DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 1 - MAY 15

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East County News Service

March 29, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes an anniversary party for the Anza Borrego Foundation, Julian Gold Rush Days, the Peg Leg Smith Liar’s Contest,  a harp concert,  veterans sharing history from the Korean War, and more.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a Spring Carnival at Lake Jennings, Sweet Pea Day at Summers Past Farms, a Taste of Julian, Bunny Train Rides, an Eggstravaganza, a butterfly festival, and concerts by country music star Clint Black.

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

THIS WEEK:

ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION’S 50th ANNIVERSARY APRIL 1

On April 1st--no fooling! The Anza Borrego Foundation will hold a day-long celebration commemorating its founding 50 years ago. The ABF will throw a party to look back at its accomplishments to support the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and set the mood for the next 50 years.  

There's still time to register for the whole day of events, which includes field tours, a special 50th Anniversary brew created by Nickel Beer Company, silent and live auctions, live music, and more. The party will be at the Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center in Borrego Springs.

To register for the party and tours, visit TheABF.org/50thCelebration.

JULIAN GOLD RUSH DAYS APRIL 1-2

Julian Gold Rush Days celebrates the discovery of gold in this mountain community and invites visitors to learn more about its history with a weekend of entertainment including gold panning, tomahawk throwing, candle dipping and more on April 1st and 2nd.

Located at The Julian Mining Company in Wynola, the old-fashioned mining camp will offer re-enactors, an arts and crafts market, food and drink, a petting zoo, pony rides, and plenty of family fun.

For more information, visit www.juliangoldrushdays.com.

PEG LEG SMITH LIARS’ CONTEST APRIL 1

Every year on the first Saturday of April – the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park attracts story tellers from all over the globe to compete in the annual Peg Leg Smith Liars Contest. This year’s event will be held on April 1st, starting at dusk.

Thomas L. Smith, better known as 'Peg Leg' Smith in the 1800s, was a mountain man, prospector, and spinner of tall tales. Legends regarding his lost gold mine have grown through the years, and countless people have searched the desert for its fabulous wealth. The mine could be within a few miles of this monument.

All comers are welcome to enter the contest. Sign up is on arrival at the contest site, which is held at the Pegleg Smith memorial, about seven miles east of Borrego Springs along Route S-22.   Specifically, the storytelling contest takes place on Henderson Canyon Road, 1,000 feet north of Pegleg Road.

Presentations are done in order of sign up. Stories should be of no more than five minutes in length--another little joke. Tall tales should be about lost gold and/or Pegleg Smith. Costumes and other original touches are always appreciated by the crowd and judges.

For more information on this annual contest, visit http://www.borregospringschamber.com/pegleg_liars-contest.html

HARP CONCERT APRIL 2 AT MISSION TRAILS

The San Diego Harp Society will present this annual concert featuring young local harp players at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor’s Center on Sunday, April 2nd at 3 p.m.  Seating is first come, first serve.  For more information, visit www.MTRP.org.

CHOSIN BAND OF BROTHERS APRIL 6 IN LEMON GROVE

Lemon Grove Historical Society’s next History Alive event will present three members of the “Chosin Few,” veterans from the battle of Chosin during the Korean War, a 17-day battle fought in sub-zero weather against all odds.  You can hear their stories and see artifacts from the battlefield on April 6th at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3207 Olive, Lemon Grove. For more information, you can call 619-460-4353.

LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE PRESENTS “THE DRESSER” NOW THROUGH APRIL16

Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents “The Dresser" that opened in March and continues through April 15th.  The play focuses on a troupe of Shakespearian actors struggling to keep their group going in the midst of World War II air raids.

For tickets and details, you can visit www.LamplightersLaMesa.com.

NOW FOR A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS…

SPRING CARNIVAL AT LAKE JENNINGS APRIL 8

Thousands of eggs and 1,700 pounds of trout are among the attractions at the Spring Carnival at Lake Jennings slated for Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.   The event will also feature free paddle boating for the whole family, a Kid’s Pond for children under age 10, rainbow trout fishing and of course, an egg hunt. 

The carnival kicks off Spring Break, when Lake Jennings will be open every day from April 7th to April 23rd.  Camping is also available.  You can reserve a campsite online–or a tipi—by visiting lakejennings.org or call (619) 390-1623. 

SWEET PEA DAY APRIL 8 IN FLINN SPRINGS

It’s Sweet Pea Day at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs on Saturday, April 8th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can cut your own bouquet starting at 11 a.m. – until the beautiful blooms are gone. 

You’re invited to weave through a towering sweet pea maze in full glory. You can also picnic on a grassy area or enjoy live music in the coffee bar’s shady pavilion while savoring springtime in East County.  For details and directions, visit www.SummersPastFarms.com.

HOT RODS AND CHILI COOKOFF APRIL 8

The Jamul Kiwanis Club is revving up for its 9th annual Hot Rod and Chili Cook-off on April 8th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pio Pico/ Thousand Trails in Jamul.  Guests can savor chili tasting, check out classic hot rods, cool off in a beer garden, or vie for prizes in drawings and a silent auction.  For more information, you can visit www.JamulKiwanis.org.

TASTE OF JULIAN APRIL 8

The 9th annual Taste of Julian will be held on April 8th, serving up a rural dining adventure.  Taste of Julian is a self-guided culinary tour of unique restaurants, wineries and breweries.  For tickets and details, go to www.VisitJulian.com.

BUNNY TRAINS APRIL 8, 9 and 15 IN CAMPO

Looking for a new way to celebrate the Easter holiday with your family?  Hop aboard the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s Bunny Train complete with a train ride, a visit from the Easter Bunny, and an Easter egg hunt as you travel through our beautiful back country.

Bunny Train rides are available on April 8th, 9th and 10th with several departure times. You can purchase tickets at the Campo depot. For details, visit the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum website at www.PSRM.org.

EGGSTRAVAGANZA APRIL 15 AT SANTEE LAKES

The City of Santee and Santee Lakes present the 14th annual Spring Eggstravaganza at Santee Lakes Recreation on Saturday, April 15th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Lake number 5.

Kids of all ages can enjoy a variety of games and activities including carnival rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, inflatable jumps, spring crafts and live entertainment by Primo DJ. 

Egg hunts run continuously during the event on Egg Hunt Island for children ages 4 through 8 and in the Egg hunt basket for those ages 3 and under.  Parents, please be sure and bring your child’s basket for all of those eggs!

Food will be available to purchase on site, or families are welcome to bring a picnic of their own to enjoy at the Park. For detail,s visit www.SanteeLakes.com.

SPRING HARP FEST APRIL 15 IN LA MESA

The 18th annual Spring Harp Fest, showcasing harmonica players musical jam fests will be held on Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Harry Griffen Park (9550 Milden St.) in La Mesa.  Donations from this event are used to purchase harmonicas for local schools.  Get the lineup of talent scheduled at www.SpringHarpFest.org.

CLINT BLACK IS BACK: APRIL 23-24 AT SYCUAN

Clint Black, the country music super star, is back with his first album in 10 years-and he’ll be performing at Sycuan’s Live Up Close Theatre on April 23rd and 24th. 

Black has sold over 20 million albums worldwide including 22 number one hits. Recordings such as  “A Better Man,” “Killin’ Time,” “Like the Rain”, “When I Said I Do" and “Nothin’ But the Taillights” have led to honors from the Country Music Association, The Academy of Country Music, The Grammys, and the American Music Awards, as well as membership in the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. 

For tickets and details, visit www.Sycuan.com.

SPRING BUTTERFLY AND GARDEN FESTIVAL APRIL 29

The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will host its Spring Butterfly and Garden Festival on Saturday, April 29th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Activities include butterfly pavilion and garden tours, butterfly releases, face painting, kids’ activities and craft vendors, animal exhibitors, educational exhibits and presentations, us edible, ornamental and native plant sales. You can also sign up for landscape design consultations.

For more information, visit http://www.TheGarden.org.

SAN DIEGO FESTIVAL CHORUS & ORCHESTRA SPRING CONCERT MAY 15

The San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra will present its spring concert on May 7th from 3 to 5 p.m. at the College Avenue Baptist Church, performing Mozart’s Requiem, one of the master’s greatest works.

 In addition, the musical groups will present “A Salute to Andrew Lloyd Webber” showcasing his unforgettable Broadway musical songs from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” and more.

For tickets and details you can visit, www.sandiegofestivalchorus.org.

That’s all for this week!

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 next week with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County!