DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 24-DEC. 17

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By Miriam Raftery

November 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes holiday hay rides in Santa Ysabel, holiday lighting and skating in El Cajon, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, and Julian’s Country Christmas heralding in the start of the holiday season.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions over the next month including Lemon Grove’s holiday bonfire complete with ice skating and hay rides,  Ramona’s holiday tree lighting with sleigh rides and carolers, the Spirit of Christmas on Maine Street in Lakeside, a hike up Volcan Mountain during a Super moon, La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village, a Christmas cabaret, San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra’s holiday concert, and a presentation of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, a Christmas Carol, in Julian.

So stay tuned for all of these events and many more!

THIS WEEK

POMEGRANATE DAYS AT THE OASIS CAMEL DAIRY NOV. 24-26

The Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona invites you to Pomegranate Days on November 24th through 26th

 You can cuddle with camels, feed them apples and pomegranates, watch an exotic bird show and a turkey stampede, shop for camel’s milk soaps and lotions, and see the Russell Brothers family circus performing magical feats beneath a big top tent.

For details on this one-of-a-kind event, you can visit www.CamelDairy.com.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS ON MAIN NOV. 25

The city of El Cajon invites you to Holiday Lights on Main on November 25th from noon to 7 p.m., in Prescott Promenade, with the lighting of a giant holiday tree at 6 p.m.

Activities include ice skating, Santa’s Village, carnival rides, live music, food and holiday shopping.  For a map and more information, you can visit www.DowntownElCajon.com.

HOLIDAY HAY RIDE ACTIVITIES AT FORT CROSS OLD TIMEY ADVENTURES NOV. 25

Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures in Santa Ysabel, (4424 State Route 78) just outside of Julian, will be offering a holiday hayride activity package on November 25th from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Activities include a holiday hayride with caroling, candle dipping, rustic ornament making, cider pressing, a country hoedown, petting zoo, tomahawk throwing, rope making, a ghost town, slingshot range, hoops and stick relay races, plan racing, nature walks and a tire swing.

For more information, visit http://www.FortCross.com.  

JULIAN COUNTRY CHRISTMAS NOV. 25

Christmas comes to Julian every year in an old-fashioned way with a Country Christmas Tree Lighting celebration on Saturday, November 25th to start the holiday season.  Festivities start at 2 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m. including lighting of a giant Christmas tree in Pioneer Park, just one block from Julian’s historic town hall.

You’ll feel a nip in the air, sniff wood fires, and maybe catch a glimpse of snow capped mountains surrounding town. The holiday season in Julian also offers an opportunity to shop at small boutiques and craft shows, without crowds or lines, for one-of-a-kind gifts.

After the lighting of the giant tree donated by the Julian Merchants’ Association, children can also enjoy visits with Santa Claus.

NOW FOR A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS…

LA MESA SHIMMER NOV. 29

La Mesa’s holiday celebrating begins with La Mesa Shimmer. You’re invited to experience the brightened downtown village Wednesday, November 29 starting at 5:00 p.m. Enjoy live music, refreshments, and performances as you dine, shop and explore the Village. Visitors are invited to bring the entire family (pets too) to stroll the Village and enjoy the festivities.

La Mesa Shimmer will feature a holiday lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at the Lookout at Legacy Park and a holiday window display contest along La Mesa Blvd. from 4th Street to University Ave. Complimentary hot cocoa bar, coffee and cookies will be available at the Lookout as well as complimentary coffee and refreshments in front of Light Bulb Coffee. There will also be live entertainment ranging from caroling to dance as well as Santa Claus.

For more information, call 619.667.1300 or visit www.cityoflamesa.us or www.lamesaboulevardstroll.com.

 

20th ANNUAL BONFIRE, SKATING, HAYRIDE IN LEMON GROVE DEC. 1

The City of Lemon Grove will hold its 20th annual holiday "Light up the 'Grove" bonfire on Dec. 1 from 12 noon to 8 p.m. The bonfire lighting at 6 p.m. will be preceded by game booths, rock climbing wall, hayrides, arts and crafts, live music and skating on an actual ice rink. Free hot chocolate and outreach from the city's nonprofit groups, including the Lemon Grove Historical Society's traditional open house, will be part of the fun.  Event hours are extended this year to mark Lemon Grove's 40th anniversary of incorporation.

For information, call 619-825-3800 or visit https://www.lemongrove.ca.gov/home/showdocument?id=3549.

RAMONA TREE LIGHTING DEC. 2 

Ramona Chamber of Commerce invites you to Ramona’s 25th annual Christmas tree lighting. Main Street will come alive  on Saturday, December 2nd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with sleigh rides, carolers, crafters, a DJ playing music, a classic car display, a find the elf contest, and photos with Santa at Ramona’s Town Hall. 

Shops will be open late, and the lighting of the annual Christmas tree will be held in front of the Guy B. Woodward museum.  For details visit http://www.RamonaChamber.com.

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ON MAINE DEC. 2 IN LAKESIDE

Lakeside’s Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate the Spirit of Christmas on Maine Street in downtown Lakeside on December 2nd from 4 to 9 p.m. This event features Santa Claus, craft booths, vendors, jumps and rides for kids, performances by local school students, and the lighting of a community Christmas tree. Find details at www.LakesideChamber.org and at www.LakesideRodeo.com.

SUPERMOON VIEWING ON VOLCAN MOUNTAIN DEC. 2

You’re invited to hike Volcan Mountain in Julian for a Supermoon viewing on Saturday, December 2nd from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

A supermoon is a full moon that appears larger and brighter than normal because its orbit is closer than usual to the earth. Join Ranger Bill on a 7-mile, early winter hike. This hike has 1,000 feet of elevation gain so come prepared!

Ranger Bill will tell you all about the geography, flora and fauna of the area as you head up Volcan Mountain, reaching the summit right at sunset and see expansive views of Julian and the desert. Then the light of the silvery supermoon will show the path back down. For more information visit the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve website or call 760-765-4098.

A CHRISTMAS CABARET DEC. 1-17

Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa invites you to get in the holiday spirit at a Christmas Cabaret showing December 1st through 17th.  Lamplighters presents an uplifting showcase of local talent performing seasonal favorites not only from Christmas, but many December holidays as well. For tickets and details, visit https://www.lamplighterslamesa.com.

LA MESA’S HOLIDAY IN THE VILLAGE DEC. 9-10

The La Mesa Village Association hosts its annual Holiday in the Village celebration on Saturday, December 9th from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, December 10th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Stroll through the streets of La Mesa's historic downtown and enjoy live music and dance, cozy fires, craft vendors, food, and a kids' area with holiday movies and activities.  For more information you can visit http://lamesavillageassociation.org/.

SOUNDS GOOD HOLIDAY CONCERT DEC. 10

 On Sunday, December 10th at 3 p.m., the San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra will present the “Sounds Good" holiday concert at College Avenue Baptist Church, featuring the Christmas portion of Handel's beloved "Messiah" along with selections of popular holiday music.  In addition to the chorus and orchestra, there will also be solo perfomers.

The San Diego Festival Chorus was founded over fifteen years ago by Maestro Mostardo and is made up of singers and players from the community who love to make music.  The chorus is always happy to welcome new members.  You can find more information and tickets for the holiday concert at sandiegofestivalchorus.org .

A CHRISTMAS  CAROL DEC. 8-16 IN JULIAN

Julian Theatre Company will present Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol.”  This timeless tale focuses on the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future.  Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit and his impoverished family including the frail Tiny Tim face a grim future, unless Scrooge can find redemption and discover the true spirit of Christmas.

Performances will be held at Julian Town Hall on the weekends of December 8th through 10th and again December 15th and 16th.  For tickets and details, visit JulianTheaterCompany.com .

BIG BAND AND JAZZ AT OFF BROADWAY LIVE IN SANTEE DEC. 22

Off Broadway Live Theatre in Santee will present “"A Big Band Christmas with The Gaslamp Quarter Jazz Orchestra & Leonard Patton" on Friday, December 22nd at 7 p.m.

The theatre is located at 9490 Cuyamaca Street in Santee.  For more information or tickets to this special holiday concert, call  619-988-LIVE (5483) or visit https://www.offbroadwaylive.com/ .

That’s all for this week!

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!