DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 19 - JUNE 18

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East County News Service

May 15, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – This week’s Destination East County includes La Mesa Rocks, the Manzanita Rendezvous, Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest, El Cajon’s America on Main Street, Explore Mission Trails Day, a Wild in the Country Casino Real benefit, and the Grip It and Rip It Golf Tournament.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a production of Into the Woods, , open house at the Oasis Camel Dairy, La Mesa’s Flag Day Parade, Fly Days at Gillespie Field, the annual Julian Dance and Barbecue, Fido Fest in Santee, Lavender Days at Summers Past Farms, Sundays at Six Concerts in LA Mesa, Night Fishing at Santee Lakes, the Julian Blues Fest,  Santee Summer Concerts, a Father’s Day Brunch with Cowboy Jack, and a Father’s Day adventure at Fort Cross in Julian filled with rugged, manly experiences! 

So scroll down for all of these events and many more.

THIS WEEK

LA MESA ROCKS MAY 19

The La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation will hold its annual “La Mesa Rocks!” event to benefit local La Mesa parks on May 19th from 6 to 10 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center.

Proceeds from this event provide free family activities such as summer concerts, movies in the park, science days and recreational events for kids in local parks.  The Foundation is also raising funds to renovate playgrounds at Vista La Mesa, Collier and La Mesita parks.

La Mesa Rocks is open to those age 21 and up, with live and silent auctions, entertainment, food and beverages.  For tickets, visit www.LaMesaParks.org.

MANZANITA RENDEZVOUS CONTINUES MAY 19-20 at LAKE MORENA

You’re invited to step back in time at the 24th Annual Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous at the Northcote Ranch just outside of Lake Morena Village.  The Rendezvous began last weekend and continues May 19-20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Meet colorful characters from the French and Indian War, though to the North American Fur Trade era, spanning the 1750 to 1840 time period. See mountain men and women in period attire living in tipis and tent encampments.  Watch demonstrations of everyday skills of the era, such as starting a fire with flint and steel, learn how to load and shoot a flintlock rifle, throw a knife or tomahawk, and shoot a primitive longbow.  There will also be a blacksmith shop and period music under the shady oaks

The purpose of a rendezvous was to provide a meeting place where trappers, mountain men and Indians would come down from the mountains to sell their furs and stock up on supplies.  Trader’s Row will have goods a modern-day mountain man reenactor needs, from camping gear to clothing to tomahawks and black powder shooting supplies.

Feel free to bring a picnic lunch or eat at one of the camp’s eateries.  (Admission is $5 a person, free for military with ID and children ages 10 and under.)

For details and directions, you can go to www.manzanitarendezvous.com.

JULIAN FIDDLE AND PICKIN’ CONTEST MAY 20

Each year, the town of Julian comes alive with the sounds of music—fiddle music, along with banjos, guitars, mandolins and mountain dulcimers at the annual Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest. 

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 20th at the Julian Town Hall, plus on Friday night, May 19th, there will be a Texas-style fiddle workshop will be led by two-time national grand fiddle champion Matthew Hartz.  For details and a schedule, visit www.SanDiegoFiddler.org.

AMERICA ON MAIN STREET MAY 20

America on Main Street, a family fun celebration honoring the American spirit, will be held in downtown El Cajon on May 20th from noon to 8 p.m. The event includes four stages with live entertainment, a Ferris Wheel, petting zoo, hay ride, pony rides, kids’ games and crafts.

This year’s entertainment reflects a myriad of cultures in our region. Performers include Chase Avenue Folklorico dancers, Suzuki Violins, Flying Hills Fame, USA Taekwondo Center, Great Musical Sounds, CYT, Latin Percussion, and Wasan Jarbo Folkloric Dance. 

For full details, you can visit AmericaOnMainStreet.org.

WILD IN THE COUNTRY: CASINO REAL NIGHT MAY 20

Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine invites you “Wild in the Country”, a benefit to support the exotic animal rescue facility.  This year’s theme is Casino Real Night.

Family-friendly entertainment includes the 2017 Funniest Person in San Diego winner James Schrader, plus Elvis-themed music by James Kruk, as well as a performance by the Big Boss Men.  You can bid on silent and live auction items including an African safari and meet the ranch’s newest residents, a white tiger named Louie and a pair of African lion sisters.

Get full details at www.LionsTigersandBears.org.

EXPLORE MISSION TRAILS DAY MAY 21

On May 21st, you’re invited to Explore Mission Trails Day at Mission Trails Regional Park.  This all-day event includes special nature hikes, bird walks, a moonlight walk and a star party. 

You can also meet birds of prey, visit educational exhibits, enjoy flute music, crafts, face painting, pony rides for children, a climbing wall, and a mini mountain bike track.  For a full schedule of events, visit MTRP.org.

GRIP IT AND RIP IT GOLF TOURNAMENT MAY 25

You’re invited to join the San Diego East County Chamber at the annual Grip it & Rip IT Golf Tournament and Mixer on Thursday, May 25th.   You can also join a golf mixer at Sycuan Resort, bid on silent auction prizes and enjoy dinner after the tournament.  For details, you can visit  www.eastcountychamber.org.

NOW FOR A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS…

INTO THE WOODS MAY 25-JUNE 3 IN SPRING VALLEY

Young Actors Theatre presents Into the Woods starting May 25th through June 5th at the Encore! Theatre in Spring Valley. 

The performance takes everyone’s favorite fairy tale characters and brings them together in an enchanting tale with a Tony Award-winning musical score.  You can find tickets and details at http://www.yatsandiego.org/.

BAJA BLUES BOYS IN WYNOLA MAY 26

The Baja Blues Boys, known for their original acoustic and electric blues plus roots, Americana and party music, will be performing at the Wynola Pizza Express just outside of Julian on Friday, May 26th from 6 to 9 p.m.  You can find details and directions at www.WynolaPizzaExpress.com or get a list of all local appearances by this talented group at www.BajaBluesBoys.com.

OASIS CAMEL DAIRY OPEN HOUSE MAY 27-28 IN RAMONA

The Oasis Camel Dairy I Ramona invites you to an open farm day May 27th and 28th from 1 to 4 p.m.  with a camel show at 1:30. Meet curious camels, take a camel ride, shop for camel milk soaps and camel milk goods and visit a petting zoo.

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

LA MESA FLAG DAY PARADE JUNE 2

La Mesa salutes Old Glory at the city’s annual Flag Day Parade on Saturday, June 2nd. The parade begins at 10 a.m. in La Mesa’s downtown village, led by the U.S. 3rd Marine Airforce Wing Band.  You can also cheer on war heroes, equestrian groups, marching bands and more. 

Guests are encouraged to wear red, white and blue and show patriotic spirit.  Arrive early for pre-parade concerts starting at 9 a.m. by the La Mesa Arts Academy and Parkway Middle School band.  After the parade, stop by Legacy Park for free ice cream on La Mesa Blvd. between 4th and Allison Avenue.  For more information, visit www.cityoflamesa.com/specialevents.

FLY DAYS JUNE 2 AT GILLESPIE FIELD

Air Group One and Gillespie Field Café invite you to Fly Days at Gillespie Field on June 2nd from 4 to 8 p.m., when the Gillespie Field Cafe comes alive with live music, hot rod cars, antique airplanes and World War II aircraft.  The Gillespie Café is located at 1921 North Marshall Avenue in El Cajon.  For more information, you can visit www.GillespieCafe.com.

JULIAN DANCE JUNE 10

Sons of the American Legion will present the 11th annual Julian Dance on June 10th from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The backcountry dance and barbecue features music by Three Chord Justice and the California Rangers, a large dance floor, plus dinner slow-cooked Santa Maria style over open oak-wood flames.  Foods, wines and beers are available for purchase. 

This event is described as a “throwback to a simpler time with twinkly lights and bonfires backdropped by dark mountain skies,” a time for mountain residents and visitors to get together for a great time.

To listen to the bands, or get tickets, you can visit http://juliandance.org/.

FIDO FEST JUNE 10 IN SANTEE

The City of Santee will be hosting Fido Fest on June 10th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., along with Camp Bowwow.  Fido Fest will be held at Town Center Community Park East (550 Park Center Dr.). 

You can adopt a dog from any of the dozens of rescue groups on hand, win giveaways, enjoy live entertainment, get discounts on vaccinations, microchipping and dog licenses, and bid on silent auction prizes to benefit Dogs on Deployment, which helps deployed military members find volunteers to board their pets.

(Details: http://www.ci.santee.ca.us/Index.aspx?page=8&recordid=3620 )

LAVENDER DAYS AT SUMMERS PAST FARMS JUNE 10

Summers Past Farms invites you to Lavender Day, along with an Antique and Craft Fair, on Saturday June 10th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Over 40 crafts people will participate, offering up crafts, collectibles, antiques and a garden sale on Summers Past’s spacious lawn.

You can fill your baskets with many types of lavender plants, as well as lavender soaps, candles and garden salve, plus enjoy live music by Jim Earp. Guests are encouraged to wear lavender and savor the scents of the south of France during your day at the farm.

Summers Past Farms is located in Flinn Springs, just east of El Cajon. For directions and details, visit www.SummersPastFarms.com.

SUNDAYS AT SIX CONCERTS IN LA MESA START JUNE 11

La Mesa’s summertime Sundays at Six Concerts season begins June 11th and will be held each Sunday evening at 6 p.m. through July 23rd at Harry Griffen Park (9550 Milden St.  Admission is free.)

Opening night will feature the San Diego Concert Band on June 11th.   Other performers this season will include Ginger Cowgirl, Fanny and the Atta Boys, Dim the Lights, Fringe Benefitz, and Sonic Epidemic. Music styles over the season include show tunes, country, bluegrass, jazz, blues, disco, classic rock, and horn tunes of the ‘70s.  For more information, visit www.lamesaparks.org.

NIGHT FISHING AT SANTEE LAKES JUNE 15

You’re invited to come drop a line during night fishing at Santee Lakes on Thursday, June 15th from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Bring a lantern!  For details visit www.SanteeLakes.com.

SANTEE SUMMER CONCERTS:  THE CATILLACS JUNE 15

Santee kicks off its summer concert series with the Catillacs on June 15th from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Town Center Park East (550 Park Center Dr.).  This event also features a classic car show, kids’ activities and picnic style seating, as well as food trucks.

(Details: http://www.ci.santee.ca.us/Index.aspx?page=8&recordid=3646)

FATHER’S DAY ADVENTURE JUNE 17 AT FORT CROSS IN JULIAN

Fort Cross in Julian invites you to bring dad for a Father’s Day Adventure on June 17th that includes rugged, manly fun things – like a tomahawk throwing competition, archery contest and paintball slingshot area. 

The family can enjoy a petting zoo, sunset hayride, dinner and playing jug band instruments around a campfire. You can spend the day or even camp overnight.  A community campfire will be provided for breakfast and dinner.  Bring your own picnic foods, or you can purchase foods at restaurants within a block from Fort Cross.   

Space is limited for this manly Father’s Day adventure.  You can reserve tickets for dear old Dad and the whole family at www.FortCross.com.

JULIAN BLUES JUNE 17

The 19th annual Julian Blues festival is set for June 17th at Menghini Winery.  This year’s lineup includes Philip Sayce, Dennis Jones, Earl Thomas, Ben Robinson and The McCoy Brothers, and on the Backporch stage, the Chris Fast Band.

The event is produced by Robb Bower.  Tickets are available at www.Robb-Bowerpresents.com.  

FATHER’S DAY BRUNCH WITH COWBOY JACK JUNE 18 AT PINE HILLS LODGE

Pine Hills Lodge will host a Father’s Day Brunch on Sunday, June 18th.  Cowboy Jack will sing traditional country music from Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and more, also playing acoustic guitar and harmonica. Cowboy Jack Johnson is the lead singer from the Band in Black and the singing cowboy at Rawhide Ranch. 

For reservations and details, visit www.PineHillsLodge.com.

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!