Festivals of the Month

INAUGURATION CELEBRATION AND COMMUNITY BALL-- PUBLIC WELCOME

Story
and photo by Miriam Raftery
San
Diego (January 12, 2009) —
Malcolm X Library will host an all day Community
Inaugural Celebration
to mark the momentous occasion of the Inaugural
of President-Elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States on
Tuesday, January 20th. The Library envisions San Diego residents from all
walks of life attending the many events, fostering fellowship and sharing dialogue. The
day begins with viewing the swearing-in ceremony on live TV at 9 a.m., followed
by hour-by-hour community celebrations and reflections from noon to 7 p.m.

FESTIVAL OF THE MONTH -- MULTI-CULTURAL FESTIVAL IN LA MESA CELEBRATES OUR REGION'S DIVERSE HERITAGE

January 8, 2008 (La Mesa) — The City of La Mesa's 13th
annual Multicultural Festival on January 18th aspires to be an afternoon of
civic pride and festivities for the family in a celebration honoring our community's
rich diversity of cultures and international traditions. The ceremony, held
on Martin Luther King Day weekend, also honors the slain civil rights leader's
vision.

OUR GUIDE TO EAST COUNTY'S HOTTEST NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES

December 28, 2008 — Looking
to party hearty on December 31st?  Here are our picks for the best places
to ring in the New Year east of I-15.  From a Chinese dragon parade to
a cozy mountain inn, from an alcohol-free celebration to a lavish multi-band
bash, you'll find it all in East County and San Diego's eastern region.  Find
details on these events at

KWANZAA CELEBRATIONS AND EVENTS ANNOUNCED

December 6, 2008 (San Diego) — A series of events commemorating Kwanzaa have
been announced, including several in San Diego's eastern region. 

The 18th annual Pan-African Associations of America Umoja Day program will
take place December 26th at the Malcolm X Library located at 5148 Market Street
in San Diego.  This a day long event and includes an adult workshop
explaining how to observe Kwanzaa in the home and a children's arts and craft
workshop on Kwanzaa: 10am to noon.  A Youth/Hip Hop discussion on Kwanzaa
will take place from 1pm to 3 p.m. The traditional lighting of the  first
Kwanzaa candle will take place at 4:30 p.m. and includes a program of  words
of inspiration, spoken word, music, drumming and dance, African martial arts,
silent auction and vendors.  The program ends at 8pm.  All
events are free to the public.

Christmas in the Village

Quintessential hometown fun

By Kristin Hobbs Kjaero

La
Mesa (December 1, 2008) —
Santa Claus is coming to town!

On December 12-13, the La Mesa Village will magically transform with Christmas
lights, sparkling window displays and open fire pits. Visitors can enjoy carnival
rides, puppet shows, four stages showcasing homegrown talent, and ride ponies,
carriage, and fire truck.

COOL!  OUTDOOR ICE RINK OPENS AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER: ICE SHOW, TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY NOV. 22

By Miriam Raftery

November
17, 2008 (Alpine) —
Looking for the coolest place in East County?

The largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California is now open for the holiday
season at Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine. 

MOTHER OF ALL FESTIVALS - A STAR-STUDDED MOTHER GOOSE PARADE!

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2008 (El Cajon) — The mother of all East County festivals
takes place this Sunday, November 23rd.  The Mother Goose Parade in downtown
El Cajon is the largest parade in San Diego County and the biggest parade of
its kind west of the Mississippi.  This
year, parade organizers have assembled a dazzling array of 50 celebrity participants
led by grand marshals Tori Spelling (star of Tori and Dean Inn Love and Beverly
Hills 90210
), KayCee Stroh of High School Musical fame, and Padres
first basement Adrian Gonzales. 

WEEKEND HALLOWEEN SCENE  & MORE EAST COUNTY EVENTS

For
a frightfully good time this week (not to mention satisfying your sweet tooth
cravings), you’ll find plenty of Halloween haunts in East County.

Start with Wednesday night’s “Trunk or Treat” in El Cajon,
where classic car club members will be doling out goodies.  On Thursday,
dig into a pumpkin pie-eating contest and costume party in Valley Center, or
chill out at the Otay Haunted House.

HUNDREDS FLOCK TO ELKS OKTOBERFEST

By Miriam Raftery

October
20, 2008 (El Cajon) -
Over 800 people flocked to an Oktoberfest celebration
hosted by El Cajon’s Elks Lodge 1812, a tradition that dates back to
1975.

“I started the Oktoberfest,” said Giselle Howard (photo, left),
who was also the festival’s first Oktoberfest Queen.   “This
is why every year, they honor me.”  Still radiant at 86, Howard
wore her original dress and tiara as a fellow Elk pushed her wheelchair in
the Oktoberfest Parade.  The aromas of steak and bratwurst simmering on
a barbecue filled the air, along with scents of potato pancakes and other traditional
German fare.

EAST COUNTY OKTOBERFESTS:  WUNDERBAR!

October 1, 2008 (East County) - Time to get into the zeitgeist (spirit
of the time) and take to the streets for some old-fashioned celebrating at
East County’s multiple Oktoberfests!  

Began in Bavaria to celebrate the marriage of royalty, Oktoberfests have since
gained popularity worldwide.  Below are details on our region’s
oldest and biggest Oktoberfests, where you can savor German food, music, and
more.

THIS WEEK'S HOT EVENTS: OCT. 15-22, 2008 -- PRO-AM GOLF, CRUISIN' OLD HWY 80, GREEN JOBS FAIR,  SYMPHONY CONCERT, SIDEWALK ARTS, CAMPO HARVEST FESTIVAL AND PARADE!

Tee off for a good cause at a Pro-Am Golf Tournament at Sycuan Resort’s Willow Glen Course this Friday. Proceeds benefit Home of the Guiding Hands, which provides shelter and services for mentally disabled people.  HGH has a huge funding gap due to the California budget crisis. 

Weekly Events - October 6-14 THIS WEEKEND:  ARRIBA!  LA TOMATINA TOMATO FEST

Plus Candidate Forums, Oktoberfest Parade, Hello Dolly and more

By Miriam Raftery

Borrowing
a tradition from Spain (with a few Southern California twists), Tierra Miguel
Farm in Pauma Valley is hosting La Tomatina – a tomato fest complete
with authentic Spanish cuisine (bring your own paella), wine and beer tasting,
live music and a tomato fling!  Call ahead to join in the fun this Saturday
(see our calendar for details).  This event is limited to age 18 and over;  bring
your own goggles! You can also help prepare the soil for next year’s
crop – and sign up for Tierra Miguel’s community agricultural program
to receive their fresh-grown produce. 

FESTIVALS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2008

By Miriam Raftery

October
1, 2008 (East San Diego County)
-  Fall is prime time for
festivals in East County. The tough part is choosing among so many fun-filled
events.  The air is crisp--and so are the ripe, juicy apples at Julian’s
Apple Days October 4th and 5th.   Savor apple cider and piping
hot pies, or enjoy a horse-drawn buggy ride in East County’s historic
gold rush town. 

HUNDREDS FLOCK TO JULIAN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

By Miriam Raftery

September
21, 2008 (JULIAN) -
“We’ve
had at least 500 people here so far,” Dick Thilken, president of the Julian
Lions Club
said
of the 38th annual Julian Bluegrass Festival on Sunday afternoon, September
21st.  “Each day we’ve had six musical groups playing.” 

Besides
officially scheduled acts, players from various areas joined in for some impromptu
musical performances at California’s oldest bluegrass
festival.

Celebrating 100 Years: Cleveland National Forest Centennial

The Fiddlin' ForestersFiddlin' Foresters, Living History Week Cap Festivities in Local Mountain Parks

By Miriam Raftery


A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a declaration to create the Cleveland National Forest--a 460,000 acre preserve that is home to golden eagles, mountain lions and other wildlife species. To celebrate the centennial, the U.S. Forest Service is hosting several free special events in San Diego's East County mountain parks.

On September 6, the Fiddlin' Foresters will perform a concert from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dos Picos County Park, 17953 Dos Picos Road, Ramona.

On September 20th and 21st, the Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association (LMVA) and Cleveland National Forest will host "Living History Weekend" at the LMVA visitors center on Laguna Mountain.

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