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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.

Julian Apple Days are here!  Time to head up to the historic gold rush town for some apple-picking, pie-tasting, and old-fashioned fun, from now through November 1st.   There’s  a pie-judging contest September 13th and many more activities planned.  Take friends and family apple-picking; check out local orchards (some require reservations or have minimum group sizes) at

Yeehaw!  The Golden State Rodeo in Lakeside will be held on September 12-13.  The Poway Community Parade and Festival Escondido take place September 13th. You can also enjoy three days of outdoor music by more than 30 bands plus DJs, food, wine-tasting and camping at Ranchita Rocks Concerts, a three-day backcountry event September 12-14 to benefit Defeat Sunrise PowerLink.  La Mesa hosts it’s first Environmental Awareness Festival on the 13th.  On September 14th, check out the Carmel Mountain Ranch Fall Festival, or enjoy the Celtic Spring Band at the Escondido Performing Arts Center.

The Lemon Grove Jazz, Wine and Art event on September 15th costs $35 in advance or $45 at the door.  The YMCA in La Mesa hosts a Meet the Pharmacist and Senior Fair on September 18th. On the same date, Escondido hosts the Rods & Woodies Classic Car Show. 

Watch historical reenactments by costumed participants at Living History Week on Mt. Laguna September 20-21,

  part of the U.S. Forest Service Centennial Celebration.   While in the mountains, savor some toe-tapping music at the Julian Bluegrass Festival September 20-21.  Try your luck at the Poway BBQ Casino Night September 10th or saddle up for the Rodeo Trail Ride in Poway on September 11th. 

The Poway Rodeo September 27-28 includes a Dance on Friday, September 26th.  Or take a historic Twilight Train Trip to Tecate, Mexico from the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo.   Farm Education Day and Opening Day of the Pumpkin Patch at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center on September 27th includes a straw maze, tractor hayride, and farm zoo plus 4H instruction in raising livestock, wool spinning, bee keeping, and organic farming.   Other events on the 27th include Wild West BonitaFest and Reader’s Theater in Borrego. 

If you have an event you wish to have listed, please e-mail details to






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Love festivals

I like every festival. As this has fun and retain the tradition.