Tag Archives: Santee Chamber of Commerce

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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Santee Car Show draws thousands

The second annual Santee Car Show attracted thousands of visitors to the community on Saturday, October 8. The event featured classic cars, great music by Moondawgs and 4 Lads from Liverpool, and a wide variety of vendors. The big winners on the day were the Santee Santas and Santee Food Bank, two community groups that received support and increased awareness through the event.

(L-R) Laura Plante, Sam Modica and Vicki Cecil of Santee Santas at the Santee Car Show

Santee Santas is a non-profit organization that has been providing support to low income seniors and families in the community since 1953. The all-volunteer group works with the Santee School District to identify students and families who need assistance at the holidays and throughout the year. The Family Emergency Fund is available at any time of the year, while the Holiday Food and Toy Program focuses on providing assistance at the holidays. The group also has a Senior Outreach Program that works to make sure that seniors in the community are not forgotten about during the year. Sam Modica, one of the organization’s directors explained that being a part of the Car Show “gives us quite a bit of exposure to the community that we didn’t have in years past.” The group hopes that its attendance at the Car Show and the Santee Street Fair will help bring in both donations and volunteers to help the organization throughout the year.

Sandy Olewine (L) and Marsi Walker (R) of Santee Food Bank

The second organization, Santee Food Bank, has been helping families in Santee since 1988, and has found its services in much greater demand since the start of the Great Recession. Another all-volunteer group, the Food Bank provides once-a-month assistance to needy low and middle income families in the community. Marsi Walker, Public Affairs Director, said that the exposure at the Car Show is a great benefit for the Food Bank in its efforts to reach out the the greater community for volunteers and donations. “The fact that the Chamber is so supportive of us and sponsors the Car Show to help benefit the Food Bank means so much to us,” said Walker. “We are out here giving out flyers inviting people to come and work at the Food Bank, to give their time and energy and service, and we have collection cans throughout the show for donations.”

One of the biggest draws for the Car Show was the raffle of a restored 1967 Ford Mustang GT, sponsored by the Santee Chamber of Commerce. Only 2000 tickets were sold at $20 each, with money going to the Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank. The car was restored by Lloyd’s Collision and Repair of Santee, with help from San Diego Mustang Shop, Mark’s Auto Glass, Mark Luhr’s Custom Upholstery and Xpress Muffler. Bob Lloyd, owner of Lloyd’s Collision and a member of the Santee Chamber of Commerce, said that the raffle had been so popular that the Chamber plans to repeat it next year, possibly with a classic Chevy Camaro.

(L-R) Miss Teen Santee Savannah Keener, Miss Santee Maria Maes, and "Mr. Santee" Rob McNelis

Also on hand for the show were Miss Santee, Maria Maes, and Miss Teen Santee, Savannah Keener, who helped choose two of the winning cars in the show. “It was so difficult coming through and picking our favorite cars,” said Savannah. “There were so many people out here with their special cars.” Maria echoed her teen counterpart’s enthusiasm. “Coming to the Car Show was amazing. All of the beautiful cars we saw, and we got to choose our favorite cars. It was a tough decision.”

After the success of the second Car Show, it’s no surprise that planning is already under way for the third edition, scheduled for early October, 2012. The next major event in Santee will be the Santee Holiday Lighting Celebration in November, followed by the annual Santee Street Fair in May, 2012.

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Third Annual Santee Street Fair on Saturday, May 28

It’s time once again for Santee’s annual Street Fair on Saturday, May 28. This will be the third year for the event, which is put on by the Santee Chamber of Commerce and the City of Santee to help promote the community throughout the greater San Diego County region. In just two years the Fair has drawn over 100,000 visitors who come to enjoy the food, games, music, and fun.

The Street Fair takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. along Riverview Parkway, just north of Mission Gorge Rd. You can drive to the Fair, or take the trolley and avoid the parking hassles. There will be some 300 vendor booths, three stages, six bands, community entertainment, and much more. In addition, for the adults, there will be the beer and wine garden presented by Sportsplex USA.

This year the musical lineup includes Fossil Fuel, Mudwolf, and Blues 145 at the Trolley Square Amphitheater and the group Country Rockin’ Rebels on the Community Stage. The main stage will feature hot zydeco and Cajun music by Bayou Brothers, Classic rock by the tribute group Credence Relived, and Liquid Blue which has been certified as “The World’s Most Traveled Band” by the Guinness Book of World Records.

For directions and more details, visit the Santee Street Fair website. You can check out a promotional video by Sam Diego, aka Captain Sam. Read about the 2010 Santee Street Fair and the original 2009 Street Fair on Scouting Santee. The Santee Street Fair helps support the Santee Food Bank, so bring a food donation or drop off some of the green when you come.

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Santee Celebrates Completion of SR-52

Several thousand people joined local, state, and national representatives to celebrate the completion of the final section of SR-52 through the city of Santee on Saturday, March 19, 2011. The festivities included speeches, a ceremonial ribbon cutting, a flyover by aircraft from the upcoming Gillespie Air Show and a three-mile fun run/walk/bike ride. A classic and green car show, vendor and organization booths and music rounded out the entertainment.

One of Santee’s adopted U.S. Marine Corps units, Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 462 from Miramar MCAS, provided the guard for the presentation of colors and Pledge of Allegiance and Pastor Tony Foglio of Sonrise Community Church gave the invocation. As a special treat, former SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) staffer Mike Hicks performed a song dedicated to the opening, written to the tune of “Battle of New Orleans.”

Radio personality and former Santee resident “Shotgun” Tom Kelly acted as Master of Ceremonies for the presentation of dignitaries. Current Mayor Randy Voepel introduced the color guard and Pastor Foglio, and Santee Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Warren Savage led the Pledge of Allegiance. Former Mayor and current City Councilman Jack Dale, who was instrumental in pushing for the completion of the freeway, fired up the crowd as he raised his fist and shouted out, “It’s done!” He then went on to talk about the trials of getting the project and introduced other speakers including Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and County Supervisor Diane Jacob. Congressman Hunter drew laughs when he assured the crowd that, unlike a traditional politician, he would not claim responsibility for completing the freeway. He did promise to pass Dale’s thanks along to his father, former Congressman Duncan Hunter, who had been instrumental in securing funding for parts of the freeway project.

After the speeches the dignitaries, joined by the new Miss Santee and Miss La Mesa Pageant winners, gathered for a ceremonial ribbon cutting on the westbound lanes of the new SR-52. The aircraft made two flyover passes, one before the cutting and one after, and the Santana High School Marching Band performed following the ceremony. Once the road had been cleared several hundred bicycle riders of all ages started off on their fun ride, followed by the runners and walkers. It was nearly impossible to get an accurate count of all the participants as more arrived after the official beginning. Once they had completed the three-mile route, participants were routed across to the eastbound lanes where the car show and vendor booths were set up. In addition, the local Country band Emerald River performed on the stage after the ceremony.

State Route 52 (SR-52) is a 17.7 mile freeway that stretches from La Jolla on the coast to SR-67 on the east side of Santee. The project was built in multiple stages, reaching the outskirts of Santee and connecting to SR-125 before hitting a 17-year delay. Construction on the final 3.5 mile portion began in 2008 and final touches will be applied over the next week in preparation for its scheduled opening to use on March 26. After that time it will no longer be legal or safe to lie down on the freeway.

For more photos of the day, visit SR-52 Celebration on Picasa

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Taste of Santee Returns for 2010

Santee’s annual extravaganza of food returns on Thursday, December 2, at the Union Bank in the CVS/Best Buy Center. The Taste of Santee is an annual event that combines the Santee Chamber of Commerce’s December Mixer with a fund raiser for Santee Santas and a showcase for local restaurants and caterers. The night is one of the major sources of funds and resources for the Santee Santas, which has provided assistance to Santee families for over 50 years. As always, admission is either $5, an unwrapped toy, or non-perishable food – but all three are more than welcome.

Last year’s lineup included Chili’s, Coffee Brake, Don Lucio’s Taco Shop, Eccentric International Chefs, Michael’s Grill, and many more. You can always expect a great selection of food at the Taste of Santee. You can check out the fun at the last two Taste of Santee nights below.

2009 Taste of Santee

Taste of Santee 2008

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Thousands Attend First Annual Santee Car Show

Following up on the success of the two-year-old Santee Street Fair, the Santee Chamber of Commerce pulled off the first Santee Car Show on Saturday, October 9. The day saw an estimated 10,000 visitors enjoying over 175 classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles, a wine and beer garden, and music by local band Ramshackle and San Diego favorite The Corvettes. Adding to the fun were dozens of local businesses and food establishments, and a generous sprinkling of political candidates.

The Car Show was a way to both showcase Santee and its businesses and to support two special organizations: Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank. Santee Santas is a community support group that provides food and toys to needy Santee families at the holidays. They also have an emergency fund program and a senior outreach program for seniors who are alone or in nursing homes. The Santee Food Bank provides non-perishable food for needy families in the community. Both of these groups benefitted greatly from the exposure as well as from donations and money raised through a silent auction and other activities.

The day also became an opportunity for the community to come together for one more special cause – a young Santee boy named Ryan who was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Ryan was diagnosed on August 13 and has already had two surgeries on the tumor, but you would not have known by looking at him. He was bright, spunky, and not too overwhelmed with all the attention he was getting. Santana National Little League had a booth taking donations toward his medical bills, and his family, which already has a disabled 5-year-old child, will hold a fundraiser at Jimano’s Pizza on Thursday, October 21 from 7:00-9:00 pm. At the Show, Ryan received a baseball autographed by former Padre and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith from the Chamber, and Ramshackle gave him a set of drumsticks from their set. You can follow up with Ryan and his family on Facebook and at CaringBridge.org.

This being election time, the politicians were popping up like mushrooms after a heavy rain – not that we know much about heavy rains in Santee. Candidates for local, state, and national offices were there in person or through their local supporters to meet the public and answer questions. At least 5 of the 8 candidates for City Council put in appearances, as did many of those running for Padre Dam Water District Board and local school boards. Watch for some interviews with candidates over the next few weeks.

As with the Street Fair, music was a big part of the day. Local band Ramshackle, featuring lead vocalist Eddie Vandiver, entertained the crowd with a mix of music by artists as varied as Tommy Tutone, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Ramshackle was followed on stage by, fittingly for a car show, The Corvettes.  One of the top oldies bands in San Diego, The Corvettes include keyboardist Sam Witkin, an original member of Sha-Na-Na and veteran of Woodstock.

Of course the big draw of the day was the collection of amazing vehicles at the show. From wonderfully restored classic cars to amazingly detailed and decorated modern cars, there was a vehicle to satisfy just about everyone. The Show and its sponsors provided a number of trophies for the top cars, including Sponsor Trophies, People’s Choice, and the Best of Show Trophy. In addition, a plaque was presented to the club that brought the most cars to the show. For the first year that award went to the Poway Cruisers for bringing 10 cars. Other top winners are below. Apologies for any misspelled names.

Best of Show: 1931 Ford Phaeton owned by Stan and Judy Spate


Firestone Trophy: 1967 Chevy Camaro owned by Bob Dunn


Mothers Trophy: 1969 Chevy Camaro owned by Pat Newman


Miss Santee 2010 Trophy: 1932 Ford Coupe owned by Al Aguilar


Miss Santee Teen 2010 Trophy: 1965 Ford Mustang owned by Mike Evans

S&S Trophies Trophy: 1965 Ford Mustang owned by Gary Canfield


Lloyd’s Collision Trophy: 1969 Chevy Chevelle owned by Tom Harmon*


Best Buy Trophy: 1959 Buick LaSabre owned by Steve Parker*


*The Lloyd’s Collision and Best Buy Trophies were accepted by designates of the winners.

Update: Additional Photos.

Sadly, shortly after the car show my hard drive crashed before I had the chance to back up my photos. The link above is to a few I put online just before the crash.

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Santee Car Show Revs Up for Saturday

How do you follow up a wildly successful street fair? If you’re Santee you put together what promises to be an equally successful car show. The first annual Santee Car Show will take place on Saturday, October 9, along Riverview Parkway, the same site as the Santee Street Fair. The show will feature over 200 classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles, vendors, food booths, music, and a wine and beer garden. The fun starts at 9:00 am and continues until 5:00 pm and admission is free.

The Santee Chamber of Commerce has worked hard to bring together a great lineup for the day. Local band Ramshackle will lead off the musical entertainment, followed by headliners The Corvettes. As an added treat, the Fabulous World-Famous Corvette Diner Dancers will be on hand to perform some of their own creative routines. The Car Show will also feature special guest MC Clint August of 101KGB’s “BC and Clint” afternoon drive-time show.

Along with a showcase for cool cars and great businesses, the Car Show is a fundraiser for two important organizations: Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank. Santee Santas is a community support group that provides food and toys to needy Santee families at the holidays. They also have an emergency fund program and a senior outreach program for seniors who are alone or in nursing homes. The Santee Food Bank provides non-perishable food for needy families in the community. Representatives of both groups will be accepting donations of food and money during the event.

If you enjoy hot cars, cool music, and fun, be sure to check out the Santee Car Show this Saturday. For more information, check out the Santee Car Show website.

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Chambers “Mix” It Up at Santee’s Sportsplex USA

Around 100 businesspeople gathered at the Sportsplex USA facility in Santee’s Town Center Community Park on Wednesday, September 15, for a networking mixer. The event was sponsored by the Santee and East County Chambers of Commerce and drew guest from throughout San Diego County. It was also an opportunity to showcase the very successful Sportsplex USA complex, which features fields for  indoor/arena soccer and softball/baseball, batting cages, and a sports-themed play area for kids.

Board members of both Chambers of Commerce were there in force to greet regular members and guests. Many of the business owners attending had not had an opportunity to meet with those of other Chambers, so this was a chance to broaden their networks. The Santee Chamber took the opportunity to promote the upcoming Santee Car Show in October and both Chambers talked up Passport to the Future, the East County’s largest business expo. This event takes place on Thursday, September 23, at the El Cajon Elks Lodge from 5:00-8:00 pm, and is sponsored by the East County, La Mesa, and Santee Chambers of Commerce. For more information on the event, visit the event website.

One of the newer businesses attending was Nushon, a Lakeside-based company that has patented a silicone cushion that protects a woman’s neck from bikini and other straps. The owners and creators, Deby and Deanna Cowan and Sharon Stone, developed the idea on a trip to Las Vegas, proof that not everything that happens there stays there. The original product was a simple clear tube split to fit over the strap, with an opening for the connection (bow, hook, etc.).  have since added a variety of color choices. You can learn more at their website.

A highlight of the evening was a special fundraiser to support the East County Chamber. Two field level tickets to an upcoming Padre-Cubs game were auctioned off, with all proceeds going toward the Chamber’s activities. Rachel Lynch of Marriott Residence Inn was the lucky winner.

Enjoy a few more pictures from the Sportsplex USA Mixer.

L-R: Warren Savage, Santee Chamber Executive Director; Mike Cully, SDEC Chamber President/CEO; John Minto, Santee City Councilman; Roger Roberts, SDEC Chamber Director; John Olsen, Santee Chamber President

Ellen Malin, Director of Outreach for Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, and Rob McNelis, Santee Businessman and City Council Candidate

San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Chair Elect Joe Mackey and Chair Roger Roberts

Jana Bradley, Rob McNelis, and Lisamarie Loveday

Diane Craik of KW Commercial talks with Terry Harris of TGHarris Consulting

Sports Goodies from the Sportsplex USA Kitchen


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Santee Car Show Coming Soon

Artwork by Jim Busike

The same folks who brought you the hugely successful Santee Street Fair are at it again. On Saturday, October 9, the Santee Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the first annual Santee Car Show and Festival. The event will take place in the same location as the Street Fair – on Riverview Parkway, just east of Santee Trolley Center. There will be over 200 cars, trucks, hot rods, motorcycles, and other vehicles, along with music and other entertainment, and a Beer and Wine Garden. The show has spaces for 150 vendors, but these are going quickly, as are the spaces for show cars.

The Santee Car Show will not only spotlight local businesses and some of the great cars in the region, but will also help raise funds for Santee Santas, a local organization that helps support struggling families in the community, and the Santee Food Bank. Organizers are encouraging everyone who attends to bring non-perishable food to donate to these two great groups. The fun starts at 9:00 am and lasts until 5:00 pm. For more information on car or vendor space check out the links at the end.

These pictures show a few of the cars that took part in the Italia Ristorante Car Show in January. Will some of them be in the Santee Car Show? You’ll have to come down October 9 to find out.

Show Your Car

Vendor Sign Up

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A New Business is “Brewing” in Santee

On Saturday, July 10, Santee finally came of age with the Grand Opening of its very first nano-brewery, Manzanita Brewing Company. Members of the Santee Chamber of Commerce, Miss Santee and part of her entourage, and friends both real and virtual showed up for the 1:00 pm ribbon cutting that marked the official opening of this new venture. The day was extremely well attended, in part because of an aggressive social marketing campaign by the brewery that included a Facebook page created when work was just starting. They regularly posted updates on the progress and had nearly 300 fans by the grand opening, many of whom dropped by for the festivities.

Owners Jeff Trevaskis and Garry Pitman got the idea for their business when they were both laid off from their work in software testing in December. Both had been home brewing for friends and family for some time, and they had received many compliments on their efforts. Having time on their hands, they decided to take the plunge. Because they live in Jamul and Temecula, the wanted to find a location somewhere in between, so the looked into both El Cajon and Santee. Jeff said that they tried several times to contact the planning department in El Cajon, but never got a response; on the other hand, Santee was very receptive to the idea and responsive to their questions and requests. The entrepreneurs were also impressed by the service they received from Padre Dam Water District. Jeff explained that they had contacted the District last year for information about water requirements for the brewery, then did not talk to anyone for almost three months. When they finally did recontact the District the response was, “Oh, yes, we have all your information right here.” When you are dealing with government agencies, this kind of attention is greatly appreciated.

To help keep everyone well fed, and perhaps prevent some empty-stomach drinking issues, Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse was there with their buckboard grill. The menu included tri tip, chicken, and hamburgers, with potato salad, cowboy beans, and tortilla chips. The food was outstanding, as always when Pinnacle Peak is involved. Just a side plug, if you haven’t stopped in at their restaurant on Mission Gorge Rd. west of SR-52, do yourself a favor and drop in for lunch or dinner soon.

Music was also on the menu, provided by a group from the Inland Empire, Soul of the River. The trio – bassist Steve Hansen, drummer Rene Felix, and guitarist Brett Dawson – has received numerous awards including Best Classic Rock at the 2009 Inland Empire Music Awards. The group has a funky rock style that has been compared to Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The music was an energizing accompaniment to the food and drink.

And speaking of drink, the real stars of the day were the five different beers Manzanita brews: pale, brown, and red ales, IPA, and Riverwalk Blonde. All were well received, but it appeared that Riverwalk Blonde was the most popular, being described as “smooth” and with a pleasing feel on the palate. Even occasional beer drinkers appreciated the flavor of this light brew. Another favorite was the IPA, which was described as “zippy” but not bitter like some similar beers can be. Manzanita serves by the glass and in a growler (for those not into beer, a growler is a fancy jug you can fill and take home). They also have a tasting room where you can sample before going for the big order.

Manzanita Brewing Company is located at 9962 Prospect Street, just east of Cuyamaca Street. You can check out their website (in development) or their Facebook page for more information.

Cutting the Ribbon at Manzanita Brewing Company

(L-R) Santee Chamber of Commerce President John Olsen, Miss Teen Santee Taylor Shelton, Garry Pitman, Santee Princess Madison, Jeff Trevaskis, Miss Santee Kimberly Swank, Chamber Past President Rob McNelis

Owners of neighboring business Seaview Glass enjoying a Manzanita brew


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