DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN MAY 2019

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East County News Service

April 24, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- May activities include El Cajon’s dinner and a concert season opener, the Coyote Music Festival at Cuyamaca College, Classic Cruise Night’s centennial season in downtown El Cajon, Vintage Alpine, the Lilac Festival in Santa Ysabel, Sky tours in Julian, A Taste of Julian, Open Farm Day at Oasis Camel Dairy, Wild in the Country at Lions Tigers and Bears, America on Main Street, a Gunsmoke fundraiser for a local Lions Club in El Cajon, a wine festival and the Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest.

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

DINNER AND A CONCERT SERIES IN EL CAJON OPENS IN MAY

El Cajon’s popular Dinner and a Concert series is held each Friday evening at Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon from 6 to 8 p.m.  The season opens on May 3rd with Sully and the Blue-Eyed Band. Other May performers include Wild Heart, Stars on the Water, Santanaways and Polyester Express. Shows will continue all summer long.

You can bring a picnic dinner, or dine early at one of the many restaurants nearby before attending the (free) concert.

For full details, visit www.DowntownElCajon.com.

COYOTE MUSIC FESTIVAL MAY 4

Some of the region’s top young musical talents will converge on May 4th at Cuyamaca College when the 11th Annual Coyote Music Festival returns to the Rancho San Diego campus’s Grand Lawn.

The family-friendly community festival features groups with styles ranging from dream pop to alternative folk and R&B playing on two stages from noon to 4 p.m. Food trucks and vendors will be on hand, too.

The entirely student-run event culminates a semester-long Music Industry Seminar class that covers everything involved in staging a music festival, including marketing, promotions, production, booking, staging and sound engineering.

For a schedule of performers, you can visit www.Cuyamaca.edu.

EL CAJON CLASSIC CRUISES

El Cajon’s Classic Cruise Nights is celebrating its centennial season.  You can view classic cars each Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. along Main Street in the heart of downtown El Cajon.

On May 1st, tri-five chevys will be featured, so guests are encouraged to wear your poodle skirts and leather jackets. May 8th is Corvette Cruise Night and on May 15th, its Kids’ Day to Play. May 22nd is Military Appreciation day and May 29th is convertible night.

For a full schedule of events, you can visit https://downtownelcajon.com.

VINTAGE ALPINE MAY 5

The 29th annual Vintage Alpine, a fundraiser for the Alpine Kiwanis Club, will be held on May 5th from 1 to 4 p.m. at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs.  

Described as a “wine and food experience in the country,” this event features 32 wineries from California and around the world, plus tastes from restaurants countywide.  The event also includes live music and a silent auction in a beautiful garden setting.

For tickets and details, visit www.VintageAlpine.org.

MEET MOUNTAIN MEN AND MORE AT MANZANITA HIGH RENDEZVOUS MAY 10-18

You’re invited to step back in time and visit an authentic mountain man rendezvous on May 10-18 at the Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous. The event will be held at the Northcote Ranch near Lake Morena.

In the Old West back in the early 1800s, mountain men convened each year at a rendezvous to trade wares.  At the Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous, visitors will see history come alive with demonstrations of primitive skills, period camps and colorful characters.

You can watch of participate in tomahawk and knife throwing, archery, black powder shooting and more. Traders will be selling their goods, storytellers will spin yarns and you’ll find fun for the whole family.

Period campers are welcome but must pre-register on the website at www.ManzanitaRendezvous.com. Day visitors are also welcome. The site is open to the public May 10-12 and May 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Find directions at www.ManzanitaRendezvous.com.

SALSA Y SALSA FESTIVAL MAY 11 TO BENEFIT LEMON GROVE LITTLE LEAGUE AND LIONS CLUB SERVICE PROJECTS

Lemon Grove Lions Club, a nonprofit organization devoted to service and volunteering, is hosting its annual Salsa y Salsa Fiesta on May 11 from 6-9 p.m.at the Monte Vista Village Auditorium (2211 Massachusetts Ave, Lemon Grove.)  The event will feature salsa tasting, a salsa contest, Salsa Dancing, plus Mexican food, music & prizes.

All proceeds will go toward Lions Club Service Projects and support our Lemon Grove Little League.

Tickets ($20 in advance, $25 at the door) can be reserved or by calling or emailing Ken Burke at 619-469-7350, KEB91945@gmail.com.

LILAC FESTIVAL: WEEKENDS THROUGH MAY 12

The lilac festival continues at Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures in Santa Ysabel, just outside of Julian, each weekend through May 12th.  Lilac cuttings and plants are available for purchase. You can also sign up for activities including candle making, hayrides, a petting zoo, reptile show, jug band performance, archery, tomahawk throwing and more.  

For full details, you can check www.FortCross.com.

SKY TOURS MAY 11 AT OBSERVER INN IN JULIAN

The Observers Inn in Julian is offering guided tours of the night sky at its astronomical observatory houses and research-grade telescopes on Saturday, May 11th from 8:30 to 9.30 p.m. Each sky tour is unique and may include planets, star clusters, nebula, galaxies, comets and the moon.

Advance reservations are required and there is a fee for those who are not staying overnight at the inn.  For reservations, you can call 760-765-0088 or visit http://www.observersinn.com/skytours.htm.

JAZZ CONCERT MAY 12

Paul Combs and Melonie Grinnell will perform a jazz saxophone and piano concert on May 12th from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Mission Trails Church (4880 Zion Ave., San Diego).

The concert series was formerly held at Mission Trails Regional Park but has relocated to the Mission Trails Church, with monthly Sunday concerts scheduled.

You can find a full list of upcoming concerts at the Second Sunday Community Concerts page on Facebook.

OASIS CAMEL DAIRY OPEN FARM DAY MAY 12

Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona will host an open farm day on May 12th from 1 to 4 p.m.  Guests can visit the friendly camels, enjoy a bird show, ride a camel, see “sheep town,” shop in a camel products gift shop, and take cool selfies with camels.

For more information, you can visit www.CamelDairy.com.  

TASTE OF JULIAN: A RURAL DINING ADVENTURE SATURDAY, MAY 18

A Taste of Julian is a self-guided culinary tour of unique restaurants, wineries and breweries. This year’s Taste of Julian will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 1-5 p.m.  From delicious main dishes to candied apples, apple pies, chocolates, wine, beer and hard cider, you’ll find plenty to tempt your tastebuds.

Tickets are $25; for an extra $10 a shuttle is available to drive you to all participating venues.  Tickets and details are available at

Tickets ($25 in advance) are available at http://www.atasteofjulian.com.

AMERICA ON MAIN STREET: MAY 18 IN EL CAJON

El Cajon invites you to the city’s 6th annual America on Main Street on May 18th from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown El Cajon.

The event fosters respect of diverse ethnic and historical groups in the community.

This year’s theme is “Out of the World,” recognizing the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing.

Other highlights include a tribute to Armed Forces Day, a naturalization ceremony for new American citizens, a scavenger hunt, over 150 booths including foods from around the world, face painting, balloon artists, a space and science area, first responder safety zone, carnival rights, and live entertainment including over 30 bands, community groups and street performers.

To learn more, visit www.AmericaOnMainStreet.org.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY VINTNERS HOSTS WINE FESTIVAL MAY 18 AT HISTORIC ADOBE FARMSTEAD IN ESCONDIDO

Over 25 San Diego County wineries including national and international award-winners will participate in the 2019 Wine Festival.  Hosted by the San Diego County Vintner’s Association, this year’s event will be at Sikes Adobe, a historic farmstead in Escondido (12655 Sunset Dr.) on Saturday, May 18 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The festival also includes live music, a silent auction and more.

Proceeds will benefit educational programs and marketing for the San Diego County Vintners Association.

Cost is $55 a person.  For tickets, click here.

WILD IN THE COUNTRY MAY 18

Lions, Tigers and Bears, an exotic animal rescue facility in Alpine, invites you to “get wild” and support their nonprofit at Wild in the Country on May 18th from 2 to 6 p.m.

Enjoy al fresco dining and live music in the company of the sanctuary’s animals. You can also bid in live and silent auctions.

You can find tickets and details at www.LionsTigersAndBears.org.

GUNSMOKE MAY 18 IN EL CAJON

 The El Cajon Valley Host Lions and the Winchester Widows will present their annual fundraiser, Gunsmoke, on Saturday, May 18 at El Cajon Elks Lodge 1812  in El Cajon from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The event includes live Western and bluegrass music, a silent auction, gambling chips, and food – all to support the Lions community services for the underprivileged and a program that provides eyeglasses to people in need.

JULIAN FIDDLE AND PICKIN’ CONTEST MAY 25

Julian’s annual fiddle and pickin’ competition will be held on May 25th from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Julian’s historic town hall. Hosted by the California Old Time Fiddlers Association, the competition draws nationally known talent and is open to all ages in fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar.

Details for this family-friendly event are available at http://www.sandiegofiddler.org/.  

GLOBALLY ACCLAIMED CHAMBER BRAVURA BRINGS A CAPELLA CHORAL MAGIC TO LA MESA MAY 26

Chamber Bravura has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Sydney Opera house, venues in Austria, Australia, England Ireland and Iceland.  They sang the mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome. Now the globally acclaimed young singers—middle and high school seniors from the San Diego region—are bringing their a capella choral magic to The Table: United Church of Christ of La Mesa.  Under direction of Katherine Girvin,  Chamber Bravura will perform at 2 p.m. in the church sanctuary at 5940 Kelton Avenue, La Mesa.  (www.tableucc.com)

From Borrego’s Clark Dry Lake, where they filmed the haunting “You Ruined Me” video, the group has performed stirring renditions of songs such as “Waternight,” “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” “’N Sync Medley” and more.

The performance is part of the popular Valerie Victor concert series.   The concert is free, though a free will offering will be accepted. 

Learn more about Chamber Bravura at http://www.chamberbravura.org/.

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!