Festivals of the Month

NO SPAIN, NO BULL--ITS THE "RUNNING OF THE GOATS" IN CREST SATURDAY, MARCH 7

March 3, 2009 (Crest)--It may be un-"herd" of, but it is happening in Crest and it's not a baaad idea. The first ever "Running of the Goats" will take place on March 7, 2009 at the South Lane Park in Crest. This "running" will not reflect the danger as experienced in the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but it will greatly reduce the dangers of wild fires in the East County. (View video of a goats-run-wild event in another community here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDJP8yMbLjQ.)

 


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FESTIVALS OF THE MONTH: MARCH 2009

March 1, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--Spring is in the air! This month's events include street fairs, music festivals, St. Patrick's Day celebrating, stargazing, train rides, eco-events, nature hikes, a free job search program, a soap box derby, and a baseball contest where winners can advance to finals at a Major League All-Star game. Also a "running of the goats" in Crest. No bull...No Pamplona, Spain--just 250 goats running wild--we kid you not!


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VROOOOOM! DREW FORD/LA MESA KIWANIS CLUB TO HOLD SOAP BOX DERBY RALLY RACES MARCH 7 & 8

"There's No Substitute for Experience," Says Derby Director

March 1, 2009(La Mesa)--In the seventh year of its Soap Box Derby program, the Drew Ford and the Kiwanis Club of La Mesa will hold two days of Rally Races on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8. The back-to-back races lead to the Annual La Mesa Soap Box Derby in late May. Winners of that contest are sent to the National Derby in Akron, Ohio, in July.


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WOW- IT'S A POW-WOW! SAT. FEB. 28 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

February 23, 2009 (El Cajon)--The 21st annual Grossmont College Pow-Wow, a celebration of American Indian culture, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the college's Student Center. Admission is free. The day-long event, which begins at noon with gourd dancing and giveaways, features American Indian dancers and drummers. Vendors will sell American Indian cuisine, clothing, art and jewelry. The Grand Entry, a procession of about 100 dancers, begins at 6 p.m.


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KIDS JOIN IN FUN AT CIRCUS VARGA--”SHOWING THROUGH MONDAY IN EL CAJON

February 21, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Ringmasters invited all children in the audience into the ring for free lessons in how to spin hula hoops, juggle scarves, and balance peacock feathers at Circus Vargas in El Cajon. Youngsters could also ride a Clydesdale horse during intermission, or pose for family photos with a giant snake. Performances run daily through Monday, Feb. 23, so there's still time to bring your kids for some family fun. Unlike shows in large arenas, this show is under an old-fashioned big-top tent--and there's not a bad seat in the house.


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BREAKFAST WITH BAKARI THE LION: FEB. 21 AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS

February 16, 2009 (Descanso)--Here's something to roar about--Lions, Tigers & Bears is hosting "Breakfast with Bakari", an African lion at big cat sanctuary in Descanso, just east of Alpine.

Guests are invited to enjoy breakfast, visit with 13 rescued cats, other farm animals and their caretakers. You can also watch lions and tigers frolicking in the new Tiger Trails exercise enclosure funded through donations and past fundraising events.


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WHAT'S HOT THIS WEEK? PLENTY!

February 18, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--Concerts, circus performers, art shows, the AMGEN tour and wheelchair ballroom dance lessons are among the many exciting activities coming to San Diego's eastern region this week.


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CIRCUS VARGAS PRESENTS 40TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW: BIG TOP COMES TO EL CAJON FEB. 19-23

February 7, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Circus Vargas will present dazzling and death-defying feats in its 40th anniversary production, coming to El Cajon February 19th-23rd in the Parkway Plaza parking lot. Acrobats, clowns, magical illusionists, horses, motorcycles, music and dance are among the entertainment slated.

Early-birds will be treated to a preview show in which children of all ages will be invited into the center ring to experience life under the Big Top and received a crash course in circus skills such as juggling, feather balancing and hula-hooping.


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FESTIVALS OF THE MONTH: FEBRUARY 2009

By Miriam Raftery

February 1, 2009 (San Diego's East County) — Winter's chill is past--time to
step out in the sunshine and savor some of the many fun-filled events this
month in San Diego's eastern regions. Find details on all of these events and
more. Just click the calendar
link
at the top of our homepage!

This is the prime season to visit Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where a
wealth of activities are slated in February--from a desert night sky lecture
on Feb. 6th to Archeology Weekend on the 21st-22nd and a hike through slots,
vistas and side canyons on the 28th.


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HAWK WATCH 2009

February 1, 2009 (Ramona)--Each Saturday in February from 9 a.m to noon, the public is invited to visit the Ramona Grasslands with the Wildlife Research Institute, Inc. for a free educational program. You will see raptors such as the Golden Eagle, the wintering Ferruginous Hawk, the Red-tailed Hawk, Prairie Falcon and the Red-shouldered Hawk. Nineteen (19) species of raptors alone have been recorded at this Raptor Hotspot.


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KING'S VISION LAUDED AT LA MESA MULTI-CULTURAL FESTIVAL:

 

Music, Dance, and Storytelling Highlight 13th Annual Event -- VIEW OUR VIDEOS!

Moreton Bay Fig Morris English Dance Troupe.

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Miriam Raftery and Leon Thompson

 

January 18, 2009 (La Mesa) — "On Tuesday, we will celebrate a historic day--I never thought I would see the day when we would have an African-American president," Dr. Eugene R. Bailey, retired U.S. Navy captain, told an audience of several hundred people at La Mesa's Multi-Cultural Festival. "Today I have to pinch myself to believe I actually commanded ships," said Bailey, who entered the Navy when opportunities for minorities were restricted. "We Americans have actually come a long, long way."


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La Mesa Multicultural Festival Videos


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INAUGURATION CELEBRATION AND COMMUNITY BALL-- PUBLIC WELCOME

Story
and photo by Miriam Raftery
San
Diego (January 12, 2009) —
Malcolm X Library will host an all day Community
Inaugural Celebration
to mark the momentous occasion of the Inaugural
of President-Elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States on
Tuesday, January 20th. The Library envisions San Diego residents from all
walks of life attending the many events, fostering fellowship and sharing dialogue. The
day begins with viewing the swearing-in ceremony on live TV at 9 a.m., followed
by hour-by-hour community celebrations and reflections from noon to 7 p.m.


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FESTIVAL OF THE MONTH -- MULTI-CULTURAL FESTIVAL IN LA MESA CELEBRATES OUR REGION'S DIVERSE HERITAGE

January 8, 2008 (La Mesa) — The City of La Mesa's 13th
annual Multicultural Festival on January 18th aspires to be an afternoon of
civic pride and festivities for the family in a celebration honoring our community's
rich diversity of cultures and international traditions. The ceremony, held
on Martin Luther King Day weekend, also honors the slain civil rights leader's
vision.


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OUR GUIDE TO EAST COUNTY'S HOTTEST NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES

December 28, 2008 — Looking
to party hearty on December 31st?  Here are our picks for the best places
to ring in the New Year east of I-15.  From a Chinese dragon parade to
a cozy mountain inn, from an alcohol-free celebration to a lavish multi-band
bash, you'll find it all in East County and San Diego's eastern region.  Find
details on these events at


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KWANZAA CELEBRATIONS AND EVENTS ANNOUNCED

December 6, 2008 (San Diego) — A series of events commemorating Kwanzaa have
been announced, including several in San Diego's eastern region. 

The 18th annual Pan-African Associations of America Umoja Day program will
take place December 26th at the Malcolm X Library located at 5148 Market Street
in San Diego.  This a day long event and includes an adult workshop
explaining how to observe Kwanzaa in the home and a children's arts and craft
workshop on Kwanzaa: 10am to noon.  A Youth/Hip Hop discussion on Kwanzaa
will take place from 1pm to 3 p.m. The traditional lighting of the  first
Kwanzaa candle will take place at 4:30 p.m. and includes a program of  words
of inspiration, spoken word, music, drumming and dance, African martial arts,
silent auction and vendors.  The program ends at 8pm.  All
events are free to the public.


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Christmas in the Village

Quintessential hometown fun

By Kristin Hobbs Kjaero

La
Mesa (December 1, 2008) —
Santa Claus is coming to town!

On December 12-13, the La Mesa Village will magically transform with Christmas
lights, sparkling window displays and open fire pits. Visitors can enjoy carnival
rides, puppet shows, four stages showcasing homegrown talent, and ride ponies,
carriage, and fire truck.


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COOL!  OUTDOOR ICE RINK OPENS AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER: ICE SHOW, TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY NOV. 22

By Miriam Raftery

November
17, 2008 (Alpine) —
Looking for the coolest place in East County?

The largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California is now open for the holiday
season at Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine. 


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MOTHER OF ALL FESTIVALS - A STAR-STUDDED MOTHER GOOSE PARADE!

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2008 (El Cajon) — The mother of all East County festivals
takes place this Sunday, November 23rd.  The Mother Goose Parade in downtown
El Cajon is the largest parade in San Diego County and the biggest parade of
its kind west of the Mississippi.  This
year, parade organizers have assembled a dazzling array of 50 celebrity participants
led by grand marshals Tori Spelling (star of Tori and Dean Inn Love and Beverly
Hills 90210
), KayCee Stroh of High School Musical fame, and Padres
first basement Adrian Gonzales. 


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WEEKEND HALLOWEEN SCENE  & MORE EAST COUNTY EVENTS

For
a frightfully good time this week (not to mention satisfying your sweet tooth
cravings), you’ll find plenty of Halloween haunts in East County.

Start with Wednesday night’s “Trunk or Treat” in El Cajon,
where classic car club members will be doling out goodies.  On Thursday,
dig into a pumpkin pie-eating contest and costume party in Valley Center, or
chill out at the Otay Haunted House.


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HUNDREDS FLOCK TO ELKS OKTOBERFEST

By Miriam Raftery

October
20, 2008 (El Cajon) -
Over 800 people flocked to an Oktoberfest celebration
hosted by El Cajon’s Elks Lodge 1812, a tradition that dates back to
1975.

“I started the Oktoberfest,” said Giselle Howard (photo, left),
who was also the festival’s first Oktoberfest Queen.   “This
is why every year, they honor me.”  Still radiant at 86, Howard
wore her original dress and tiara as a fellow Elk pushed her wheelchair in
the Oktoberfest Parade.  The aromas of steak and bratwurst simmering on
a barbecue filled the air, along with scents of potato pancakes and other traditional
German fare.


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EAST COUNTY OKTOBERFESTS:  WUNDERBAR!

October 1, 2008 (East County) - Time to get into the zeitgeist (spirit
of the time) and take to the streets for some old-fashioned celebrating at
East County’s multiple Oktoberfests!  

Began in Bavaria to celebrate the marriage of royalty, Oktoberfests have since
gained popularity worldwide.  Below are details on our region’s
oldest and biggest Oktoberfests, where you can savor German food, music, and
more.


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THIS WEEK'S HOT EVENTS: OCT. 15-22, 2008 -- PRO-AM GOLF, CRUISIN' OLD HWY 80, GREEN JOBS FAIR,  SYMPHONY CONCERT, SIDEWALK ARTS, CAMPO HARVEST FESTIVAL AND PARADE!

Tee off for a good cause at a Pro-Am Golf Tournament at Sycuan Resort’s Willow Glen Course this Friday. Proceeds benefit Home of the Guiding Hands, which provides shelter and services for mentally disabled people.  HGH has a huge funding gap due to the California budget crisis. 


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Weekly Events - October 6-14 THIS WEEKEND:  ARRIBA!  LA TOMATINA TOMATO FEST

Plus Candidate Forums, Oktoberfest Parade, Hello Dolly and more

By Miriam Raftery

Borrowing
a tradition from Spain (with a few Southern California twists), Tierra Miguel
Farm in Pauma Valley is hosting La Tomatina – a tomato fest complete
with authentic Spanish cuisine (bring your own paella), wine and beer tasting,
live music and a tomato fling!  Call ahead to join in the fun this Saturday
(see our calendar for details).  This event is limited to age 18 and over;  bring
your own goggles! You can also help prepare the soil for next year’s
crop – and sign up for Tierra Miguel’s community agricultural program
to receive their fresh-grown produce. 


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FESTIVALS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2008

By Miriam Raftery

October
1, 2008 (East San Diego County)
-  Fall is prime time for
festivals in East County. The tough part is choosing among so many fun-filled
events.  The air is crisp--and so are the ripe, juicy apples at Julian’s
Apple Days October 4th and 5th.   Savor apple cider and piping
hot pies, or enjoy a horse-drawn buggy ride in East County’s historic
gold rush town. 


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HUNDREDS FLOCK TO JULIAN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

By Miriam Raftery

September
21, 2008 (JULIAN) -
“We’ve
had at least 500 people here so far,” Dick Thilken, president of the Julian
Lions Club
said
of the 38th annual Julian Bluegrass Festival on Sunday afternoon, September
21st.  “Each day we’ve had six musical groups playing.” 

Besides
officially scheduled acts, players from various areas joined in for some impromptu
musical performances at California’s oldest bluegrass
festival.


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FUN-FILLED FESTIVALS: SEPT. 12-30th

By Miriam Raftery

Fall is in the air – the perfect time for an end-of-summer celebration or a visit to East County’s back country towns in the early days of autumn.  Find details on these at many other events at our calendar, which covers all communities east of I-15.


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September Festivals

By Miriam Raftery

Sept. 1, 2008 (East County)--We first planned to call this column Festival of the Month.  But after discovering how many great events communities and groups are hosting in San Diego’s eastern region we changed the column name to tell you about as many fun-filled festivals as possible. 


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Celebrating 100 Years: Cleveland National Forest Centennial

The Fiddlin' ForestersFiddlin' Foresters, Living History Week Cap Festivities in Local Mountain Parks

By Miriam Raftery


A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a declaration to create the Cleveland National Forest--a 460,000 acre preserve that is home to golden eagles, mountain lions and other wildlife species. To celebrate the centennial, the U.S. Forest Service is hosting several free special events in San Diego's East County mountain parks.

On September 6, the Fiddlin' Foresters will perform a concert from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dos Picos County Park, 17953 Dos Picos Road, Ramona.

On September 20th and 21st, the Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association (LMVA) and Cleveland National Forest will host "Living History Weekend" at the LMVA visitors center on Laguna Mountain.


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