DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 22 - DEC. 24

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East County News Service

November 17, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County features pianorama in La Mesa, the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon, a Thanksgiving feast at a historic lodge in Julian.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including upcoming concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon, North Pole Limited holiday train rides in Campo, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, a Julian Country Christmas, Alpine's Parade of Lights and Snow Festival, a Brotherhood of Man dance program in La Mesa, Lakeside’s Spirit of Christmas on Maine, Ramona’s Christmas tree lighting, a European Christmas market and caroling atop Mt. Helix, Santa at Santee Lakes,  La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village, and a Paris Holiday Tea in El Cajon to benefit local arts.

 

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

PIANORAMA: FOUR PIANOS, FOUR ARTISTS NOV. 22 IN LA MESA

La Mesa’s Valerie Victor Concert Series presents PianoRama! on Friday, November 22 at 7 p.m. This is an evening of piano music as you’ve never heard it before at the Table: United Church of Christ of La Mesa (5940 Kelton Ave., La Mesa), performed on four pianos (two grands and two electrics) with four artists in this pre-Thanksgiving treat.

The artists are Rodney Girvin, Nina Gilbert, Laura Williams, and Jim Tompkins-MacLaine. They will perform works by Chopin, Milhaud, Bernstein, Walton, Sousa and more.

For more information, visit www.tableucc.com.

MOTHER GOOSE PARADE NOV. 24 IN EL CAJON

 

The Mother Goose Parade has been delighting children and families for 73 years. This year, the parade will roll out through downtown El Cajon on Sunday, November 24th, starting at 1 p.m.

 

The parade features an array of floats, marching bands, equestrians, clowns, local celebrities and Santa Claus to welcome in the start of the holiday season.  You can find the route and details at www.MotherGooseParade.org.  

 

THANKSGIVING FEAST AT PINE HILLS LODGE NOV. 28

 

The historic Pine Hills Lodge in Julian will be serving up a 10-course feast on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th

 

The lodge was built in 1912 as a romantic mountain hideaway by Colonel Ed Fletcher, a prominent San Diego developer and banker, and designed by world famous architect Richard Requa, known for many of the structures in Balboa Park. The bark-on wood log construction is considered irreplaceable.

In 1925, the lodge sold to the operator of the Sutherland Stage and Yellow Cab, who built a gym at the lodge and invited his friend, boxer Jack Dempsey, to come train there. 

 

Cabins and tree houses were built in the 1920s through the ‘40s to accommodate more guests. The treehouses are gone, but the cabins still remain. The old gym became a movie theatre and then a dinner theater, which closed in 2004.

 

In 1998 the lodge underwent major renovations and in 2003, it was acquired by new owners who aim to rekindle a reputation for service in hospitality at Pine Hills Lodge, where you may even see some wild turkeys in the woods.

 

Reservations are required for the Thanksgiving Fest at Pine Hills Lodge.  Several seatings are available at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. To feast your eyes on the menu and make reservations, you can visit www.PineHillsLodge.com

 

MAGNOLIA CENTER CONCERTS

 

The Magnolia Center, formerly known as the East County Performing Arts Center, has a variety of shows coming up in the next month.  

 

Upcoming performances include the World of Dance Live the Danish heavy metal band King Diamond, Straight Up with Stassi Live,  a 50-year tribute to the Beatles White Album, Which One’s Pink (a Pink Floyd tribute band), and Dave Koz and Friends gifts of the season Christmas tour.

 

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

 

NORTH POLE LIMITED TRAIN RIDES DURING HOLIDAY SEASON IN CAMPO

The North Pole Limited, a special holiday train ride, will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo.

Santa’s elves will sing favorite Christmas carols, read a popular Christmas story to young ones, and pass out cookies and hot chocolate to all passengers. The North Pole Limited will stop at Santa’s Workshop to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will visit with all passengers on the vintage train on our way back to the lighted Campo Depot.

Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased at the Pacific Southwest  Railway Museum website at https://www.psrm.org 

POMEGRANATE DAYS NOV. 29-DEC. 1 GOES CAMEL CRAZY

 

What began as a fall treat for the camel herd at Oasis Camel Dairy has become the venue’s most beloved event 

This year, on Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Pomegranate Days celebrates its 9th year with much more than the traditional camel feeding, camel show and camel rides.  Guests can also savor pomegranates for sale from the family farm’s orchard, a comedy magic performance by Godfrey the Magician with his Magic Castle, and just in time for Thanksgiving weekend, a Turkey Stampede by pardoned gobblers from the award-winning state fair traveling turkey race show. Click here for video.

You can also meet Christine Adams, the author of the Amazon #1 new release book, Camel Crazy, which chronicles tales of camels such as Camelot, Goldie and Cleopatra at the Oasis Camel Dairy as well as a mother’s fight to help her son with autism. There’s no time like the holidays to cuddle up with a good book!

Amina and Fergie, two camel babies, will be on hand for guests seeking selfies with camels. Plus guests can enjoy a singing bird show, feed or pet sheep, and more  

For tickets and details, visit www.CamelDairy.com

 

JULIAN COUNTRY CHRISTMAS NOV. 30

 

Julian Country Christmas will be held on November 30th from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., with lighting of the town’s huge living Christmas tree and the arrival of Santa Claus between 5:30 and 6 p.m. at Pioneer Park in front of the Julian Pioneer Museum (2711 Washington St., Julian).  

 

Visitors can also enjoy shopping at boutique shops and craft stores for one-of-a-kind gifts at this annual event hosted by the Julian Chamber of Commerce.

 

You can find details on this event in Julian and more at https://visitjulian.com in the calendar section.

 

ALPINE PARADE OF LIGHTS AND SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 6

The 24th annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights and Snow Festival is slated to light up the holiday season and delight guests of all ages on Friday, December 6th.  The parade rolls out at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Alpine Blvd. and West Victoria Drive, ending at Tavern Road.  The  snow festival – with real snow and sledding – is at the Alpine Community Center at 1830 Alpine Blvd after the parade, until 9 p.m.

Arrive early, since Alpine Blvd. will close down for the parade. Bring a chair and blanket to enjoy the lighted entries. At the snow festival afterwards, in addition to “snow hill” you’ll find vendors, food, music and a visit from Santa Claus.(The parade and snow festival are free to visitors.) 

For details, directions, or to inquire about entering the parade or having a booth at the snow festival, call the Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce at (619)445-2722 or go to www.VisitAlpine.org ( https://www.visitalpine.org/events/24th-annual-parade-of-lights-snow-festival)

 

 

BROTHERHOOD OF MAN DEC. 6-7

Visionary Dance Theatre will present “Brotherhood of Man” at the Visionary Performance Space (8677 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa) on December 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Spencer John Powell and choreographed by the VDT male dancers, “Brotherhood of Man” is themed on the diversity of the male experience. The cast includes a broad spectrum of ages, races, and sexual orientations.  Each dancer presents a positive male role model going through the experiences and the struggles of life.

Tickets are available at http://www.VisionaryDanceTheatre.org

LAKESIDE’S SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ON MAINE DEC. 7

 

The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate at its 21st annual Spirit of Christmas on Maine Avenue on Saturday, December 7th from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

 

Santa and his elves are hard at work creating an atmosphere of an old-fashioned hometown Christmas featuring local school performances of holiday favorites, photos with Santa, food and drinks, children’s activities, jumpy jumps, crafters booths, and lighting of the community Christmas tree. Find details at www.LakesideChamber.com

 

RAMONA CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING DEC. 7

The Ramona Chamber of Commerce hosts the 27th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 7th from 5 to 8 p.m. Old Town Ramona will come alive with over a thousand Ramona residents out to celebrate the holiday season.  

Shops will be open late and Main Street between 6th and 8th Streets will be closed to traffic. There will be sleigh rides, a classic car and motorcycle display, music, dancing, carolers and of course Santa! The lighting of the tree in front of the Guy B. Woodward Museum will take place at 6 pm. Find more information at https://ramonachamber.com

EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS, CAROLING AND MORE ATOP MT. HELIX DEC. 7

This year’s 29th annual Christmas on Mt Helix on Saturday, December 7th is expanding to feature European Christmas markets with local artisans from 2-5 p.m., followed by a family caroling sing-along from 5-6 p.m. and a reading of the Nativity story from 6-7 p.m.

Free parking is available at Grossmont High School with a shuttle ride to the top of Mt. Helix for the festivities.

For more information, visit www.Mt.HelixPark.org.

SANTA AT THE LAKES DEC. 8

Santee Lakes invites you join Santa at the Lakes on Sunday, December 8th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

 

The festivities will feature a snow hill, carnival rides, inflatable jumps, crafts, food, character meets and greets and Santa Claus.  Get more information at www.SanteeLakes.com

 

LA MESA HOLIDAY IN THE VILLAGE DEC.13-14

 

The La Mesa Village Association's Holiday in the Village returns to downtown La Mesa December 13th and 14th.  

 

This family friendly event will feature a wonderland of festive holiday music and dance, food, kids activities, live entertainment, merchants open late for holiday shopping and more.  

 

Watch for details at http://www.lamesavillageassociation.org

 

PARIS HOLIDAY TEA DEC. 14

 

Friends of East County Arts, Inc. cordially invites you to “PARIS HOLIDAY,” the theme of this year’s annual holiday tea on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Parish Hall in El Cajon.

Guests are encouraged to don a fancy hat to enjoy champagne, tea, scones and desserts on fine holiday tableware. There will also be door prizes and opportunity drawings plus entertainment, including a performance by the Valhalla High School Dance Program, one of the recipients of this year’s grants.  

The nonprofit Friends of East County Arts has donated over $875,000 through the years, including over $30,000 this year – all to support performing arts and fine arts locally. Recipients include local schools and community organizations. 

For tickets and more information, you can visit https://www.friendsofecarts.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.orgDestination 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!