San Diego Events

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JULY BRINGS MIDSUMMER EVENTS TO SAVOR

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – There’s more than fireworks and parades happening in July. How about a Flamenco concert with the Royal Opera of Madrid?  Pine Valley Days, outdoor concerts and car shows, Sip of Julian tasting event, the Ramona Country Fair and movies in County parks?

Click here for our 4th of July festivities in East County. Scroll down for the many other hot happenings coming up throughout July.


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SAVOR THE FLAVORS: A SIP OF JULIAN JULY 27

East County News Service

June 18, 2024 (Juylian) -- On Saturday, July 27, the 8th Annual Sip of Julian will serve up tastes of wine, craft beer, craft cocktails and hard sider, along with small bites at each venue. The self-guided event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is for those age 21 and up.

Attendees will receive a commemorative glass and wine tote. 


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JULY 4TH FIREWORKS AND FESTIVITIES IN EAST COUNTY

By Jonathan Goetz

June 17, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – In celebration of Independence Day on July 4, there are many Fourth of July festivities in San Diego's East County to choose from including the Lake Murray Fireworks and Music Fest, El Cajon’s fireworks and family fun activities, a family picnic and fireworks in Ramona, Santee Salutes with carnival games, music and fireworks, parades in Julian, Deerhorn Valley and Crest, Poway’s old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration complete with vintage train rides and more.

Here's the lineup of fun-filled, family-friendly July 4th activities here in East County.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JOYFUL JUNE EVENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2024 (San Diego's East County) -- East County has some joyful June events coming up—including La Mesa's Flag Day Parade, a Star Party in Julian, a Renaissance Experience in Santee, a Taste of Julian, Descanso Day Parade and Fair, Bathhouse Bazaar concerts in Jacumba Hot Springs, live music at the Magnolia in El Cajon, a twilight walk at Mission Trails, a comedy night in La Mesa,a Chili Cookoff with Lemon Grove Lions Club, the Santee Pride Walk, Julian Town Square Music Festival, Santee summer concerts, La Mesa's classic car show, Lemon Grove's concert series opener,and El Cajon’s outdoor concerts and classic car shows, and more.


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A RENAISSANCE EXPERIENCE IN SANTEE JUNE 15

June 4, 2024 (Santee) -- Step back in time at the Santee Renaissance Experience on June 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event, held at 9000 Edgemoor Drive in Santee, will feature real Medieval style battles, multiple guilds to entertain and educate you, plus pirates, fairies, mermaids and a Madrigal choir.

You can also try your hand at archery, shop for crafts and wares, enjoy exotic food vendors and a beer garden.


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VIEW THE COSMOS AT A STAR PARTY IN JULIAN ON JUNE 8

East County News Service

June 3, 2024 (Julian) – The Julian Dark Sky Network invites you to a star party this Saturday, June 8 starting at 8 p.m. at the Desert View Park/Inspiration Point (423 Inspiration Point Rd., Julian, two miles south of  Julian off Highway 79).  Bring binoculars and cameras, or use telescopes provided for people of all ages to view the cosmos,including deep nebulae, star clusters in the Milky Way, and a crescent moon.

Be sure to dress warm for this event, which is free to the public.


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MAGNOLIA LINE-UP FOR LATE MAY AND JUNE

East County News Service

Photo, left: Chiquis

May 14, 2024 (El Cajon) – The Magnolia performing arts center in El Cajon has some hot entertainers coming up in late May and June, including Latin Grammy Award winning singer Chiquis, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Tanya Tucker, singer/songwriters Todd Rundgren and Iron & Wine, a rock opera, several tribute artists, and more. 

During El Cajon’s America on Main Street celebration on May 18, a free concert by Pettybreakers, a Tom Petty tribute band, will be held. (Reservations required.)

Below is the full lineup announced to date for late May and June:


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WILD IN THE COUNTRY MAY 18 AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS

East County News Service

May 9, 2024 (Alpine) --  Lions, Tigers and Bears, an exotic animal sanctuary in Alpine, invites you to “Wild in the Country” on May 18.

The sanctuary’s biggest annual fundraiser features live and silent auctions, a luncheon, live entertainment, and opportunities to view the big cats and other rescued animals.

Wild in the Country's live auction will be run by celebrity auctioneer and star of Storage Hunters, Sean Kelly.


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SUNSET AND MOON RISE AT FONT’S POINT MAY 23

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of Anza Borrego Desert State Park

May 6, 2024 (Borrego Springs)—The Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association will host its traditional season’s end event—a trip to watch the sunset and moon rise at Font’s Point over the Borrego Badlands and the Salton Sea.

The organization’s program director Mike McElhatton will lead this free event. RSVP at 760-767-3098.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS, HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS, FOOD AND WINE FESTS AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) -- Late springtime in East County is blossoming with unique events including Campo Days, Santee's Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival, an artists’ reception at Olaf Wieghorst Museumi n ElCajon,  a lilac festival in Julian, Vintage Alpine, Mother’s Day teas, La Mesa’s Art in the Park, Gifts from the Garden, a Taste of Ramona, El Cajon concerts in the park, Wild in the Country at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine, and the Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival.

For a full list of festive fun events, scroll down.




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ON THE MONEY: HEARTLAND COIN CLUB'S BI-ANNUAL COIN SHOW MAY 11 IN SANTEE

East County News Service

April 24, 2024 (Santee) – Heartland Coin Club invites you to discover a fascinating world of coins and currency at the club’s bi-annual coin show on Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   There will be something for everyone, from seasoned collectors to curious beginners, at the Cunnane Social Center at Guardian Angels Catholic Church,  9310 Dalehurst Rd. in SanteeEnjoy a fun-filled day with your family and friends as you explore:

• a wide array of collectible U.S. and foreign coins, antique coins, and currency from trusted dealers.

• rare and interesting coins, including early American coins, Buffalo nickels, Seated Liberty quarters, and more.

• modern U.S. coins, commemorative coins, and error coins.

• ancient coins and foreign currency from countries that no longer exist.

• tokens, medals, and other collectibles.

• free coin appraisals by over 20 expert dealers and club members with 44 tables and thousands of rare coins, medals, and paper currency.

• fun activities and free coin collecting items for kids in our Young Numismatists Area.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: AWE-INSPIRING APRIL EVENTS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
 
April 7, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) -- Late April brings some awesome events to East County, including  Daffodil Days in Julian, a stargazing party at Mission Trails, a solar eclipse party in Julian, the opening of the Cajon Classic Cruises season, Ramona’s open studios art tour, Latino musical headliners at Viejas Concerts in the Park, Heritage of the Americas Museum’s spring art show, stand-up comedian Kevin Hart at the Magnolia, Lakeside’s rodeo and Western Days parade, and a Neil Young concert at SDSU.

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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: NEW EVENTS IN THE NEW YEAR

By Miriam Raftery

January 20, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – January and February are prime times to enjoy a full moon desert walk, Valentine’s dinners and wine pairings, farm tours, hawk watching, new nature walks at Lakeside’s River Park, concerts, theatrical productions and more in San Diego’s East County.


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CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER SHANE HARRIS TO DELIVER “STATE OF POVERTY” ADDRESS AT MLK DAY BREAKFAST

“Being America’s most expensive city is anti-Dr. King.”—Shane Harris

January 14, 2024  (San Diego) -- Civil rights leader Shane Harris and the People's Association of Justice Advocates  will serve hundreds of unsheltered individuals and low-income families with a free breakfast on Martin Luther King Day, January 15, from 9 a.m.to 11 a.m. at the Living Water Church, 1550 Market Street, San Diego.  Harris will give an MLK Day address announcing new policy efforts to combat poverty, calling new efforts to raise sales taxes in what has already been deemed America's most expensive city 'anti-MLK' as well as calling out San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria for failing to demonstrate dr. King's policies as San Diego further prices out the working class under his leadership 


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HAWK WATCH IN RAMONA TAKES WING SATURDAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

East County News Service

January 8, 2024 (Ramona) – The Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona invites you to Hawk Watch, each Saturday in January and February at 10 a.m. at Begent Ranch, 18528 Highland Valley Rd, in Ramona.  Arrive at 9:30 for coffee and donuts, then enjoy the free program that includes biologist’s talks, Q&A with falconry or ambassador raptors up close, followed by optional roadside observations of wild raptors and other wildlife including a Bald Eagle nest where you'll drive your own car less than 2 miles on paved roads and come and go at your leisure. Biologists and local expert volunteer observers will help you spot and identify birds and show them to you through our high-powered professional telescopes.


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CUYAMACA COLLEGE CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES

East County News Service

Photo:  CC by SA

January 8, 2024 (El Cajon) – Cuyamaca College in El Cajon’s Rancho San Diego community will host the ECHO Chamber Music series at the Samuel M. Cicatti Theatre.  The concerts will be held on select Thursdays at 7 p.m. from January 11 through May 30.

Below is the schedule of performances:


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OPEN FARM TOURS JANUARY 13 AND 27 AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY

East County News Service

January 8, 2024 (Ramona) -- Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona invites you to open farm tours on Saturday, January 13 and January 27 from 12 to 2 p.m.  Enjoy a bird show and camel show, meet and feed camels and lambradoodles, take a camel ride, and enjoy camel milk products such as artisan soaps, lotions, chocolate and camel milk.

Tickets must be purchased online.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: DELIGHTFUL DECEMBER EVENTS

East County News Service

November 27, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – December brings the magic of the holiday season,  with many delightful events and activities. This year’s options in East County include the North Pole Express train ride in Campo, outdoor ice skating rinks in Julian and Alpine, a pottery tour and a Crest Craft festival ideal for holiday gift shopping,  elaborate holiday lighting displays at Santee Lakes,  Enchanted Village in Spring Valley, and Camp Christmas in Pine Valley. There’s a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet in El Cajon, and a contemporary twist on the Nutcracker performed by Kidz Danz Kompany in La Mesa. Plus, you can enjoy tree lighting ceremonies in Lakeside and Ramona , caroling on Mt. Helix, La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village, and Lemon Grove’s annual holiday bonfire.

Scroll down for details on these merry events, and have a joyous holiday season!

Know of a holiday event we've missed? Please post info in our comments section.


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FIND UNIQUE GIFTS AT SAN DIEGO POTTERY TOUR DEC. 9-10

East County News Service

November 27, 2023 (San Diego) — The 16th annual San Diego Pottery Tour features 110 open studios with works of over 35 ceramic artists.  The self-guided tour is held December 9 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour includes several artists in or near East County, including Spring Valley, Rolando and the College area.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS NOV-DEC. 2023

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – East County has a wealth of treasured holiday events coming up this season, from  holiday lighting displays and craft fairs to local festivals, outdoor ice skating rinks, a train ride aboard the North Pole Express, a pottery studio tour, and a performance of the Nutcracker ballet.

Scroll down for details on these merry events, and have a joyous holiday sesaon!


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TASTE OF JULIAN ON NOVEMBER 4 BENEFITS TOWN HALL RENOVATIONS

East County News Service

October 12, 2023 (Julian)-- A Taste of Julian is a rural dining adventure showcasing the culinary delights in the historic mountain town. Just 100 tickets will be sold for this special event on Saturday, November 4.

The self-guided tour includes at least a dozen sites in the Julian area including restaurants, a pub, bakeries, wineries, breweries, a tea shop, and a chocolate tasting room.


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DESTINATON EAST COUNTY: HALLOWEEN HAUNTS AND MORE LATE OCTOBER OUTINGS

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2023 (San Diego’s East County)—Looking for a frightfully good time? You’ll find plenty of spooky special events, from a Haunted Forest at Banner Ranch to HauntFest on Main in El Cajon, as well as haunted train rides in Campo, a Pumpkin Bash and Spooky Campover at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine.

Plus an Autumn Jubilee and an Heirloom  Apple Festival continue in Julian,  while the Borrego Days Desert Festival takes place in Borrego Springs and Santee hosts its Brews and Bites Festival. Theatre aficionados can watch Randy Rainbow’s political comedy show at The Magnolia in El Cajon, or savor an  Old Globe For All experience in Lemon Grove. Plus tribute artist Robert Neary brings his "So Good! The Neil Diamond Experience" to the Magnolia in El Cajon.

Scroll down for details on all of these events and more.


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TASTE OF AFRICA: TICKETS NOW ON SALE! OCT. 8 IN LA MESA, BENEFITS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

View South Africa video

View Zulu Nyala video

September 7, 2023  (La Mesa) –Tickets are now on sale for our “Taste of Africa” event!  The festivities will be Sunday, October 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center in the Arbor Room (4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, CA 91941).

Join us for a fun-filled evening including tastes of African cuisine from local African restaurants and caterers, African dancers and drummers, DJ and dancing, speakers including wildlife conservation leader Coe Lewis of NSEFU and Assembly member Akilah Weber, Africa videos Community Champion awards, raffle, live and silent auction.

The grand prizes are six-night photo safari packages for two at Zulu Nyala - a fabulous private wildlife preserve in South Africa! Other live auction prizes include a larimar bracelet, wine basket, hand-crafted ukelele with African theme, camping gear, and more.

Our raffle and silent auction is huge with many gift certificates and gift baskets from local restaurants, stores, wineries and other vendors, as well as hand-crafted African items and more.

Suggested attire:  African themed (animal print fabric, traditional African, safari wear, or tropical)

Get tickets now! We are nearly sold out.  Questions? Call 619-698-7617


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"HISTORY ALIVE" OCT. 5 IN LEMON GROVE FEATURES FAMOUS BUFFALO SOLDIERS

East County News Service

September 23, 2023 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Historical Society’s 45th annual free "History Alive" lecture series will present the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, led by Trooper Rachel Hilliard (photo,left), founder and president of the San Diego Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers, and several troop members. This special presentation will take place on Thursday, October 5 at 5 p.m. at the H. Lee House Cultural Center,3205 Olive Street in Lemon Grove.

“This extraordinary organization played a major role in America's westward expansion as they helped and saved many wagon trains of migrants, seeking farmland, pasturage and places to establish towns,”says Helen Ofield, historian to the board of the LGHS. “On every level, the Buffalo Soldiers are at the heart of American history. Don't miss this uniformed presentation.”


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: APPLE FESTIVALS, HAUNTING HAPPENINGS AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- As autumn arrives and Halloween draws near, East County has a wealth of festivals and events coming up.  These include Julian’s Autumn Jubilee and an Heirloom Apple Festival, Oktoberfests in La Mesa and El Cajon, the Borrego Days Desert Festival,  Haunt Fest on Main in downtown El  Cajon, a Pumpkin Bash and Spooky Campover at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine,and a Pumpkin Express train ride in Campo.

Plus there are live entertainment stars taking stage in East County, including comics Paula Poundstone and Randy Rainbow at The Magnolia, the rock artist  Sting at SDSU, and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells with his band in a benefit concert to help the homeless in El Cajon.

Scroll down for details on all of these events and more.


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THE POWAY RODEO’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT SEPT. 22-23 PROMISES TO BE BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER

This year’s rodeo provides more ways to enjoy the excitement than ever before, including big-screen video, VIP seating, and special activities just for kids

Story and photos courtesy of Poway Rodeo

September 11, 2023 (Poway) -- The Poway Rodeo returns for its 50th year of bringing the very best in action-packed entertainment to its centrally located north San Diego location. This year’s rodeo promises more ways than ever before to enjoy all the excitement, with big-screen video projection, VIP seating opportunities, and special adventures for even the youngest cowpokes.

Visitors can choose from three performances: one on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m., and two on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. VIP ticketholders enjoy exclusive extras like preferred seating, excellent arena views, personal service, and included food and drinks.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FUN FALL FESTIVITIES

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Fall is in the air –ushering in some of East County’s most iconic festivals including Oktoberfests, Alley Cat Art Walk, Julian Autumn Jubilee, Sycuan's Powwow, and haunting Halloween happenings. Plus comedians Randy Rainbow and Paula Poundstone will be performing in El Cajon and music legend Crystal Gayle will be onstage at Sycuan.

Scroll down for these events in San Diego's inland region, and more.


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POSTPONED TO SEPT. 3: EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB FEAST AT KALI’S GARDEN IN JULIAN

Update:  This event has been rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. due to Hurricane Hilary, which is forecast to drop 12 inches of rain this weekend in the mountains. Stay safe and let us know if you are able to attend on Sept. 3!

By Miriam Raftery

August 4, 2023 (Julian) – Please join us to support  the East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts and East County Magazine reporting at our next East County Dining Club Event!  We’ll be savoring a delicious vegan feast  on Sunday, August 20 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the brand new Kail’s Garden Café and Juice Bar, 1921 Main Street in Julian.

Please RSVP by Aug.17 by sending your name, the number in your party, and your entrée choices to: editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  Questions? Call 619-698-7617.

Feast your eyes on the menu choices below (entrees pictured at left):

Special menu entrée options

1:  Pineapple, cranberry and walnut salad, eggplant/spinach lasagna

2:  Seasoned roasted corn, 3 jackfruit BBQ tacos, mango salsa

3.  Garlic edamame, Yakisoba noodles with tofu, red bell peppers, broccoli

4.  Jackfruit burger with vegan fries

Dessert:  Vegan cheesecake or ube (purple yam) cheesecake

Win prizes! Thanks to our raffle prize donors:  Kali’s Garden, Menghini Winery, Cedar Rio, Purple Owl Café, Jeremy’s on the Hill, Faith’s Embroidery/Julian Toy Chest, Julian Café & Bakery, Julian Mercantile, Zen Mountain Yoga, Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, and more!


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: SUMMER’S END CELEBRATIONS AND EARLY AUTUMN ATTRACTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

August 14, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- As summer draws to a close and autumn fast approaches, some of East County’s most anticipated events of the year are coming up including the Mt. Helix Food and Wine Festival, X-Fest in Santee, the Barona and Sycuan powwows, and the Borrego Days Desert Festival. There are also attractions onstage indoors, including Crystal Gayle in concert and comic Paula Poundstone performing.

Scroll down for details on all of these events.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: HOT AUGUST NIGHTS AND STAR-STUDDED SEPTEMBER EVENTS

July 31, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- August and September events coming up in San Diego’s East County will give you plenty to howl about – including tours at the California Wolf Center, National Night Out with local law enforcement agencies, Julian’s star fest, outdoor concerts in several communities, classic cruises, the Mt. Helix Food and Wine Festival, an X-Fest with extreme sports events, plus a concert by country music legend Crystal Gayle and a comedy show by Paula Poundstone.

Scroll down for details on these events and many more, coming up across San Diego’s inland region.


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