DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 7-OCT. 28

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By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes live music in downtown El Cajon, the Sycuan Pow-wow, star parties at Mission Trails, and the Ramona Grape Stomp.

Plus, we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including raspberry picking at Julian Farm and Orchard, Hank Williams Jr. at Viejas, Gregory Page and Sky Ladd in concert at Schwaesdall Winery in Ramona, Julian Music Festival, Santa Ysabel Mission’s Bicentennial Celebration, Oktoberfest in La Mesa, Alley Cat Art Walk in El Cajon, a masquerade ball in El Cajon, spooky camping at Lake Jennings, our East County Dining Club at Fourpenny House in La Mesa, fair trade shopping in La Mesa, the Pumpkin Express haunted train ride, HauntFest on Main in El Cajon, and the Borrego Days desert festival.

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

EL CAJON DINNER AND CONCERT: FRIDAY NIGHTS

El Cajon’s Dinner and a Concert events continue each Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. at Prescott Promenade on Main Street in downtown El Cajon. Bring a picnic dinner or arrive early and dine at a local restaurant. Bring a receipt from participating downtown restaurants to enter a prize drawing.

Concerts coming up include an Elvis tribute by Scot Bruce on September 7th, a Tom Petty Tribute by the Petty Breakers on September 14th, Siren’s Crush playing modern pop and dance music on September 21s and the Mighty Untouchables for the season finale on September 28th.

SYCUAN POW-WOW SEPT. 7-9

The Sycuan band of the Kumeyaay nation will host its annual powwow September 7th, 8th and 9th at the pow-wow grounds in front of the Sycuan Casino at 6677 Dehesa Road, that’s located on the Sycuan Reservation in unincorporated El Cajon.

(More info:  https://calendar.powwows.com/events/sycuan-powwow-2018/)

STAR PARTIES AT MISSION TRAILS SEPT. 7 AND 22

You’re invited to join members of the San Diego Astronomy Association and Mission Trails Regional Park volunteers for a star party to view the night sky through telescopes from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 22 in the Kumeyaay Lake Campground day use parking lot.

Please avoid the use of flashlights and white light in the stargazing area. Cloudy skies or rain cancels the event.

For directions to Mission Trails Regional Park, visit www.MTRP.org.

RAMONA GRAPE STOMP SEPT. 8

The Ramona Grape Stomp invites you to come squish grapes in a stomping competition, taste local wines, bid on silent auction items and shop at more than 40 local crafters and vendors. The Ramona Grape Stomp will be held on September 8th from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center (421 Aqua Lane) in Ramona.

For the juicy details, you can visit RamonaGrapeStomp.com.

NOW FOR A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS….

ALLEY CAT ART WALK SEPT. 14

Alley Cat Art Walk will take place on Friday, September 14th from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown El Cajon.  It’s the purr-fect place for lovers of arts and music, plus you can enjoy wine tasting, a beer garden, artisan crafts booths, boutique vendors, live music and children’s activities in addition to fine art.

The event’s activities will be held in Arts Alley between Main and Rea streets, as well as surrounding street.  Alley Cat Art Walk is organized by St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, which helps developmentally disabled adults, and is supported by a San Diego County Community Enhancement grant.

JULIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL SEPT. 15

The 49th annual Julian Music Festival will celebrate the end of summer at Menghini Winery in Julian on Saturday, September 15th from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.  This year’s festival will feature a variety of musical genres including Americana, contemporary jazz, folk and more. For advance tickets and a full listing of performers, visit https://julianmusicfestival.com/.

SANTA YSABEL MISSION’S BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION SEPT. 16

The Santa Ysabel Indian Mission (23013 Highway 79) is celebrating its bicentennial on September 16th. The multi-cultural celebration will include an outdoor mass and brunch with the Bishop, Native American bird singers and drummers, a flyover by the Navy’s Blue Angels, military salutes, multi-cultural dance groups, local celebrities, a historical wagon train show, tours of the mission and museum, Native speakers and historians, an arts and crafts show, and more.

The mission was founded in 1918 as an outpost of the San Diego Mission de Alcala and has been holding services ever since in a series of structures through the last 200 years. The mission fell into disrepair and was nearly forced to shut down, but now a committee has forced that’s been working hard to restore the facilities and revive traditional celebrations for the community including the bicentennial event on September 16th, as well as bringing back the Harvest Festival on October 20th and a Fiesta in June of next year.

Volunteers and donations are needed to sustain this monumental effort. You can learn more or get involved by visiting the Santa Ysabel Indian Mission on Facebook.

RASPBERRY PICKING AND FARM TOURS AT JULIAN FARM AND ORCHARD SEPT. 15-OCT. 13

The raspberries at Julian Farm and Orchard are ready to be picked! Blackberries are almost ready and then corn and pumpkins will follow.  You can enjoy raspberry picking and farm tours each Saturday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. from September 15th through October 13th.

The farm is located at 4381 Highway 78 on the Santa Ysabel side of the highway next to Wynola Pizza and Julian Mountain Bakery.  Julian Farm and Orchard is owned by the same people who operate the Julian Mining Company.

You can also enjoy tractor-drawn hayrides, barnyard visits, and shopping at the Farmer’s Wife store in addition to picking berries and other crops on weekends starting September 15th. Weekday visits are available by appointment.

HANK WILLIAMS JR. PERFORMS SEPT. 21 AT VIEJAS

Legendary singer Hank Williams Jr. will be live in concert at Viejas in Alpine on September 21st.   He first took to the stage at the Grand  Ole Opry at age 14 and has since had hits geared toward the common man, from “A Country Boy Can Survive” to “It’s hard standing in the shadow of a very famous man,” a references to his father, Hank Williams Sr., as well as his “Monday Night Football Song” and his latest hit, ”Stirring It Up.”

Tickets are available at the Viejas Gift Shop, AXS.com or by phone at 888-929-7849.

GREGORY PAGE AND SKY LADD IN CONCERT SEPT. 22 AT SCHWAESDALL WINERY, RAMONA

Gregory Page & pianist Sky Ladd will perform at Schwaesdall Winery in Ramona on September 22nd from 1-4 p.m. for an afternoon of vintage and perhaps even some brand-new music on the vineyard stage.

To borrow Gregory's famous lyrics: "Let's wine & dine" on Schwaesdall's estate wines and artisan pizzas while savoring music from the GP Duo. 

The same adjectives that sommeliers use to describe wine can be said for Gregory's amazing music: "elegant, opulent, full-bodied, bright, refined, complex, velvety" and always "with a hint of” imagination and magic!”

Admission to the concert is free with any purchase.

EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB AT FOURPENNY HOUSE IN LA MESA SEPT. 26

The East County Dining Club invites you to their next dinner, which will be held at the Fourpenny House Scottish restaurant and brewery (8323 La Mesa Blvd.) on Wednesday, September 26th at 6:30 p.m.

So stop on by to try some authentic Scottish cuisine, choosing from a menu that includes such specialties as bangers and mash, Scottish Mussels, Crofter’s Pie, fresh salmon, Yorkshire wraps, artisanal cheeses, Scottish paella, curry roasted cauliflower, and bread pudding.

Fourpenny House will donate 20% of proceeds to benefit East County Magazine and our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts. There will also be prize drawings. RSVP to reserve space at 619-698-7617 or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org

You can check out the menu at www.fourpennyhouse.com.

LA MESA OKTOBERFEST SEPT. 28-30

Strap on your lederhosen and get ready to bust out your best chicken dance and polka moves at the 45th Annual La Mesa Oktoberfest! As if tons of traditional German cuisine and flowing pints of beer weren’t enough of a reason to break out into a chicken dance, Oktoberfest will also feature two massive stages of non-stop music featuring everything from traditional Bavarian and German music, live oompah bands, traditional rock bands, DJs, cover pop and more.

You’re invited to join over 100,000 people from across Southern California for San Diego’s largest Oktoberfest celebration! Following the traditional celebrations in Munich that kick off in mid-September, La Mesa Oktoberfest will be returning on Friday, September 28th, Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th to turn the quaint avenues of the La Mesa Village into a free weekend getaway to a Bavarian setting.

Soak in the La Mesa sun while watching talented German performances, local and regional bands. Get in the mood to knock back a stein with German Polka bands: Snake Oil Oompah Band, The Bavarian Beer Garden Band and Polka Party Band playing throughout the weekend to inspire your best moves.

Love local music? Don’t miss The Smokin’ Cobras, Slower, Rising Star and AQUARIUS for upbeat pop-rock jams. For a little country kick in between chicken dances, Rio Peligroso has you covered! Of course, there’s nothing better than rocking out to a song that you know all the words to (especially after a few steins and pretzels). Belt your hearts out to all the best hits with San Diego’s favorite tribute bands: i90, Lies ‘n Roses, Fusebox and ELO.

Don’t forget your cheering voice as there will be ample opportunities for you to join in and become part of the performance. Stop by the Hofbrauhaus Biergarten for a cold pint of traditional German Beer or head to the Oktoberfest Craft Beer & Spirits Garten serving up refreshing cocktails and delicious craft beers from Karl Strauss, Green Flash, Stone Brewing Co. and Modern Times Beer.

Save money on your steins and indulge in exclusive Oktoberfest offerings by purchasing a Hofbrauhaus Biergarten Pass, ranging from $5-$50, including VIP entry and restrooms, front of the live privileges, 2 complimentary beers, a commemorative stein, a chicken hat or flower crown and more! Pair your favorite German-inspired beverage with a giant juicy bratwurst, German-style Snitzel, or a cherished twisted pretzel the size of a small child. NEW IN 2018, enjoy an exclusive La Mesa-modernized Oktoberfest brunch on Sunday, September 30th at Bo-beau’s Beer Brunch! For just $39.95 per person, you can feast your way through four courses of delicious offerings while exploring four different flavors of Modern Times Beer that come paired with each course.

Find authentic homemade treasures. Explore authentic art and German-style craft pieces from over 30 local artisans. Bring the whole family out for a weekend of family-friendly activities at the German Kinder Karneval, featuring a towering Ferris wheel, rock-climbing wall, massive inflatable slides, interactive art, brat-eating competitions, scavenger hunts and more.

With over30 local artisans showcasing authentic art and German-style craft pieces in the Craft Faire tent and new features like wiener dog races and howl-deling contests in the Dackeldorf Dachshund Village, La Mesa Oktoberfest continues to top its traditions! Don’t miss an unbeatable free weekend of German-inspired entertainment for Bavarians of all ages.

To see a complete list of all the free German fun and purchase VIP passes, visit www.LaMesaOktoberfest.org.

SPOOKY CAMP-O-WEEN WEEKENDS IN OCTOBER AT LAKE JENNINGS

Lake Jennings in Lakeside is hosting Spooky Camp-o-Ween events the two weekends before Halloween, Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 26-28, complete with ghost stories, s’mores, a campsite decorating contest, trick or treating and creepy crafts.

On Friday nights, get in the spirit with ghost stories and smores at 7 p.m.  Then on Saturdays, there will be campsite trick or treating from 4 to 5 p.m. followed by a campsite decorating contest with judging at 6 p.m.  Prizes include an all inclusive camping weekend.

On Sundays, you can also enjoy creepy craft time at 10 a.m.

Call for campground reservations at 619-390-1623 and for more information, visit www.LakeJennings.org.

MASQUERADE BALL, “A NIGHT TO REMEMBER” SEPT. 28

A Night To Remember is a masquerade ball to benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.  It will be held on September 28th  from 7 p.m. to midnight t the Crystal Palace in El Cajon. This magical evening of festivities and excitement will include dinner and an open bar, a fashion show, a saxophone player and a violinist, plus a DJ to dance the night away.

For tickets and reservations, you can visit Stephanie Young Consulting at https://SYC.TicketLeap.com.

PUMPKIN EXPRESS OCT. 6-28 IN CAMPO

You're invited to come ride the Pumpkin Express aboardr vintage railcars through the San Diego county mountains as fall descends upon Campo. Walk through a themed Display Building at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum complete with two haunted trains, a pumpkin patch, and a creepy cast of ghosts and ghouls.

For details visit www.PSRM.org.

FAIR TRADE SHOPPING IN LA MESA OCT. 14

You’re invited to “shop with joy and purpose” at the annual La Mesa Fair Trade Shopping event on Sunday, October 14th from 8 a.m. to 1 :30 p.m. at St. Martin of Tours Parish Hall (7710 El Cajon Blvd. in La Mesa). 

 Enjoy fair trade ice cream and food samples while perusing hand made baskets, jewelry, leather goods, clothing, toys, pottery, Christmas ornaments, gift baskets, coffee, tea, chocolate more.

You can make a difference with your purchases this season by improving people’s lives and the environment. The goal of the fair trade movement is to pay farmers and artisans in developing countries a fair price for their goods to help alleviate poverty around the world.

HAUNTFEST ON MAIN OCT. 19 IN EL CAJON

The 7th Annual “HauntFest on Main” is back on Friday, October 19 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the 200 block of East Main Street in Downtown El Cajon.

This fun, family-friendly Halloween-themed community event features live music, costume contests, carnival rides & games, candy challenge activities, Monster’s, Inc. & Monster’s University outdoor movies, face painting, craft booths, inflatables and more! Admission is free, but some of the rides will charge a nominal fee. See how you can get involved with HauntFest, be a vendor, sponsor or volunteer.

For more information, visit www.Hauntfest.org or call (619) 441-1754.

BORREGO DAYS FESTIVAL OCT. 20-21

An air parade will sweep the skies with over 30 vintage and military aircraft as part of this year’s parade in Borrego Springs on Saturday, October 20th at 10 a.m., followed by a 10:30 street parade complete with floats, equestrians, trick-riding cowboys, marching bands and more.

It’s all part of the two-day, 53rd annual Borrego Days Festival October 20th and 21st. Borrego Days also includes crafts and vendors, kids activities including rock climbing, carnival rides and inflatable slides, food and beverages, plus live music to dance the night away.

For more information you can visit Borregodays.com/ .

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 next week with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County!