Category Archives: Military

Fourth Annual Santee Street Fair to Honor Our Military Heroes

The wildly successful Santee Street Fair returns this Saturday, May 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. along Riverview Drive east of Santee Trolley Square. The family-friendly event is free and features hundreds of vendors, live bands, rides and games for the kids and plenty of food. This year, to help kick off the Memorial Day Weekend, the Santee Street Fair will honor our military heroes with a special ceremony.

The Santee Street Fair is the largest single-day festival in the East County, with over 40,000 people attending last year and even more expected this time. It is put on by the Santee Chamber of Commerce and the City of Santee as a way to promote the community throughout the greater San Diego region. Businesses from throughout Santee and around the county will be there to share information with visitors.

Santee’s own Clint August, from 101KGB, will act as master of ceremonies for the day, but there are rumors that a certain local pirate could drop in to commandeer the microphone at some point. Along with the Santee Chamber of  Commerce and the City of Santee, the Street Fair is supported by Padre Dam’s Santee Lakes, Barona Resort & Casino, AIR Santee, SDG&E, Union Bank, El Cajon Harley Davidson and many other companies and organizations.

The first Street Fair, in 2009, came together in only six months and showed what Santee could do when people who cared about the city put their minds together. Since then it has grown to a greatly-anticipated celebration that draws rave reviews every year. The 2012 edition will feature many of the same vendors and entertainment that people have enjoyed, with many new ones to discover.

New to the Main Stage this year will be Atomic Groove, billed as the best in variety dance bands. The group has been voted the Best Local Band in Ranch & Coast Magazine and in the Union-Tribune’s SignOn San Diego Readers’ Poll. Joining Atomic Groove from their popular shows last year will be Credence Relived, a Credence Clearwater Revival tribute band, and Liquid Blue, certified by the Guinness Book of Records as “The World’s Most Traveled Band.”

While the Street Fair is free, as is parking, be sure to bring plenty of money to enjoy all of the different foods that will be on hand. In the past the fare has ranged from Hawaiian shaved ice to hot dogs and hamburgers and top-notch barbecue. This year the beer garden will feature Santee’s own Manzanitza Brewing Company, which will soon celebrate their second anniversary with a move to a new, larger facility.

Read about the 2011 Santee Street Fair on Santee Examiner

Read about the 2010 Santee Street Fair on Santee Examiner and Scouting Santee

Read about the 2009 Santee Street Fair on Scouting Santee

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Military Honored during Sportsplex USA Tournament

On Saturday, May 21, 2011, the Santee Sportsplex USA, in partnership with and supported by several local businesses, honored members of the U.S. military with the first annual Armed Services Appreciation Tournament. Ten teams, seven with military members, competed in the indoor soccer tournament held on the facility’s two indoor/arena fields. The day also included a noontime ceremony honoring the military.

The day began with the first of three preliminary rounds of soccer. Teams were encouraged to include members of the military, which several did. Among those participating were the Leathernecks, a team made up in part of current and former U.S. Marines stationed at MCAS Miramar, primarily in Marine Aviation Logistic Squadron (MALS) 11. Another heavily-military group was NMCSD FC (Naval Medical Center San Diego) with active-duty and non-military personnel from Balboa Hospital. A third team with a sizeable military contingent was Not in Jordan’s House, which included Navy and Army Reserve members and one graphic designer.

The two strongest teams going into the playoffs were NMCSD FC and Das Boot, a team made up of soccer players and enthusiasts that usually play at the Poway Sportplex USA facility. Both teams went undefeated through the three preliminary rounds and finished 1-2 based on points and goals. Joining the leaders in the playoffs were SoccerNation I, sponsored by the website, and O Should’ve Ducked. The latter team, whose name was inspired by recent world events (the “O” stands for Osama), was in effect a last-minute creation and included three members of the San Diego Flash professional team (National Premiere Soccer League).

Number two seed Das Boot, which had just finished its third preliminary game moments before the playoffs began, was able to defeat third seed SoccerNation I in their game. The big surprise was fourth seed O Should’ve Ducked which defeated first seed NMCSD FC. In the championship game Das Boot took a 2-0 lead at the half and went on to beat O Should’ve Ducked 5-1. The winners received a $100 voucher for a team dinner at Buca di Beppo, medals, and mini soccer balls. The second place team received a team wings dinner at Hooters and gift bags from Sycuan Casino.

The day was not all soccer. At noon Santee Mayor Randy Voepel led a ceremony honoring members of the military. Santee is a particularly appropriate city to hold this type of ceremony because it is the only city in San Diego County to have adopted military units. Not long after 9/11, then-Congressman Duncan Hunter (Sr.) approached cities in the county with the idea of adopting military units to show their support during the War on Terrorism. Because he “didn’t want to be a slouch,” Mayor Voepel encouraged the City Council to adopt not one but two units: Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 462, the “Heavy Haulers,” from MCAS Miramar and the 2nd Battalion 1st Regiment, “The Professionals,” stationed at Camp Pendleton. Also on hand for the ceremony were Miss Santee Maria Maes, Miss Santee Teen Savannah Keener, and special military guests.

Speaking near the end of the day, Sportsplex USA Director of Marketing and Development Chris Vertrees explained, “The purpose of this tournament [was] to recognize and to appreciate and honor those both active and non-active duty military. San Diego being the largest concentrated area of military in the country, we’re really happy to be a part of it.” On the success of the day he said, “We’re really happy that so far this first annual event has worked out well. It gave us a lot to build on for next year and we hope to make this something that people can look forward to for years to come.”

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Sportsplex USA Hosts Military Appreciation Tournament

To honor our military, Sportsplex USA in Santee will host an Armed Services Appreciation Tournament for indoor/arena soccer teams on Saturday, May 21, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The tournament features ten teams that will play three qualifying rounds each, with the top teams advancing to the playoff rounds. At noon there will be an appreciation ceremony featuring Santee Mayor Randy Voepel and several members of the military.

The City of Santee is an appropriate place to hold a military appreciation event, as it is the only city in the county to have adopted military units. Not long after 9/11, then-Congressman DuncanHunter (Sr.) approached city leaders in San Diego County with the idea of adopting military units as a show of support. For Mayor Voepel, this was a “no brainer.” As a former U.S. Marine and a Vietnam Veteran, Voepel has been active in supporting the military on his own time and did not want Santeeto seem like it was “slacking off” in its duty. So, with his support, the city adopted two USMC units: the 2nd Battalion 1st Regiment (“The Professionals”) stationed at Camp Pendelton and HMH 462 (“Heavy Haulers”) helicopter squadron from MCAS Miramar.

The tournament is presented by SportsplexUSAin conjunction with, a premier online soccer magazine focusing on Southern California club, college, and professional teams. San Diego Countyshowed itself to be one of the top soccer areas in the country during the World Cup, and it is home to thousands of youth and club players. Members of some of the local professional teams, including the Sockers, Flash, and Boca, will be on hand to share tips with players and fans.

Entry to the Sportsplex USA complex for general public (over 18) is $2.50, but this includes a token for an equal value in drinks at the on-site restaurant. Military members are free with I.D. Sportsplex USA is located at 9951 Riverwalk Drive, just east of Rio Seco School and the adjoining ball fields. For more information on the event, visit the Sportsplex USA website.

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