Listen to Destination East County by clicking the audio link, originally aired on KNSJ radio.
December 1, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes an array of holiday happenings including major community festivals such as the Alpine Parade of Lights and Snow Festival, Lakeside’s Christmas on Maine, a tree-lighting and sleigh rides in Ramona’s Old Town, Santa at Santee Lakes, as well as holiday music performances and stage productions, plus a Chaldean Christmas Gala to help people in need.
Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including La Mesa Shimmers, La Mesa’s Christmas in the Village, a holiday home tour in Alpine, and a holiday open house at an alpaca farm in Descanso. Scroll down for all of these events and more.
THIS WEEK'S MAJOR ATTRACTIONS
ALPINE PARADE OF LIGHTS AND SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 4
The community of Alpine will welcome visitors to its 20th annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights and Snow Festival on Friday, December 4th. The free Snow Festival includes a real snow hill, lighting of the Alpine Community Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, family activities, vendors, crafters and more. The parade starts at 6:30 p.m.at Alpine Blvd. and West Victoria Drive, and ends at the Alpine Creek Town Center (1347 Tavern Road) for the Snow Festival from 7 to 9 p.m.
Presented by the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce, the parade is open to anyone who decorates an entry with holiday lights for the annual holiday extravaganza—goats, trucks, cars, lawn mowers, bicycles, pets and anything else trimmed with glowing holiday lights are welcome to be in the parade. No registration or fees are required. For more information, visit www.AlpineCreekCenter.com.
CHALDEAN CHRISTMAS GALA DEC. 4
St. Michael’s Chaldean Catholic Church will host its first annual “Gift of Giving Christmas Gala” on Friday, December 4 at 8 p.m. The 21+ wine and cheese gala will feature a silent auction, raffle items, a selection of wines from local wineries, craft beers and donated foods.
“All proceeds from the event will go towards assisting members of our community, the majority of it being the Chaldean Catholic and Assyrian refugees who lack basic necessities such as mattresses,” said Jennifer Meram. “We hope that this event will help better support the youth refugee programs and provide them with better opportunities to grow and learn upon first arriving in this country.”
The event will be held in the church hall at St. Michael’s Chaldean Catholic Church, 799 East Washington Ave., El Cajon, CA 92020. Admission is $20 in advance or $30 at the door.
BLAZING HOLIDAY BONFIRE DEC. 4 IN LEMON GROVE
Lemon Grove’s annual community bonfire will be ablaze at Civic Center Park (3200 Main Street) on Friday, December 4 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Activities also include hayrides, a rock climbing wall, game booths, photo booth, arts & crafts, face painting and a game truck. Free hot chocolate, chili, cornbread, cookies, fruit and popcorn will be provided. For more information, contact at 619-825-3815.
TREE LIGHTING AND SLEIGH RIDES IN RAMONA OLD TOWN DEC. 5
The Ramona Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Christmas tree lighting event on December 5th from 5-8 p.m. in Old Town Ramona. The event features sleigh rides, carolers, Santa’s Village, performers and Santa Claus.
The tree-lighting will be at the Guy B. Woodward Museum (645 Main St..), which includes a collection of historical buildings form Ramona's western past. The Holiday Craft Village with Santa will be in Ramona’s Town Hall. Around town, watch for other activities and shops competing for the best-dressed window contest. There’s also a “find the elf” contest at local shops with a grand prize of a shopping spree through Ramona stores.
LAKESIDE CHRISTMAS ON MAINE DEC. 5
Santa and his elves are hard at work getting ready for the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce’s 17th annual Spirit of Christmas on Maine Ave. in Lakeside The holiday tradition takes place on December 5th from 4 to 9 p.m. and is free to the public.
With an atmosphere of an old-fashioned, hometown Christmas, the event features local school performances, Santa Claus and photos with Santa, food and drink, kids activities, rides and jumpy jumps, booths, crafters, and lighting of the community Christmas tree at 5 p.m.. For details visit www.LakesideChamber.org.
JINGLE PAWS WALK FOR PETS DEC. 5
Bring your dogs to join in the fun at Jingle Paws, a holiday walk to benefit pets at the El Cajon Animal Shelter, will be held December 5th at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College. The walk is organized by ACES, an organization that funds surgeries for shelter pets and helps meet other needs.
The event also features photos with Santa, a pet/owner costume contest, doggie vendors, animal rescue groups, silent auction, raffles and prizes, as well as music by Jumpin’ Jack Flash and more. Registration is from 8-9 a.m. followed by warm-up with Leash Your Fitness at 9:15 a.m. and a fun walk or 1K/5K route from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon. There is a registration fee. For more information visit www.AcesFoundation.org.
(To register visit https://www.crowdrise.com/JINGLEPAWSWALKFORPETS2015)
SANTA PAWS PET ADOPTIONS DEC. 5 AT GROSSMONT CENTER
Grossmont Center is partnering with the Animal Support Foundation to host a free pet adoption event on Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Over 100 dogs, cats, turtles and more from local rescue groups will be there and looking for a loving home. For details visit www.GrossmontCenter.com.
LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL DEC. 5
Lions, Tigers and Bears invites you to a Christmas Festival on Saturday, December 5th from 1 to 4 p.m. You can watch the animals open their Christmas presents –and get holiday shopping all in one day at the exotic animal rescue facility east of Alpine. There will be also be many local vendors, food, entertainment and a special appearance by Santa Claus! For details on admission, tickets and more, you can visit www.LionsTigers.org.
KRACKED NUTZ DEC. 3-5
This holiday season, Visionary School for the Performing Arts presents “Kracked Nutz”, a holiday musical revue, at the Visionary Performance Space (7202 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego) on December 3rd-5th at 7 p.m. directed by Visionary’s teaching artists.
This fun, holiday musical revue showcases some traditional and some not-so-traditional holiday music featuring the diverse and talented members of Visionary Youth Theatre and Kidz Danz Kompany. For tickets and details, visit http://visionarydancetheatre.org/Visionary/kracked-nutz/
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS DEC. 4-19 IN SANTEE
Join Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang as they come to life in A Charlie Brown Christmas December 4-19. Pickwick Players presents this holiday classic on the Off Broadway Live stage at 9490 Cuyamaca Street in Santee as the characters look for the true meaning of Christmas.
Guests are also encourage to bring a donation to benefit the Santee Chapter of Project Linus, a non-profit organization that provides homemade blankets to children in need.
The musical production runs December 4th through 19th, with a special matinee show for children with special needs on December 5th at 2 p.m.
For tickets and details visit www.pickwickplayers.net.
HOLIDAY MUSIC FESTIVAL AT PARKWAY PLAZA CONTINUE Dec. 5 THROUGH DEC. 23
Parkway Plaza will host a Holiday Music Festival that’s free for the community now through Wednesday, December 23. Concerts will continue each Saturday until Christmas from 1 to 5 p.m. with performances by the Southwestern College Big Band and Jazz Improvisation Ensemble December 5th, the Fiddle Cats on December 12th and the Salvation Army Brass Band December 19th.
Additional musical performances on saxophone and violin will be staged Christmas week at a stage by the Carousel inside the mall. For details you can visit ShoppingParkwayPlaza.com.
SANTA'S REINDEER AT GROSSMONT CENTER DEC. 6, 13 AND 20
Grossmont Center invites you to celebrate the holidays with friends from the North Pole! Visit Grossmont Center every Sunday leading up to Christmas in December to meet and greet two of Santa’s reindeer. The reindeer will be in the center courtyard on Sunday, December 6th, 13th and 20th from 2-5 p.m.
SANTA AT SANTEE LAKES DEC. 6
Ho, ho ho! Santee is coming to Santee Lakes on Sunday, December 6th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event will also feature snow! In addition you can enjoy sledding, carnival rides, boat rides, inflatable jumps, arts and crafts, food and s’mores. Admission is free, though there is a small fee for ride tickets and parking. For directions and details, visit www.SanteeLakes.com.
JOYOUS MUSIC FOR THE SEASON DEC. 6
You are invited to attend the San Diego Festival Concert “Joyous Music for the Season” on December 6th at 3 p.m. in the College Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego. The program includes Felix Mendelssohn's majestic, "Hymn of Praise" and other seasonal choral music helpingto set the stage for your holiday celebrations. For tickets visit www.SanDiegoFestivalChorus.org.
NOW FOR A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS…
LA MESA SHIMMERS DEC. 9
You’re invited to join the City of La Mesa at La Mesa Shimmers on December 9th from 4 to 9 p.m. to celebrate completion of the $5 million downtown streetscape renovation project on La Mesa Boulevard in the La Mesa Village shopping and dining district.
La Mesa Shimmer will feature a lighting ceremony at 4:30 pm at Palm Ave. and La Mesa Blvd. Refreshments will be provided during the event at two locations, plus live bands and students from Peter Pan Junior Theatre will perform along the Boulevard from 4 to 6 p.m. There will also be live entertainment from Fanny and the Atta Boys and the Sam Johnson Trio. In addition, KYXY radio will be on hand, giving away tickets to the Poinsettia Bowl, Skating by the Sea, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and other holiday events.
For more information you can visit the City of La Mesa’s website.
LA MESA “CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE” DEC. 11-12
On Friday and Saturday nights, December 11th and 12th, La Mesa Village Merchants Association will hold its annual Christmas in the Village celebration from 5 to 10 p.m. The event features carolers, fire pits, entertainment and marching bands for family friendly entertainment, plus shops will stay open late for holiday shopping. Learn more at the La Mesa Village Merchants Association website: www.LMVMA.com.
CHRISTMAS IN ALPINE” HOME TOUR, DEC. 12
The Alpine Woman’s Club will hold its Eleventh Annual “Christmas in Alpine” Home Tour on December 12th. You will have an opportunity to stroll through five stunning country estates, and visit Alpine’s beautiful Country Garden Shop. The Historic Town Hall will be open from 1 p.m. on for ticket holders to enjoy light refreshments and to pick up a surprise gift.
You can get your tickets at the Alpine Woman’s Club 2156 Alpine Blvd. on Saturday Dec 12th starting at 9:30am. Proceeds benefit the Alpine Woman’s Club Scholarship Fund and the maintenance of the Historic Town Hall which was built in 1899. For more information, contact Karin at her email@example.com.
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT ALPACAS OF SAN DIEGO IN DESCANSO DEC. 13
You’re invited to a Holiday Open House at Alpacas of San Diego (10499 Highway 79 ) in Descanso, on December 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Admission is free. You can learn all about alpacas and alpaca ownership to see why these animals are both cuddly and eco-friendly. Plus you can shop for holiday gift items such as luxurious alpaca scarves, throws, socks and plush toys. There will also be a craft table and activities for the kids, as well as a gift basket giveaway
For more information, you can visit Alpacas of San Diego on Facebook.
MARISSA GRACE HOLIDAY CONCERT DEC. 18 IN LA MESA
You can get in the holiday spirit with a free concert at Grossmont Center in La Mesa on December 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. The show features young singing sensation Marissa Grace and her band performing Christmas classics and pop hits near the fountain in front of Macy's.
HOLIDAY FEST AT GROSSMONT CENTER DEC. 19
Grossmont Center invites you to a Holiday Fest on December 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. Santa, his elves and live reindeer will be on hand--along with the Grinch, Frosty the Snowman and other holiday characters. For directions to Grossmont Center shopping mall in La Mesa, visit www.GrossmontCenter.com.
ICE RINK AT VIEJAS NOW THROUGH JANUARY 20
Southern California’s largest outdoor ice rink is open for the holiday season at the Viejas Outlets center in Alpine, where you can feel the cool mountain air as you bunny hop, spin and swizzle your way around the rink. The rink is open now, continuing through January 20th. The outlet center, located across the street from Viejas Casino, also has a water show and season entertainment. For more information you can visit http://viejas.com/ice-rink.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.