Festivals of the Month

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR FEASTING & MERRYMAKING HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 15!

You’re invited to feast and make merry at our annual VIP holiday party!  RSVP today to reserve space for this popular event.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Our editor’s Mt. Helix home at 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, CA 91941

Live music by Paul Nichols and Cindy Burnham at 4 pm; caroling sing-along after dinner

Holiday feast: We have a delicious menu including honey glazed ham, baked yams, cranberry-orange relish, red cabbage and greens slaw, macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, veggies with spinach and crab dip, gourmet cheese platter, winter salad with pecans and pomegranates, Wassail bowl/spiced cider, wine from the award-winning Vineyard Grant James, molasses gingerbread, lemon squares, holiday cookies and more!

Bring a dish to share!

Raffle: prizes include Hooley's gift certificate, Smart and final gift certificate $100 activity gift certificates to Fort Cross Ole Timey adventures,  Oasis Camel Dairy special event passes, jewelry, holiday accessories, gift basket for wine lovers, locally roasted coffee, chocolates, and more. 

Cost:  $15 with RSVP in advance, $20 at the door

Prepay online at www.EastCountyMedia.org/donate

FOOTHILLS CHURCH IN EL CAJON FEATURES NIGHTLY CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAY; 100,000 LIGHTS SYNCHRONIZED TO MUSIC

East County News Service

December 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – Foothills Christian Church, 365 West Bradley Ave., El Cajon, is presenting its third annual “Christmas Nights at Foothills,” a free, nightly, synched-music Christmas light show featuring more than 100,000 lights, from 5 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. Motorists are invited to drive along West Bradley Drive, tune their car radio to 104.1-FM and enjoy the holiday light display that is synchronized to music.

RAMONA HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL EACH WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS INCLUDES HOLIDAY SHOPPING, MUSIC, AND WINE TASTING

East County News Service

December 4, 2019 (Ramona) -- This year’s Ramona Holiday Wine Trail runs four weekends to make sure you have time to cover all 18 participating wine-tasting venues and take advantage of all that the Holiday Wine Trail has to offer. The event includes holiday shopping at wineries as well as live music, special events and promotions plus of course, wine tasting.  This year, the wine trail runs each Saturday and Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas:

TOUR SANTA’S TREEHOUSE DEC. 7-8 FEATURED ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “TREEHOUSE MASTERS” & MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Dec. 4, 2019 (Jamul) Want your picture with a Santa that is registered with FORBS (fraternal order of the real bearded santas)? And, not only that, but have your picture in a Christmas-themed treehouse built by Treehouse Masters of Animal Planet fame?

Your chance to do that is here.  Kathie Wellington, of Jamul, is offering that opportunity and more this weekend, Dec. 7 -8th, from 9 a.m. -4 p.m.  The cost is $50 per family but is a fundraiser for families in need. Originally, Santa’s Treehouse opened Christmas 2013.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS DEC. 6-31

By Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features two Christmas plays at Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa, upcoming concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon, North Pole Limited holiday train rides in Campo, a Holiday Gift Shoppe at the Water Conservation Garden, Alpine's Parade of Lights and Snow Festival, a Brotherhood of Man dance program in La Mesa, and Lakeside’s Spirit of Christmas on Maine.

Plus we’ll have a preview of events later on this month including East County Magazine’s Feasting & Merrymaking Holiday Party, Ramona’s Christmas tree lighting, a European Christmas market and caroling atop Mt. Helix, Santa at Santee Lakes, Julian Victorian Christmas teas,  La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village, Carols by Candlelight in Escondido, and a Paris Holiday Tea in El Cajon, a Boogie Woogie New Year’s Party at the Courtyard Marriott in El Cajon, and a Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve bash at Viejas.

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

30TH ANNUAL CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT CONCERT DEC. 13 & 14 IN ESCONDIDO BENEFITS RADY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Benefit concert includes performances by Collin Raye, Craig Campbell, Bryan White, Jamie O’Neal, Anna Vaus & Steve Vaus 

 

East County News Service

 

December 1, 2019 (Poway) – Carols by Candlelightheartwarming holiday concert headlined by country music stars, will take place Dec. 13 & 14 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Now in its 30th year,  this family-friendly concert's proceeds will bemefot Rady Children’s Hospital.

 

The concert, beginning at 8:00 p.m. both nights, will feature prominent country music singers performing their hits and favorite holiday songs. Headliners include Collin Raye, who has been nominated for 10 CMA and ACM Awards, 24 Top 10 Records, and 16 #1 Hits. 

Other headliners both nights include Bryan WhiteJamie O’Neal, as well as up-and-comer Anna Vaus and concert founder,Poway Mayor Steve Vaus (2010 Grammy winner).

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE WITH LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY DEC. 6 INCUDES SANTA--AND BOOKS ON LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery 

November 30, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove Historical Society invites you to Christmas Open House on Dec. 6 from 5-8 p.m. Santa will be in the H. Lee House. You can tour the museum and also buy books at the Parsonage Museum before enjoying the city’s annual bonfire.   

LEMON GROVE BONFIRE TO LIGHT UP THE NIGHT DEC. 6

East County News Service
 
November 29, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The city of Lemon Grove will hold its 22nd annual community bonfire in Civic Center Park (3200 Main St.) on December 6 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  In addition to a giant bonfire built by the fire department, this year’s event will feature spaghetti-eating and ugly sweater contests, a horse-drawn carriage, music, rock climbing, an obstacle course, cookies and hot chocolate, and more.

HOLIDAY GIFT SHOPPE SALE AT THE GARDEN DEC. 7

East County News Service

 

November 26, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) - Looking for a little something special for that special someone? Drop by the Water Conservation Garden’s annual Holiday Gift Shoppe Sale on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to find wonderful whimsical gifts for your special gardener or garden aficionado.

 

THE SAN DIEGO POTTERY TOUR IS COMING SOON! DEC. 7 AND 8

East County News Service

November 26, 2019 (San Diego) - Potters across San Diego are busily firing kilns full of fine handmade pottery. The nine open studios this year feature new pottery and ceramic art from over 30 of San Diego's best ceramists and a few guests. Take a day or two and visit all the studios, invite your friends, have lunch in local restaurants and enjoy a weekend of ceramic art. Studios will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. It's FREE and self guided, so you'll need a map that's available online at the Tour website: www.sdpotterytour.com

EL CAJON HOLIDAY LIGHTS ON MAIN NOV. 30 FEATURES ICE SKATING, SANTA’S VILLAGE AND MORE

East County News Center

November 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Downtown El Cajon invites you to “Holiday Lights on Main” this Saturday, November 25th from 12 noon to 7 p.m.  This festive event includes ice skating, Santa’s Village, carnival rides, live music, and at 6 p.m. the annual tree lighting at Main and Magnolia.

Shops will light up to brighten your holidays and invite you to support small businesses in the community as part of Small Business Saturday.

24TH ANNUAL ALPINE VILLAGE PARADE OF LIGHTS & SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 6

East County News Service
 
November 25, 2019 (Alpine) – 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 free 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.

LET IT SNOW! LA MESA’S HOLIDAY IN THE VILLAGE RINGS IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON DEC. 13-14

East County News Service
 
November 25, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Village Associations Holiday in the Village will once again be ringing in holiday cheer. This year will include snow to create a winter wonderland like no other, thanks to Viejas Casino and Resort, sponsor of the event. The holiday festival runs Friday, Dec. 13 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 
In the historic downtown La Mesa Village, you’re invited to bring your friends and family to take part in free, festive fun with live music, cozy fires, dancing, reindeer games, craft vendors, live entertainment food, a strolling balloon artist, train rides for kids, and a “kids’ area bigger than Santa’s toy shop,” organizers say. 

HO HO! SANTA AND SNOW COME TO SANTEE LAKES DEC. 8

East County News Service

 

November 25, 2019 (Santee) - 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 for sledding fun, carnival rides, inflatable jumps, crafts, food, character meets and greets and Santa Claus.  

 

Parking is $10 and tickets are $1 each with activities and rides ranging from 1-8 tickets.

Get more information at www.SanteeLakes.com

 

LAKESIDE’S SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ON MAINE DEC. 7 REVIVES OLD-FASHIONED HOLIDAY CHEER

East County News Service

November 25, 2019 (Lakeside) - 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 https://lakesidechamber.org/.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 29-DEC. 31

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features El Cajon's Holiday on Main, upcoming concerts at the Magnolia, North Pole Limited holiday train rides in Campo, a Holiday Gift Shoppe at the Water Conservation Garden, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona and a Julian Country Christmas.

Plus, we have a preview of December events including 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, Carols by Candlelight, and a Paris Holiday Tea in El Cajon and a Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve bash at Viejas.

 

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

THANKSGIVING TURKEY BASH WITH SAN DIEGO'S RESCUED LIONS TIGERS AND BEARS NOV. 29-30

East County News Service
 
November 24, 2019 (Alpine) — You’re invited to come get wild at Lions Tigers & Bears the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving - and watch rescued big cats and bears enjoy their Thanksgiving feasts. 
 
This event is a special twist on regularly scheduled 10 a.m. guided educational visit. Choose from “member for a day” or “feed with a keeper” options.

SANTEE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON WITH A TREE LIGHTING AND FESTIVITIES

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Nov. 24, 2019 (Santee) Santee kicked off the holiday season with an annual tree lighting ceremony held at the Santee Trolley Square on Nov. 22.

The tree lighting ceremony, held  at 6:30 p.m., was accompanied by a display of fireworks.  The event, attended by thousands, also featured live music, snow sledding, carriage rides, mini-express  train rides, a petting zoo, carolers, free holiday crafts, and more.

CELEBRITY LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR MOTHER GOOSE PARADE THIS SUNDAY

East County News Service
 
November 22, 2019 (El Cajon) – Always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the 73rd annual Mother Goose Parade this Sunday at 1 p.m. will draw thousands of spectators lining the parade route along Main Street through downtown El Cajon to see their favorite TV and movie celebrities as well as marching bands, floats, equestrian units, large helium balloons and more.  Here are the celebrities lined up:

ECM CONTRIBUTING EDITOR PAUL KRUZE TO BE ONE OF THE ANNOUNCERS AT MOTHER GOOSE PARADE

East County News Service

November 22, 2019 (El Cajon) -- East County Magazine’s award-winning Contributing Editor, Paul Kruze, will be one of several celebrity announcers at this year’s iconic “Mother Goose Parade” set to hit the streets of downtown El Cajon on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. on Main Street.

“I’m truly honored to be a part of this classic start to the holiday season,” said Kruze, who has been a part of East County Magazine for nearly a decade. “The best part of my work is when I get to meet so many people who are involved in our community."

VIEJAS HOSTS ROARING 20S NIGHT TO REMEMBER ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

By Miriam Raftery

 

November 22, 2019 (Alpine) – To ring in 2020, Viejas Casino & Resort is hosting a Roaring ‘20s themed New Year’s Eve bash that promises to be the resort’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration yet.

 

You’re invited to don your flapper dress or Gatsby get-up, then choose a package tailored to fit your fortune.  Festivities will span the ballrooms, pool bar, park, and beyond.

 

The invite adds, “See you there, revelers – it will be the bee’s knees!

For more information, visit https://viejas.com/new-years-eve-bash-2020/.

NORTH POLE LIMITED: TRAIN RIDES DURING HOLIDAY SEASON IN CAMPO

East County News Service
 
November 21, 2019 (Campo) – The North Pole Limited, a special holiday train ride, will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. 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 train on our way back to the Campo Depot.

FIND HOLIDAY TREASURES AT DESCANSO ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR NOV. 23

East County News Service

November 19, 2019 (Descanso) – Unique hand-crafted and locally made Christmas gifts will be available at an Arts and Crafts Fair at the historic Descanso Town Hall on Saturday, November 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

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

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!

CULTURAL ART EXPO DRAWS TOP-NOTCH ARTISTS; MARRIOTT AIMS TO EXPAND EXPO AND CREATE AN ANNUAL EVENT

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Art aficionados found plenty to appreciate at the Cultural Art Expo held Nov. 9 at the Marriott in El Cajon.  Proceeds benefited the East County Arts Association, which had members in a broad range of visual arts at the event, which also featured internationally acclaimed sculptor Enrique Avilez, local authors, live music, wine and beer tasting, art workshops and a fitness workout.

“It was the perfect storm,” Avilez (photo, left), a former fisherman, says of the life-altering event that inspired him to take up artwork as a career. Aboard a fishing vessel off his native Mexico battered by stormy seas, Avilez made a promise to pursue his passions if he survived the ordeal. His works reflect the materials of Baja beaches  and communities where he grew up – utilizing native clays, seashells, coral, wood and more.

ALL ABOARD: RIDE A TRAIN, CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF SAN DIEGO RAILWAY HISTORY NOV. 16 IN CAMPO

East County News Service

November 11, 2019 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will mark the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A) with a variety of family-friendly activities at its “SD&A Centennial Celebration Gold Spike Day” on Saturday, Nov. 16 at PSRM’s Campo Railroad Park and Museum in Campo, Calif. The public is invited to attend.

ESCONDIDO HOSTED 5TH ANNUAL TAMALE FESTIVAL

Photos and story by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Nov. 11, 2019 (Escondido) The 5th Annual Escondido Tamale Festival was held Nov. 2 at Escondido's Grape Park.  

Tamales included traditional, vegetarian, and gourmet and included smoked bbq varieties, Oaxacan, banana wrapped, dulce and more. Holiday pre-orders of tamales was also available.

MT. MIGUEL HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION PRESENTS A “HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR” DEC. 14

East County News Service

November 8, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Mt. Miguel High School Foundation will present “Holiday Craft fair”, taking place at the Mt. Miguel Multicultural Events Center, 8585 Blossom Lane, Spring Valley, CA 91977 on Saturday December 14 from 10a.m.-3:00 p.m.

FREE FISHING FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY MEMBERS AT LAKE JENNINGS NOV. 11

East County News Service
 
November 7, 2019 (Lakeside) – Lake Jennings in Lakeside invites veterans and active duty members of the United States Armed Forces to fish and enjoy a beautiful day at the lake for free at Lake Jennings on Veteran's Day 2019. The lake will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and proper military identification will be required.
 
On Facebook, Lake Jennings, owned by Helix Water District, posted, “Thank you for your service!”

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

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2019 (Ramona) – 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.

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