Out and about

Each year as the weather begins to warm my mind wanders to days at the beach, barbeques with families and friends and my personal favorite, festivals. Complete with funnel cakes, those gigantic fresh-squeezed lemonades and any given number of fried foods that taste oh so delicious, there is no better way to get out and about and see everything our local communities have to offer.

This past weekend was the Temecula Rod Run. Car aficionados made their way into Old Town, clogging traffic for what felt like miles, to lay eyes on some of the most beautifully restored classic cars I have ever seen. As we wandered through the car show – incognito, of course – the smells of Old Town’s many delectable delicacies wafted through the summer-like air, setting my mouth to water at every turn.

Two weeks away, another great Old Town event will take place. On Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, the Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival comes to town. This will be my first year attending, but I hear it’s a great event for all ages, complete with workshops and performances by some of the top bluegrass bands from all around the United States. As a bit of a bluegrass junkie (and I’m not ashamed to admit it) I really am looking forward to this event and know that it’s going to be a great time for all in attendance.

I think the biggest “must attend” event on my radar is the new Temecula Valley Family Fair scheduled for March 27 – 29 at Lake Skinner. In my opinion, there is just nothing better than a fair. The smiles on a child’s face as he tastes cotton candy for the first time, the screams of joy from the riders on the midway and yes, the food, are all big draws for me. Let’s face it there is nothing better than a deep fried Oreo or a romantic ride on a ferris wheel after dark with that special someone. With a ton of local entertainment, three concerts, 20 rides and more vendors than I can shake a stick at, this fair promises to be fun for the entire family so plan a visit to this new local event and stop by and see us in our Valley News tent while you are there.

Another of my favorite events, Reality Rally, is also fast approaching. Scheduled for April 10 – 11, “Survivor, Gabon” contestant and Temecula resident Gillian Larson will once again pull out all of the stops to create a great family event that gives back to the community in a big way. With nearly 100 reality stars on tap for the two-day event that includes a celebrity reception, the Celebrity Chef’s Showcase and an “Amazing Race” style race; this is one fundraiser I can get behind whole-heartedly. All proceeds from the event benefit Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center. If you haven’t been to a Reality Rally yet, come on out and meet your favorite reality stars from shows like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “Mob Wives, Chicago,” “Chopped” and “Hell’s Kitchen.”

And this is just a small sampling of the great festivals here in the Temecula Valley. Some other upcoming events in the area include Western Days and Chili Cookoff in Temecula’s Sam Hicks Park – May 17 and 18, the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival – May 29 through 31 and the Temecula Street Painting Festival – June 26-28.

There are many other opportunities to get out and about in the Temecula Valley. Just check your city’s special events calendar or ask around, there’s bound to be something going on that will be exactly what you are looking for. And while you are out and about, keep an eye out for me I’ll be out there – incognito, of course – enjoying everything the area has to offer.

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