Grape Day Celebration – September 8, 2012

Grape Day started in 1908 as a way to celebrate Escondido's grape harvest and promote the city. It flourished until 1950 and was revived by the Escondido History Center in 1996.

This year’s event starts off with a 5K fun run at 7:30 a.m. sponsored by the Escondido Sunrise Rotary Club. For more information and to register go to

At 9:30 a.m. a whimsical parade starts at Escondido Boulevard and Grand Avenue and travels east on Grand to Juniper, featuring marching bands, walking groups, equestrians and historic automobiles. After the parade, the Grape Day Festival will begin in Grape Day Park (321 N. Broadway) and run until 4:00 pm. This free, family-friendly event features grape stomping, free grapes provided by Jimbos Naturally, an entertainment stage highlighting dance from around the world, vendor booths, an international food court and demonstrations. For more information,  visit

New this year will be a tasting pavilion featuring ten local wineries and craft beer. The pavilion will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 if purchased online prior to the event or $25 on the day of the event and include a logo wine glass and tickets good toward wine and craft beer tastings.  For more information about participating wineries, other events happing during “Grape Week”,  or to purchase tickets, please visit .

Escondido Adopts Economic Development Master Plan

Escondido’s first  Economic Development Master Plan and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) was approved by the City Council at its meeting on July 25. A copy of the approved plan is available online at

In December 2011, the City entered into a contract with the Natelson Dale Group, Inc. to complete the Economic Development Master Plan. In developing the plan, Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) guidelines were followed to enable the plan to also qualify as a CEDS, thereby allowing the City to apply for EDA grants.

Extensive community input was sought throughout the development of the plan, including interviews with over a dozen local stakeholders and a 23 member CEDS Committee consisting of public and private sector representatives. The Economic Development Master Plan is a detailed work program for economic development over the next 5-10 years that dovetails with the Council Action Plan and General Plan update. The plan includes strategies to foster a strong business climate, create jobs and attract future private investment.

I want to assure the community that this document will not merely sit on a shelf gathering dust.  The City Council, as well as our city staff, are committed to implementing all of the strategies contained in the plan.  Watch for periodic updates on our success in achieving them. If you have any questions or comments regarding the CEDS, contact Michelle Geller at or (760) 839-4587.

Police Athletic League to Hold Special Event

The 3rd Annual Escondido Police Athletic League’s (PAL) “Keepin’ ‘Em Off The Streets” basketball game in honor of Sgt. Geoff Galindo and CSO Theresa Ramirez will be played on August 11, 2012, at Calvin Christian High School, 1868 North Broadway,  in Escondido.  Police displays and concessions will start at 4 p.m. with the game starting at 5:00 p.m.  The community is invited to come enjoy an evening of family fun as the young PAL kids showcase their talents against police officers, firefighters and parents in a basketball game.  Funds raised go directly to the Escondido Police Athletic League.  The Escondido Police Athletic League provides after school athletic and education programs for youths.

For tickets ($5.00) or sponsorship information please contact Sgt. Al Owens at   This will be a great event with stadium quality concessions at affordable prices and parking is free.  There will also be a raffle and auction prizes at the event that include gift cards, autographed NFL memorabilia and Padres tickets.  

I hope to see you on August 11th at Calvin Christian High!

“Taste Escondido” Restaurant Guide is Now Online

It’s no secret that Escondido has an extensive variety of restaurants. From independently-owned bistros along Grand Avenue like Vincent’s and Tango, to  chains such as the Brigantine, Red Robin and On the Border, there’s a cuisine and price-point for just about everyone here. To showcase our dining options, including the newest restaurant in town, the spectacular “Vintana Wine and Dine” at the Lexus Centre, we’ve recently updated our “Taste Escondido” restaurant guide and made it into an interactive, online food guide.

The guide is available on the City of Escondido Web site at and features our more unique restaurants categorized by cuisine, like the Sandcrab Café and Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens, as well as national chains like Olive Garden and Marie Callendars and fast food places like Tom’s 23 and Panda Express. The guide links to each restaurant’s Web site, and includes a map of Downtown Escondido. So whether you’re coming to see a show at the California Center for the Arts and want a light dinner beforehand, or strolling around at Cruisin’ Grand and craving a pepperoni pizza, the Taste Escondido Restaurant Guide can steer you in the right direction when you’re hungry!