East County News Service
March 9, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – With springtime fast approaching, East County has an array of events coming up, including St. Patrick’s Day festivities, a butterfly jungle, Easter extravaganza, a harmonica festival, classic cruise nights, a charity golf tournament, an Earth Day fair, Coyote Music Festival, Spring Garden Festival, Vintage Alpine and more.
HOOLEYFEST MARCH 17-19
Hooleyfest, the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in East County, will return after a hiatus and this year, the celebrating will span three days from March 17th through 19th at Hooley’s Irish Pub and Grille at both the Rancho San Diego and La Mesa/Grossmont Center locations.
Plus, you can enjoy live Irish music such as the Rebel Celts, hoist a pint of Guinness and savor traditional Irish foods and cheer.
For more information, you can visit Hooleys.com.
BUTTERFLY JUNGLE MARCH 18-MAY 14 AT THE SAFARI PARK
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido invites you to a Spring Safari featuring a Butterfly Jungle. Visits can wander through the Hidden Jungle aviary among hundreds of colorful, fluttering butterflies, have a chance to feed them, and learn how they contribute to our ecosystem – as well as help save wildlife in our own backyard.
Spring Safari Featuring Butterfly Jungle will shine a spotlight on the incredible local wildlife in the Southwest region—including San Diego, a biodiversity hotspot. Guests are also encouraged to visit the Safari Park’s Native Nectar Garden and Baja Gardens. Guests can also enjoy live music, dancing, juggling, and strawberry-themed treats.
The Spring Safari featuring Butterfly Jungle will take place March 18 through May 14, with check-in from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Find more information at sdzsafaripark.org/spring-safari.
EGG PAINTING CHARITY EVENT, BUNNY HOP RACES, EASTER BUNNY AND MORE AT PARKWAY PLAZA APRIL 4
Parkway Plaza shopping mall in El Cajon will host its annual Easter Eggstravaganza on Tuesday, April 4 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Get ready to hop into spring as four local elementary schools compete in a live giant egg painting competition in the center court for a chance to win a $500 donation to their arts program.
For those not participating in the egg painting content, there will be face painting, an Easter egg hunt, craft stations, bunny hop sack races and characters roaming around the mall.
To participate in the Easter egg hunt, guests will receive an egg passport and hunt for hidden eggs throughout the mall. Those who complete the passport will enter for a chance to win amazing prize packs.
The Easter bunny will also be at the mall and available for photos from March 25 until April 8, reserve a time slot here. All other activations are free to participate in and guests can register here.
EASTER EXTRAVAGANZA AT GROSSMONT CENTER APRIL 8
Grossmont Center in La Mesa will host an Easter Extravaganza on April 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. filled with family fun including a scavenger hunt for kids with prizes, face painting, balloon animals, games, and photos with the Easter Bunny.
This is a BYOB event – bring your own basket. For details or to register, visit https://grossmontcenter.com/easter-extravaganza/ .
SPRING HARP FEST APRIL 8
Local and national stars will be playing American blues harmonica music at Spring Harp Fest. The family-fun event, which raises funds to benefit music education countywide, will be held April 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa.
The annual showcase includes local jams, competition among unknown players, and some of the best professional players in the music scene.
Guests are encouraged to bring their harmonica, hula hoops, cameras, bubbles, and dancing shoes. Food will be available for purchase. Locals who want to test their prowess can even compete to earn the title of “Best of the Unknown Players,” selected through audience applause during the 2 p.m. jam.
Spring Harp Fest has helped raise funds to purchase 5,000 harmonicas for local school music programs, and annually helps fund summer blues camps.
For more information, visit www.SpringHarpFest.org.
CAJON CLASSIC CRUISES START APRIL 12
Opening night for Cajon Classic Cruises will be Wednesday, April 12th along Main Street in downtown El Cajon. The car shows will continue each Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. all summer long.
SHELTER TO SOLDIER GOLF TOURNAMENT AT SYCUAN APRIL 21
Shelter to Soldier is a nonprofit that adopts dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Military Sexual Trauma.
The nonprofit group will hold its 4th annual “Saving Lives, One Swing at a Time” golf tournament and dinner on Friday, April 21 on the Championship Oak Glen Course at Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan.
To register or get details, visit https://www.sheltertosoldier.org.
SAPS AT SEA APRIL 15
The Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the official Laurel & Hardy fan organization, will host its April gathering, "A Very Special Night," on April 15 at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbytarian Church in Spring Valley.
The Saps will screen a special feature: Robert Youngson's The Golden Age of Comedy. The film features Laurel & Hardy, Will Rogers, Jean Harlow, Ben Turpin, Carole Lombard, Harry Langdon, The Keystone Kops and more and will be introduced by film historian and author Manny Pacheco. Pacheco will also bring copies of his book Forgotten Hollywood: People and Places of the Golden Age of Tinseltown.
The Laurel & Hardy short They Go Boom will be screened, plus the usual cartoon and guest comedian. Plus treats! Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7. For more information, visit the Saps at Sea Facebook page.
LA MESA EARTH DAY FESTIVAL APRIL 22
The city of La Mesa invites you to the La Mesa Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MacArthur Park (4900 Memorial Drive, La Mesa).
The free event will include arts and crafts, eco-friendly vendors, a bicycle rodeo and bike activities, a fix-it clinic, food truck, kids zone with bounce house, tile painting for Collier Park, giveaways and more.
For more information or to become a vendor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EARTH DAY BOULDER FAIR APRIL 22
For its annual Earth Day celebration, the Desert View Tower and Boulder Park will host a Boulder Fair on Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The festivities will include live music by Sage, Victor Bosc, and Sunrise Highway as well as arts and crats, gifts, jewelry, displays of rocks and gemstones, healing herbs and medicinal plants, gardening tips and a plant sale, organic produce, cacao and superfoods, tie dye products, a desert plant walk and a kid zone.
There will also be tamales and Mexican food to purchase, as well as a gourmet coffee truck. Desert View Tower and Boulder Park are located just off I-8 on In-Ko-Pah Road in Jacumba Hot Springs.
You can learn more at the Desert View Tower page on Facebook.
COYOTE MUSIC FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL AND MORE ON MAY 6
On May 6, Cuyamaca College is combining several major events for a true springtime extravaganza.
Coyote Music Festival will present a range of amazing artists in The Garden’s Amphitheater all day, from rock-and-roll bands to singer-songwriters’ melodic tunes.
The Water Conservation Garden will host its Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival on May 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can watch butterfly releases and children can join Miss Smarty-Plants and Miss Monarch at a Pollinator Party to hear stories and craft their own Pollinator wings. The Garden will also have specialty vendors, workshops, and food trucks.
In addition, Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture Department will hold its largest plant sale of the year in their brand-new nursery. Plus, the Heritage of the America’s Museum will be hosting tours throughout the day.
Find more details at https://thegarden.org.
VINTAGE ALPINE MAY 7 IN ALPINE
You can savor tastes from 25 wineries, 3 breweries and 20 local restaurants at Vintage Alpine on May 7 from 1-4 p.m. at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs
Vintage Alpine began in 1990 and is now one of the biggest events of its kind in San Diego County. More than 500 people from all over the Southwest attend the event, which also features relaxing live music in a beautiful garden setting, as well as a silent auction and opportunities to meet wine and food experts.
All proceeds of Vintage Alpine are used by the Kiwanis Club of Alpine to provide services and programs supporting the children of San Diego.
For tickets and reservations, you can visit https://vintagealpine.org/.