FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: FEB. 22-APRIL 15

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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!

SPRING WILDFLOWER WALKS IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT IN FEB. - MARCH

The Anza-Borrego Foundation is offering guided walks to see desert wildflowers and other plants each Friday morning from now through the end of March. 

Botany Society volunteers will lead hikes to view desert blooms.  Participants will carpool to the flower areas, so locations and driving distances will vary. If you go, be sure to bring water and sun protection.

Reservations are required, and there is a limit of 30 people for these free wildflower walks. To register, you can call (760)767-0446 extension 1002 or visit the Anza Borrego Foundation website at https://www.TheABF.org.

CUPIDS AND CANINES FEB. 22 AT GROSSOMNT CENTER

You’re invited to discover puppy love and take home a forever companion at Cupids and Canines, a pet adoption event at Grossmont Center in La Mesa on February 22nd from 11 am. to 3 p.m.

The San Diego Support Foundation and Grossmont Center are bringing together dozens of rescue groups for this matchmaking effort.

Find details and directions at https://www.grossmontcenter.com.

ECHO CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE FEB. 24

The ECHO Chamber Music Series at Cuyamaca College offers internationally-acclaimed musicians who have performed across the globe.

A concert on February 24th  features Reiko Uchida and Che-Yen Chen performing works by Mozart and Rachmaninoff.  More information and tickets can be found at EchoChamberMusic.org

HAWK WATCH IN RAMONA EACH SATURDAY IN FEBRUARY

Every Saturday in February, Hawk Watch continues at the Begent Ranch in the Ramona Grasslands preserve. The event starts at 10 a.m. but arrival at 9:30 is recommend.

Hawk Watch is organized by the Wildlife Research Institute and includes up close looks at falcons and other raptors with wildlife biologists in a seated show, as well as an option for later roadside observations along a two-mile paved road where you may see a variety of other birds of prey including eagles.

Volunteers with high-powered telescopes will be on hand to enhance your viewing enjoyment. You can find more information at wildlife-research.org/hawkwatch .

LEAP DAY CONCERT IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

On February 29th from 3 to 5:30 p.m.,  violinist and computer Beth Chafey-Hon will perform a Leap Day violin concert in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

Each original musical piece from her “Desert Song Cycle” CD will be accompanied by natural percussion and reading of a short poem.

Enjoy time under awe-inspiring canyon walls with the setting sun and revel in the natural concert acoustics; dress warmly and bring a blanket! This catered fundraiser, including wine and appetizers, will support the Anza Borrego Foundation’s mission to help the Park. 

Tickets ($50 members, $65 nonmembers) include appetizers, wine, the concert and CD. Find information at https://www.theabf.org.

You can get tickets  online or at the State Park Store in The Mall.

OPEN FARM DAY FEB. 29-MARCH 1 AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY

Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona invites you to Open Farm Day on February 29th and March 1st from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A live animal sow features talking parrots, galloping turkeys, farm dogs and the biggest stars: camels. You can also feed camels, ride camels, and take camel selfies, as well as shop for camel products in the gift shop.

For details and directions, visit www.CamelDairy.com.

MAGNOLIA CENTER CONCERTS

The Magnolia Center in El Cajon has a variety of shows coming up in the next few weeks.  

Upcoming performances include, Colin Hay, former singer/songwriter with the band “Men at Work,”  Emmy-nominated singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Ben Rector,  and Latin American comedienne Sofia Niño de Rivera.

For tickets and the full lineup, you can visit www.MagnoliaSanDiego.com

TOMATOMANIA AND MORE AT THE GARDEN

The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego has several fascinating events coming up in  late February and  March. These include All About Worms and Composting on February 29th, and Tomatomania on March 7th featuring heirloom tomato seedlings and a national tomato growing expert.

You can find details on these event and more at www.TheGarden.org.

TRIVIA NIGHTS AT WINE WORKS EACH THURSDAY

Wine Works in La Mesa invites you to test your knowledge, vie for prizes and make new friends at Trivia Nights held each Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

For more information you can visit https://LaMesaWineWorks.com

AGATHA CHRISTIE’S “THE HOLLOW” IN LA MESA FEB. 28-MARCH 29

Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa will present Agatha Christie’s murder mystery, “The Hollow” February 28th through March 29th. 

An unhappy game of romantic follow-the-leader explodes into murder one weekend at The Hollow. Dr. Cristow, the Harley Street lothario, is at the center of the trouble when, assembled in one place, we find his wife,  his mistress his former lover, and other guests. As the list of romantic associations grows so does the list of potential suspects when Dr. Cristow is shot dead. Nearly everyone has a motive, but only one of them did the deed.

Find tickets and details at https://www.lamplighterslamesa.com

LA MESA CHAMBER SALUTES LOCAL HEROES MARCH 12

 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. Those honored are chosen by their departments for selfless acts of courage, dedication, bravery, compassion, and service to our community.

For details or tickets, you can visit Salute.lamesachamber.com.

ST. PATRICK’S TEAS MARCH 12-16 IN JULIAN

Julian Tea & Cottage Arts invites you to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a green-themed, four-course tea from March 12th through March 16th. There are three seatings daily.

The menu includes soup, mini-cheese scones, finger sandwiches, scones with curds, jam and whipped cream, plus dessert. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available on request.  For reservations visit https://juliantea.com.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY AT HOOLEY’S IRISH PUBS MARCH 17

Hooley’s Irish pubs in La Mesa and Rancho San Diego invite you to come enjoy a pint of ale on St. Patrick’s Day from 11 a.m. to midnight. Guests are invited to wear green and enjoy live music.  Find directions and details at https://hooleys.com

CAJON CLASSIC CRUISES STARTS APRIL15

Cajon Classic Cruises revs up for a new season starting April 15th with a full street closure in downtown El Cajon.  The Classic Cruise nights continue each Wednesday night from 5 to 8 p.m. all spring and summer long.

For details and a schedule of events, visit www.DowntownElCajon.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 soon with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County!