Festivals of the Month

WHERE TO FIND FIREWORKS IN EAST COUNTY THIS JULY 4TH

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Due to COVID-19, several of East County’s most popular 4th of July celebrations have been cancelled. But several others have revamped to provide fireworks displays with social distancing and/or virtual celebrations.

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CHILDREN’S NATURE RETREAT REOPENS AFTER COVID-19 SHUTDOWN: ANIMAL RESCUE NEEDS VISITORS AND DONATIONS

 

Source: Children’s Nature Retreat

June 23, 2020 (Alpine) -- The Children’s Nature Retreat, a 20-acre animal sanctuary in Alpine with 140-plus domesticated animals, is reopening to guests.

The animal sanctuary is open by appointment only, limited to 50 people. Guests are required to wear masks at the entrance, and if they come within 6-feet of anyone outside of their family/household; visitors can roam the outdoor property on the self-guided tour without masks.


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VIRTUAL CAMPFIRE CHATS WITH ANZA-BORREGO PARK RANGERS KICK OFF THIS WEEKEND

 

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East County News Service

Photo by Kirtland Smith: Verdin in Ocotillo

June 18, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – The Anza Borrego Foundation is planning five virtual Campfire chats with retired Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Rangers and Superintendents, streamed live from various Park locations.

In 30-minute segments, each ranger will share stories, focused on their favorite park topics such as birding, bighorn sheep, land conservation and military history of the Park.


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ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS: SAN DIEGO ZOO AND SAFARI PARK SET TO REOPEN JUNE 20

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2020 (San Diego) – Roaring back after the COVID-19 shut down of the past three months, the world famous San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in San Pasqual are set to reopen  to the public on June 20.  However, admissions will be limited and hours are reduced to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN REOPENS IN MID-JUNE: BUTTERFLY RELEASES PLANNED

East County News Service
 
June 11, 2020 (El Cajon) -- As of June 15, The Water Conservation Garden reopens for members and reopens to the public on June 16, but with a small admission fee for non-members. All visitors in June will receive free ice cream and popsicles, as well as having the opportunity to visit the Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion to view butterflies throughout June. Butterfly release dates are planned June 15, 19 and 27.

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SANTEE DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATER REOPENS THIS FRIDAY NIGHT

May 15, 2020 (Santee) – Eager for entertainment?  It's showtime in Santee--with social distancing.

The Santee Drive-In movie theatre is set to reopen tonight. Theatre 1 will show Trolls World Tour starting at 8:30 p.m. and Onward at 10:10 p.m.; both are rated PG. Theatre 2 will show The Invisible Man at 8:30 p.m. and The Hunt at 9:45 p.m.; both are rated R.

Bring your own FM radio to listen; tune in to 89.3 FM for Theatre 1  or 89.7 FM for Theatre 2 . Loaner radios are available for a $20 deposit refundable on return.

The theatre accepts cash only. You’ll need to bring your own popcorn or other refreshments, since the snack bar will be closed, and follow these new rules:


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ECEDC HOSTS PROGRAMS TO HELP LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES

East County News Service 

April 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The East County Economic Development Council held a webinar on disaster funding options for small businesses, including the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, disaster loans and more  The webinar can be viewed now on Facebook at this link.


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EL CAJON PARKS AND RECREATION GOES VIRTUAL

East County News Service

April 2, 2020 (El Cajon) — El Cajon’s Parks and Recreation site has set up a Virtual Recreation and Resource Center filled with fun, education and resources through these wild and turbulent times.


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COUNTY LAUNCHES VIRTUAL RECREATION CENTER WITH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR HOME ACTIVITIES

virtual recreation
DPR_Logo_Square

March 31, 2010 (San Diego)--The County of San Diego's Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has launched a Virtual Recreation Center! This is your one-stop-shop for tips, tricks and tales to help you pass the downtime caused by school closures, quarantines and other County advisories. From virtual hikes to daily home fitness challenges, the site has both indoor and outdoor activities to adults and  kids who are homebound.

"While our standard rallying cry is to encourage people to spend more time outside, we understand that recent realities may not make that feasible. We’re now poised to offer many of our incredible outdoor activities in an online environment, or in a manner that supports social distancing," the site states.

Bookmark this page and check back often for new content. Below are items posted as of March 31:


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CITY OF LA MESA PARTNERS WITH GROSSMONT CENTER TO HOST BICYCLE SAFETY FAIR MARCH 21

Source: City of La Mesa

 

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

 

March 11, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Children and teens are invited to bring their bicycles and helmets to participate in a Bicycle Safety Fair on Saturday, March 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Grossmont Center (in the West Court parking lot between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive). Admission is free to this family-friendly event where children of all ages can engage in fun and educational cycling activities, visit vendors, and receive educational information and giveaways.  


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS MID-MARCH THROUGH APRIL

DUE TO THE EMERGENCY DECLARATION OVER THE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS),  ALL EVENTS BEFORE MARCH 31 HAVE BEEN ORDERED CANCELED.   PLEASE CHECK WITH ORGANIZERS FOR STATUS OF ALL UPCOMING EVENTS.

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features St. Patrick’s Day fun at Hooley’s Irish Pub, Irish teas in Julian, spring wildflower walks in the Anza-Borrego Desert, a Hawk Talk at the Santa Ysabel Nature Preserve, Agatha Christie’s the Hollow in La Mesa, concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon and a LatinX Film and Art Festival at San Diego, all in March.

Plus we have a preview of April attractions including an oysters and white wine pairing at Ramona Ranch Winery, Cajon Classic Cruises in El Cajon, a Literary Arts Festival at Grossmont College, as well as a Garden and Butterfly Festival at Cuyamaca College.

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


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LEMON GROVE LIONS CLUB HOSTS 5TH ANNUAL SALSA Y SALSA FUNDRAISER APRIL 18 FOR SERVICE PROJECTS AND LITTLE LEAGUE

UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF A VENUE BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS.
 
East County News Service
 
March 8, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Arriba! Lemon Grove Lions Club, the nonprofit organization devoted to service and volunteering, is hosting its Salsa y Salsa Fundraiser on April 18 from 6-9 p.m. The event will feature a salsa tasting and salsa contest, salsa dancing, plus delicious Mexican food, music, silent auction & raffle. 
 
Salsa & Sala will be held at Monte Vista Village auditorium, 2211 Massachusetts Ave, Lemon Grove, 91945.
 
The cost of admission is $20 in advance/$25 at the door. All proceeds will go toward Lions Club Service Projects and support our Lemon Grove Little League.
 

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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS MID-MARCH THROUGH MID-APRIL

By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features St. Patrick’s Day fun at Hooley’s Irish Pub, Irish teas in Julian, spring wildflower walks in the Anza-Borrego Desert, Agatha Christie’s the Hollow in La Mesa, and concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon.

Plus we have a preview of coming attractions including a LatinX Film and Art Festival at San Diego State, Eggstravanza at Santee Lakes and Cajon Classic Cruises in El Cajon.

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


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LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE APRIL 20-23 CELEBRATES AUTHORS AND POETS

February 25, 2020 (El Cajon) – Grossmont College will host its 24th annual literary arts festival on April 20-23. Scroll down for details and find more information here.
 
MONDAY, APRIL 20
 
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Why Lit Matters panel hosted by Professors Lisa Ledri and Sarah Martin
2.-3:15 p.m. Student Poetry Slam hosted by Gill Sotu
7-8:15 p.m. poet Chris Baron reading / book signing
 
TUESDAY, APRIL 21
 
7-8:15 p.m. New Voices student reading (Building 26, Room 220)
 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22

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LATINO FILM FESTIVAL MARCH 12-22 SHOWCASES CINEMA, ARTS AND CULTURE

East County News Service

February 19, 2020 (San Diego) – The 27th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival will take place March 12-22 at two locations, AMC Fashion Valley 18 (7037 Friars Rd) and Digital Gym Cinema (2921 El Cajon Blvd.) The 11-day festival will present over 160 films from Latin America, the U.S., and Spain, showcases Latino cinema, arts and culture.

The even also features opening and closing night parties, the 5th annual Sabor Latino food, beer and wine festival on March 14, Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers and actors from around the world, free student screenings, and more.


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FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: FEB. 22-APRIL 15

By Miriam Raftery

February 19, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features spring wildflower walks, Cupids and Canines at Grossmont Center, hawk watching in Ramona, chamber music at Cuyamaca College, a Leap Day concert in the Anza-Borrego Desert, open farm day at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, comedy and concerts at the Magnolia I El Cajon.

Plus we have a preview of coming attractions including tomatomania at the Water Conservation Garden, Trivia nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, Agatha Christie’s The Hollow at Lampligters Theatre, a Salute to Local Heroes, St. Patrick’s Day events, and the opening of Cajon Classic Cruises season I El Cajon.

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


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 15-MARCH 29

By Miriam Raftery

February 10, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Cupid’s Country Picnic in Santa Ysabel, Hikes and Hops in the Anza Borrego Desert, Emoja Jazz and Jokes at Cuyamaca College, Cupids and Canines at Grossmont Center, and Hawk Watch in Ramona.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including music and comedy stars performing at the Magnolia in El Cajon,Tomatomania at the Water Conservation Garden, a Leap Day concert in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Agatha Christies “The Hollow” onstage at Lamplighters Theater in La Mesa, and the La Mesa Chamber’s Salute to Local Heroes at Sycuan.

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


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WINERIES OFFER ROMANTIC VALENTINE’S DAY OUTINGS

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)—What could be more romantic than sipping wine at a beautiful backcountry winery or vineyard?  Several local wineries are sweetening the occasion with these special events:
 
CHEESE AND WINE PAIRING AT HATFIELD CREEK WINERY IN RAMONA
Hatfield Creek in Ramona is offer a Valentine’s Day cheese and wine pairing Feb. 14 from 6-7:30 p.m.  Tastes also include other goodies including sweets, fruits and nuts along with rich zinfandel and petite syrah wines. Cost is $25 per person and includes a red rose and photo. 
  
WINE PAIRING AT HAWK WATCH WINERY IN WARNER SPRINGS

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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 30-MARCH 24

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County features a powwow at Cuyamaca College, Hawk Watch in Ramona, well known performers at the Magnolia Center in El Cajon, and the kickoff of Black History Month at Grossmont College.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including the ECHO Chamber Music Series at Cuyamaca College, Emoja Jaz and Jokes also at Cuyamaca College, Hikes and Hops in the Anza Borrego desert, birdwatching in Lakeside, a Chapman Stick concert at Mission Trails Church, Trivia Nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, a Leap Day violin concert in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “The Hollow” onstage at Lamplighters in La Mesa, and the La Mesa Chamber’s Salute to Local Heroes.

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


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LA MESA CHAMBER SALUTES LOCAL HEROES MARCH 12 AT SYCUAN RESORT

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to its 12th annual Salute to local Heroes. This year’s theme is "Hooray for Hollywood: and the event will be held on March 12 at Sycuan Casino Resort from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

First responders from La Mesa Police, fire and paramedics will be honored as well as members of the retired senior volunteer patrol. The celebration also includes installation of the Chamber’s new board of directors.

Suggested attire is Hollywood glam, cocktail or business.


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LONDON STAGE STAR RETURNS TO ADVISE STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL THEATER STUDENTS

By Jennifer Doucet, President, Steele Canyon Players Drama Booster Club
Photo Credit: 1-3: Helen Maybanks
Photo Credit: Michael Wharley
 
January 29, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- London stage actor Dean Chisnall returns to Steele Canyon Charter High School February 26 to February 29 to help prepare the school’s theatre department for their production of Shrek The Musical premiering March 18th.  Who better to mentor the students than an actor who portrayed Shrek for five years on the London West End stage and on the UK & Ireland tour? 
 
According to Chisnall, that’s 1,318 performances as Shrek; 5,742 hours in green make up; 25 cities and a total of 21 months on tour.  Locally, Chisnall will team-up with Steele Canyon Directors, Nicole LaBella (Theatre) and Heather Luck (Music), to instruct and inspire the Steele Canyon Players to portray the beloved Shrek musical theater characters. 
 
He will also be the main event in “An Evening with Dean Chisnall” benefit night for the SCHS theater students at Steele Canyon High School on the evening of Saturday, February 29 @ 7:00pm. Open to the general public, tickets are $20 online/$25 door. Visit www.schscougars.org or order tickets directly at www.showtix4u.com

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENTS AT GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Contact: Della Elliott
 
January 29, 2020 (El Cajon)--Food, movies, dance and cultural and educational presentations are on tap in February at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges for Black History Month.
 
With the exception of fundraisers – a barbecue at Grossmont College and a night of jazz and comedy at Cuyamaca College – all other events are free. The public is welcome to all events.

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ENJOY A FLAMENCO SHOW, TAPAS AND PAELLA WITH OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB JANUARY 30TH

January 21, 2020 (La Mesa) -- You're invited to support East County Magazine at our most exciting East County Dining Club event yet!  At the Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro in La Mesa on  Thursday, January 30th, take a virtual trip to Spain.

Tapas, dinner and Flamenco music show: This special event begins with happy hour and Spanish-style tapas (appetizers) at 6 p.m., followed by delicious dinner options incuding Paella Valencia and a live Flamenco show at 7 p.m. We will have prize drawings galore, too!

Feast your eyes on our very special menu here, with a range of options in every price range including Paellla Valencia (seafood or meat versions), the national dish of Spain.

RSVP by Monday: The restaurant asks that you pre-order your main dish (entree) when you RSVP to us by Monday Jan. 27 at (619)698-7617 or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  You can pay at the event, and you can order everything else there including appetizers, deserts, salads, wine, beer, or other beverages.

Prizes:  Our raffle includes whalewatching tickets from Hornblower Cruises, Spacebar Cafe and Wine Bar gift certificate, gift certificate to Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, wine lovers gifts, cuisine of Spain cookbook, leather purse, jewelry, gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, and more!

Benefits: Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro will donate 20% of proceeds to East County Media to benefit East County Magazine and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts. In addition, 100% of raffle ticket sales will benefit these nonprofit causes.


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UMOJA JAZZ AND JOKES FEB. 21 AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE

Source: Cuyamaca College
 
January 26, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) -- Enjoy an evening of laughter and live music with the Cuyamaca College Umoja Scholars community as a scholarship fundraiser, "Jazz & Jokes," 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre.
 
A VIP reception for $25 from 6:30-7:30 includes the price of admission, which is $5 for students and $10 for general admission. Tickets are available online.

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CUYAMACA COLLEGE POWWOW RETURNS FEB. 1 WITH BIRD SINGERS, GOURD DANCING AND MORE

Source: Cuyamaca College
 
January 23, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Native American history and culture will be celebrated when tribes from throughout the West congregate at Cuyamaca College’s 6th Annual Powwow on Saturday, Feb. 1. Up to 2,500 people from throughout the region are expected to attend the free event that is open to the public.
 
The powwow begins at 9:30 a.m. with a traditional blessing, followed by the Ashaa Takook Bird Singers at 10 a.m., gourd dancing at 11 a.m. and Grand Entry at noon. The celebration continues until 8 p.m. and vendors will be selling Native American arts and crafts, fry bread and Indian tacos. Admission is free.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 25-FEB. 29

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features East County Dining Club’s Flamenco music and Spanish tapas night at the Spacebar Café and Winebar in La Mesa– benefitting our own East County Magazine. 

Other events coming up include a powwow at Cuyamaca College, Hawk Watch in Ramona, well known performers at the Magnolia Center in El Cajon, Restaurant Month in Julian, birdwatching in Lakeside, a Chapman Stick concert at Mission Trails Church, Trivia Nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, and Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “The Hollow” onstage at Lamplighters in La Mesa.

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


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF WATER IN EAST COUNTY ON JANUARY 25

Source: Helix Water District

Photo: Dignitaries rode boats to celebrate opening day of the San Diego Flume in 1889, which brought water from Lake Cuyamaca to meet the needs of East County residents.

 January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At the next Helix Water Talks, on Saturday, January 25, Helix Water District will take customers through 130 years of local history including how the need for a robust water infrastructure played into development of East County and how Helix Water District was formed to meet that need.

The doors open at 8:30 a.m. at Helix’s administration office in La Mesa. The free event includes coffee and bagels, a presentation and an hour-long, 3-floor tour of the district’s collection of historical photos.

“The history of Helix Water District and our role in developing and providing water for East County over the last century is fascinating,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “Our customers really enjoy this event.”


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 10-FEB. 28

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Hawk Watch in Ramona, concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon, the silent movie Passion of Joan of Arc in Borrego Springs, and Open Farm Day at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including San Diego restaurant week and Julian’s restaurant month, trivia nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, tapas and a flamenco show at Spacebar Café in La Mesa, and a Lamplighter’s Theater production of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery play, The Hollow.

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


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

BEST OF EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 4-FEB. 28

By Miriam Raftery,
 
January 4, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features live music at San Pasqual Winery in La Mesa, a full moon walk in Anza-Borrego, and concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon. 
 
Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including the silent movie Passion of Joan of Arc in Borrego, Open Farm Weekend at Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, trivia nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, tapas and a flamenco show at Spacebar Café in La Mesa, and a Lamplighter’s Theater production of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery play, The Hollow.
 
So click Read More for all of these events and many more!

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GREAT CHANUKAH GELT DROP: TODAY AT 4 P.M. IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

December 22, 2019 (El Cajon) – Today at 4 p.m. Chabad of East County will present the Great Chanukah Gelt Drop in El Cajon’s Centennial Plaza (200 Civic Center Way) behind the Marriott. 

The occasion will include lighting a menorah, the world’s largest dreidel, catching chocolate coins dropped by Heartland firefighters from atop a fire ladder, music and dancing, a kids fun zone, raffle, Chanukah refreshments, honoring local heroes in uniform and dignitaries.


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