DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 12-28

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East County News Service

February 10, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes some romantic options for Valentine’s Day, from sweet dessert and wine pairings  at local wineries to an alpaca ranch open house.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including Black history month events, a lute concert,  a bluegrass jam, and an open art studios tour. 

So stay tuned (scroll down) for all of these events and more.

THIS WEEK'S MAJOR EVENTS

WINE AND DESSERTS AT SAN PASQUAL TASTING ROOM, LA MESA

Attention, aphrodisiac seekers! San Pasqual Winery in La Mesa is offering dessert and wine pairing over Valentine’s weekend on Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 from 6-9 p.m. plus Sunday, February 14 from 2 to 5 p.m.  The Saturday night event will also feature Ruben Delgado performing Spanish and classical guitar music to round out your afternoon of romance.  For tickets ($30, or $25 for wine club members) visit www.SanPasqualWinery.com.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY AT SYCUAN FEBRUARY 12

Together for over 23 years, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will appear in concert at Sycuan casino’s “Live and Up Close” concert series on Friday, February 12th at 8 p.m..   Big Bad Voodoo With sold out concerts in the Hollywood Bowl and Lincoln Center and appearances with many of the country's finest symphony orchestras Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continues its decades long mission to celebrate and revitalize jazz and swing music, America's unique and original musical art form.      (Tickets are $35.00 to $45.00. )

CAMEL DAIRY OPEN FARM TOURS AND SHOWS FEB. 13-14

The February Open Farm Tour and Show on Valentine’s Day weekend at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona  features bouncy baby lambs, curious camels you can ride and cuddle --plus the oh-so-fun Camel Dairy Animal Friends Show.  The event will be held Saturday and Sunday, February 13 and 14 from 1 to 4 p.m.

You can also pamper yourself and the ones you love with camel milk skin care products and try a bit of decadent camel milk chocolate. You’ll also meet farm owners Gil and Nancy Riegler as they share their unique, precocious pack of farm friends. For details you can visit www.CamelDairy.com.

VALENTINE’S OPEN RANCH AT ALPACAS OF SAN DIEGO IN DESCANSO FEB. 13

City folks are invited to come surround yourselves with cute animals at a Valentine’s weekend Open Ranch at Alpacas of San Diego, located in Descanso (9718 River Drive).  This free event will be held Saturday, February 13th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

You can meet the animals, learn about alpacas, and even shop for a gift for your sweetheart including jewelry and crafts made by local artists, natural soaps and of course, alpaca wool products.  There will also be a crafts table for kids.  For more information you can visit www.AlpacasofSanDiego.com.

WINE, FOOD AND DESERT PAIRINGS AT WINERY GRANT JAMES’ SUNDAY, FEB. 14TH

John Little's Catering will create an unforgettable evening at the Grant James’ Winery. The chef will be serving a 5-course tasting menu designed to showcase Grant James’ best new wine releases.   This culinary adventure takes place in the Old Barn at 5:30 p.m.

Kim Spero, from the Cheeses from the Cave will be serving cheese, fruit and wine combination on Saturday & Sunday 12/13 & 12/14. Kim has crafted a special cheese dusted in coco that has been designed to pair with Grant James’ Delphinus wine, chocolate and a piece of fruit.  For more go to http://www.vineyardgrantjames.com/.

UPCOMING CLASSES AT BARONA CULTURAL MUSEUM

The Barona Cultural Museum is offering classes on Native American culture and crafts including a native foods yucca cooking class on March 12, and more.  All classes are from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Barona Cultural Center & Museum is located on the Barona Indian Reservation in Lakeside.  For more information see: www.BaronaMuseum.org.

HAWK WATCH: A RAPTOR CELEBRATION IN RAMONA SATURDAYS IN FEBRUARY

Hawk Watch, a free celebration of raptors continues at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona Grasslands at 10 a.m. each Saturday in February—rain or shine.   You can observe both wintering and resident raptors including eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Nineteen species of raptors have been recorded at this “raptor hotspot,” where you will learn the life histories of these beautiful birds as well as the importance of the Ramona Grassland ecosystem.  In addition to wild raptors, you will also see trained raptors and owls up close. Bring binoculars if you have them, though scopes will be available.  For more information visit http://Wildlife-Research.org

BLUEGRASS JAM AT FUDDRUCKERS FEB. 16

The San Diego Bluegrass Society will hold its monthly jam at Fuddruckers restaurant in Grossmont Center on Tuesday, February 16th from 6:30 to 9 p.m.  The event includes open mic, pick up bands and the ever-popular musical jam session.

Note:  The group normally meets the second Tuesday each month, but rescheduled this session to Feb. 16th due to another special event at Fuddrucker’s.  

Fuddrucker’s is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa. For more information, visit www.SanDiegoBluegrass.org.

PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

WORKSHOP: AND HER NAME WAS KATRINA FEB. 17

As part of Black History Month commemorations, Cuyamaca College will present a workshop on February 17th at 1:30 titled “And Her Name Was Katrina, Life After the Storm,” a personal guide through a reflective journey of social justice and inequality in America.  The program will be presented in the cross-cultural center at Cuyamaca College by Dr. Tanis Starck from San Diego State University. You can find details at www.Cuyamaca.edu

IS LA MESA THE NEXT HIP NEIGHBORHOOD? FIND OUT FEB. 18

La Mesa Conversations organizes informal mixers every other month, featuring short programs to catalyze conversations. On Thursday, February 18th, the theme will be “Is La Mesa the next hip neighborhood in San Diego?” The event will be held at the Riviera Supper Club (7777 University Avenue) in La Mesa from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  Speakers will include two La Mesa residents active in two of San Diego’s most vibrant business districts: Angie Landsberg, Executive Director of North Park Main Street and

Scott Kessler – Executive Director of the Adams Avenue Business Association.  For more information, visit http://www.lamesaconversations.org/.

VIOLIN AND HARPSICHORD CONCERT AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE FEB. 21

The San Diego Early Music Society will present Lina Tur Bonet on violin and Kenneth Weiss on harpsichord” on Sunday, February 21 at 3 p.m. in the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theatre (900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon).  The concert will feature Baroque music of Jacquet de la Guerre  as well as sonatas by Vivaldi and solo harpsichord works by Marchand and Scarlatti.  For more information you can visit www.cuyamaca.edu.

OPEN STUDIOS ART TOUR IN BORREGO SPRINGS FEB. 21

 Soroptimist International of Borrego Springs will host an Artists’ Open Studio Tour on Sunday, February 21 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with a reception to follow at the Borrego Art Institute from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Light refreshments will be served. This self-guided Tour will visit  studios of some of the most talented artists in the Borrego Springs area.  Art will be displayed in a variety of media and styles.  All artists will be on hand to show their work and explain their creative techniques, and some will have live demonstrations. For tickets ($20) and a map with brochure, visit at borego.wix.com/soroptimist or check our calendar at EastCountyMagazine.org for that link.

SALUTE TO HEROES  FEB. 24

La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Salute to Local Heroes dinner on February 24th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  The Mardi Gras themed event honors heroic actions by members of the La Mesa Police and Fire Department, as well as community volunteers.  The evening includes a silent auction and raffle prizes. For tickets and details, you can visit www.LaMesaChamber.com.

LUTE CONCERT AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE FEB. 25

Dominic Schaner, composer of “Heresy of the Free Spirit,” will exhibit his mastery of the lute in a concert at Cuyamaca College on Thursday, February 25th at 7:30 p.m.  For more information you can visit www.Cuyamaca.Edu.

BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION FEB. 26

 Paving the Way, a celebration of black history, will feature musical performances, theater, dance, politics and more.  The event will be held at Cuyamaca College on Friday, February 26th at 730 p.m., directed by Robert Chambers. For details visit www.cuyamaca.edu

That’s all for this week! You can find details on all of these events and more on our Calendar and in our Festivals and Events section online at 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 next week with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County.