DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN MAY

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April 29, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a murder mystery dinner theater, two major musical festivals, a wine-tasting event, a garden tour, a Cinco de Mayo celebration and more. Plus we’ll also have a preview of coming attractions including Explore Mission Trails, Ramona’s Old West Days,  Wild in the Country at a wildlife rescue facility, a fiddlers’ competition, and much, much more.So stay tuned for all of these events and more!

COYOTE MUSIC FESTIVAL MAY 2

You’re invited to have a howling good time at the Coyote Music Festival at Cuyamaca College on Sunday, May 2 from 12 to 4 p.m.  

Six homegrown bands playing an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, pop and rock will perform on two stages on the grand lawn of Cuyamaca College at the Coyote Music Festival noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 2. Now in its seventh year, the entirely student-run festival will provide the community a free afternoon of live music by local talent in a family-friendly venue, where picnic blankets and lawn chairs are the best seats in the house.

For students enrolled in Music Industry Studies, the festival represents a term project, the culmination of a semester’s work learning every aspect of putting on a big music event, preparing for careers in the music industry.Along with the music, vendors selling jewelry, kettle corn and more will be a part of the festival.

For details see http://www.Cuyamaca.edu          

CAFÉ MURDER DINNER THEATRE MAY 1-3 IN EL CAJON

“Café Murder” will be presented by The Circle Players of East County, a new community theatre group, May 1 through May 3 at Richardson Hall in El Cajon (551 Farragut Circle).

This fun murder mystery comedy is for all ages. The leading character, who is allergic to water, is celebrating her birthday at a restaurant with her sisters. The birthday girl disappears and is presumed murdered. Everyone has a motive and everyone is a suspect. Was it one of Rosemary’s sisters or the self-taught detective or the passionate French chef or the sarcastic waiter?

You will find lots of laughs while trying to figure it out! The only witnesses in the restaurant are the audience members who get involved by casting their vote. The Circle Players is part of the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor program established as a drama/theatre outreach to the East County.

Reservations are required. For information on show times or tickets ($20)  visit

http://www.FirstPres-ElCajon.org

CAMPO-LAKE MORENA ROUNDUP MAY 2

The 9th annual Campo-Lake Morena Roundup is set for Saturday, May 2nd at the Camp Lockett Event and Equesterian Facility (799 Forrest Gate Rd.) in Campo. Gates open at 7 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. and presentation of this year’s grand marshall at 10 a.m. Guestes are welcome to wear period costumes.

You can enjoy a day in the country and witness how the cowboys ride, rope and brand cattle in the Ranch Branding Competition. Watch or try your luck in the Gene Martinez Memorial Horseshoe Tournament An all day Gymkhana for kids and adults will also take place – that’s games on horseback. There will also be a Miss Roundup Pageant, relay races, three legged races, tug-of-war, roping, and a hula hoop contest.

Gunfight Skits will be hosted by The Hole in the wall Gang with special guests The Gaskills, who will reenact the famous Campo Gunfight of 1875. There is also a “mutton busting” competition for kids under 50 pounds, as well as a stickhorse race.

(Admission: $5 for Adults and Children age 6 and over) The Camp Lockett Event and Equestrian Facility is located in Campo on the old Camp Lockett Army base. For more information you can visit www.campocleef.org/roundup

SAGE AND SONGBIRDS MAY 1-3

The 18th annual Sage & Songbirds Garden Tour on May 1-3 will feature five private home gardens plus a hummingbird haven and a raptor rehabilitation facility for close-up viewing of wildlife.

The tour includes water-wise plants such as succulents and native plants from Australia, the Mediterranean and California, as well as garden-related vendors, plant sales, music, , live butterfly releases plus Kruisin’ Kritters Reptiles & Insects. For tickets ($20 at the door, or $17.50 by April 15)  and a schedule visit http:/www.Chirp.org.

INKOPAH CLASSIC DESERT CONCERT MAY 2

The second annual In-Ko-Pah classic desert concert will be held  on May 2nd .   This outdoor high-desert concert will be held at the Desert View Tower, a state historical monument perched on a rocky hillside overlooking the Anza-Borrego Desert. The In-Ko-Pah offers music lovers and naturalists alike a chance to experience an overnight event featuring multiple bands within our Southwest region. For tickets and details visit http://inkopah2.brownpapertickets.com/.

MARDI GRAS/TARDY GRAS BALL IN ALPINE MAY 2

The 3rd annual Mardi Gras/Tardy Gras Ball will be presented by the Alpine Education Foundation on Saturday, May 2nd from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd, in Alpine. All proceeds benefit the Alpine Education Foundation to help Alpine schools and students.

The event will feature a Cajun-inspired buffet dinner, no-host bar and live music by Theo & the Zydeco Patrol plus a live auction, costume parade and crowning of the Mardi/Tardy Ball king and queen at the Alpine Education Association’s event. For tickets visit ef4kids.net .

SAN DIEGO FESTIVAL CHORUS & ORCHESTRA CONCERT MAY 3

The San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra will present “Two for the Show” on Sunday, May 3rd at 3 p.m. at College Avenue Baptist Church (4747 College Avenue, San Diego). The concert features two major choral works:  Gioacchino Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” and John Rutter’s “Feel the Spirit.”  For tickets ($17 at the door, discounts for advance purchases from $5-$15) visit www.SanDiegoFestivalChorus.org.

VINTAGE ALPINE MAY 3

The 25th annual Vintage Alpine will be held on Sunday May 3rd from 1 to 4 p.m. at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs. Vintage Alpine will feature tastings of 40 wines plus foods from fine restaurants across our region.  This event attracts over 500 people annually, with all proceeds used to benefit services and programs for the children of San Diego.

Vintage Alpine, a wine experience in the country, is presented by the Kiwanis Club of Alpine Foundation.. This event is limited to persons 21 years of age and up. Tickets ($70 in advance, $80 at the door) can be reserved at http://www.VintageAlpine.org.

Now for a preview of coming attractions…..

CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION AT CASA DE PICO MAY 4-5

Arriba! Casa de Pico restaurant celebrates Cinco de Mayo on Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th with performances throughout the day by Ballet Folklorico, mariachis and troubadours, as well as food and drink specials.  For details visit www.CasaDePico.com.

WILD IN THE COUNTRY MAY 9 AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS

Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine invites you to Wild in the Country – Passport to the Jungle on Saturday, May 9 from 3 to 7 p.m.  The exotic animal rescue facility in Alpine will serve up dinner, live entertainment, live and silent auctions, plus prize drawings to benefit the nonprofit’s efforts to make a real difference in the lives of more than 50 rescued animals that call the sanctuary home. For tickets or details visit www.LionsTigersandBears.org    

BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL MAY 9

The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego hosts is annual Butterfly Festival on Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Activities include tours of a butterfly pavilion and butterfly discovery lab, workshops, a pollinator party with Ms. Smarty Pants and Miss Metamorphosis for kids, live music, food, crafts and jewelry by local artisans. 

Children are encouraged to dress as a caterpillar or their favorite winged pollinator for the Pollinator Party at 11:30 am. (Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 3-17).  For more information visit  http://www.thegarden.org/butterfly

RAMONA WESTERN DAYS MAY 9

Ramona Western Days, a living history encampments and gunfighter skit competition will be held Saturday May 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 10th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the   : Ramona Rodeo Grounds (421 Aqua Lane in Ramona).

Hosted by Ramona Old West Days and Guns of the Round Table, the encampments will feature people representing the conditions people endured in the 1800s including mountain men, pioneers, Civil War soldiers and cowboys.

New this year is a gunfighter skit competition on Saturday and Sunday showcasing comedies dramas, melodramas, history and more.  For details contact RamonaOldWestDays@gmail.com

MOTHER’S DAY AT GRANT JAMES VINEYARD MAY 9-10

Grant James Vineyard in Ramona will be celebrating Mother’s Day on May 9th and 10th, with flowers and chocolates for every Mom. For more information, visit http://www..VineyardGrantJames.com.

AMERICA ON MAIN STREET MAY 16

America on Main Street, a fun-filled family event, is being held this year on Saturday - May 16th, in the downtown El Cajon area, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and lasting until 8:00 p.m.

Admission is free--as are miniature pony rides, a kid friendly petting zoo, large Ferris wheel, and varieties of games & crafts for the children. There will also be four different stages featuring live entertainment and music for your listening pleasure. For details visit http://www.AmericaonMainStreet.org.

EXPLORE MISSION TRAILS DAY MAY 16

Explore Mission Trails Day will be held on Saturday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mission Trails Regional Park  .  This free event features free guided nature walks, talks and programs throughout the park including live animals and special kids’ programs from pony rides to a climbing wall, as well as a program in the ampitheater featuring coyotes.  There will also be a bicycle demonstration and a program in the ampitheater on coyotes.  For details see www.MTRP.org.

SANTEE STREET FAIR AND CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL MAY 23

The Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival organized by Santee’s Chamber of Commerce will be held on Saturday, May 23rd from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  This large festival features local breweries from around San Diego County, live music and entertainment, a crafter row and artist alley, over 300 food and vendor booths, carnival rides and games for the family. In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, there will also be a tribute to veterans. Admission is free, though there is a fee for beer tasting.  The location is at the junction of Riverview Parkway and Town Centre Parkway. For details visit www.SanteeStreetFair.com.

JULIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR MAY 23

Julian hosts its Arts and Crafts fair on Saturday, May 23rd  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Organized by the Julian Fire Plugs, the event benefits the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District and will be held at 2033 Main Street in Julian.

FIDDLE AND PICKING CONTEST MAY 30 IN JULIAN

The California State Old Time Fiddlers Asssociation’s District 7 presents the Julian Fiddle & Pickin’ Contest on Saturday, May 30th at Julian’s town hall in the historic gold-mining town of Julian.  Building on the decades-long history of the former Julian Banjo and Fiddle Contest, the Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest provides fiddlers, guitarists, mandolin player and banjo players an opportunity to demonstrate their talents in a festive and friendly atmosphere.  For details visit www.SanDiegoFiddler.org.

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!