Last year’s inaugural Santee Wine & Bluegrass Festival was a surprise success that hit all the right notes in this friendly East County community.
The festival returns Sept. 24 to Town Center Community Park with the same crowd-pleasing formula: toe-tapping music played to an audience pampered with fine wine, micro-brewed beer and tasty treats prepared by local restaurants.
This year’s musical lineup features two of the county’s most talented bluegrass bands, Box Canyon and The Tail Draggers.
The festival last fall earned a ‘thumbs up’ from Dwight Worden, president of the San Diego Bluegrass Society, who said: “The vendors seemed happy, the crowd was in a great mood, and you had a nice turnout.”
Last year, more than 380 people attended the festival, which raised more than $9,000 for Santee Parks and the Recreation Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance to qualifying Santee residents to participate in park and recreation programs.
Admission entitles ticket holders to sample several varieties of wine, beer from numerous micro-breweries, and food prepared by local restaurants. In addition to the all-you-can eat menu, festival attendees will receive an engraved wine glass and food sampling plate as souvenirs.
Beyond the music and libations, the event includes a silent auction featuring a cornucopia of gifts donated for the cause. Attendees can bid on such quality items as an electric Taylor guitar, a weekend vacation at Santee Lakes’ new lakefront cabins, or a cowboy hat signed by country music recording artist Josh Kelley.
The festival runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 550 Park Center Drive, Santee, CA 92071. Advance tickets are $30 per person; tickets purchased after Sept. 12 are $35.
Tickets can be purchased online or in person at Santee City Hall, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, and Bldg. 6. Additional information is available by calling the Santee Special Events Hotline (619) 258-4100 ext. 201, or by viewing the city’s website at www.ci.santee.ca.us.
“We hit a home run last year by putting together a classy but informal event that offers people a guaranteed fun evening at an affordable price,” said Ken Fox, chairman of the Santee Park and Recreation Committee. “The success of this event will ensure that Santee families of all income levels can participate in recreational classes.”
This fund-raising festival is made possible through generous sponsorships from: Barona Resort and Casino, Santee Trolley Square, Padre Dam’s Santee Lakes, and West Coast Arborists.
To view a list of vendors that will be attending the festival, please visit www.ci.santee.ca.us.