Trunk or Treat, including music, treats and a full street closure along Main Street in the heart of downtown El Cajon. For more information, you can visit downtownelcajon.com.

 

That’s all for this week! You can find details on all of these events and more in the calendar and events section at our website, 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 soon with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County!