–Enjoy Tastes from Old Town Restaurants & Live Entertainment–

The Fiesta of Flavors event is coming to Old Town this September as a part of the largest agave festival in the United States, the Spirits of Mexico Festival.

Hosted by the Old Town Chamber of Commerce, Polished Palate and Fiesta de Reyes, Fiesta of Flavors features non-stop entertainment, live demonstrations, a tequila garden and samplings from 14 restaurants in Old Town. The event takes place Saturday, Sept. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Spirits of Mexico Festival, annually held in San Diego, has already been hosting private tasting competitions this year, when judges select entries headed for the final competition.  The finals, which begins the public portion of the Spirits of Mexico Festival, will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Café Coyote in Old Town.  The awards dinner and ceremony will be held at Barra Barra Saloon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on Friday, Sept. 17.  Tickets to both of these events are available online at www.thespiritsofmexico.com.

The Fiesta of Flavors event will include performances by Chunky Sanchez y Los Alacranes, the Calpulli Mexihca Dance Ensemble, the Gutierrez Family Andalusian Horses and a live ‘harvesting’ of agaves by third-generation jimador, Jose Cortes, ambassador and spokesman for El Jimador Tequila, Mexico’s No.1 selling tequila.

The event also features a free Everything Agave exposition, featuring agave products for sale from a variety of merchants.  Participating vendors at press time included Tienda de Reyes, Fiesta Cocina, Hot Licks, El Agave Tequileria, Urban Seed, Bazaar del Mundo, Amore Cheesecakes, Acapulco Restaurant and Royal Palm Nursery.

Participating restaurants in the Fiesta of Flavors event include Barra Barra Saloon, Old Town Mexican Café, Café Coyote, El Agave Tequileria, Rockin’ Baja, Casa Guadalajara, Acapulco Restaurant, Cold Stone in Old Town, Crazee Burger, Viva El Café, Zocalo, El Fandango, Pizza Bella and 25 Forty Bistro & Bakehouse.

The Spirits of Mexico Main Event, including dinner, seminars, guest talks, tastes and demonstrations from more than 100 agave distillers from throughout Mexico, will be held at The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant on Saturday evening, Sept. 18, starting at 6 p.m. The main event will wrap up the official Spirits of Mexico Festival Day in San Diego.

Tickets to the Fiesta of Flavors event are $25 per person. Tickets to Fiesta of Flavors plus general admission to the Spirits of Mexico Main Event are $65.  VIP early entrance to the main event plus Fiesta of Flavors is $85 per person. To purchase tickets, visit the Old Town Visitor Center at 2415 San Diego Ave., suite 107, or visit www.OldTownSanDiegoguide.com.  The public can call 619-291-4903 for more information.

Book Signing this Friday: The Deer Dancer by Gary Winters from 3-5 p.m. at Old Town Gift Co.

–Free Admission and Live Entertainment–

On Sunday, Sept. 5, Fiesta de Reyes’ Hot Licks store will present “The Fiery Food Festival” in the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature hot sauce tastings, live music, and raffle prizes.

Guests who come to the festival will get to meet the makers of the sauces that tantalize your taste buds. Representatives and chefs from hot sauce and barbecue sauce companies will be sampling, selling products and dishes made with their own special sauces. Participants include the makers of Ring of Fire Hot Sauce, Baboon’s Ass Hot Sauce and Voodoo Queen Hot Sauce.

There will also be an amateur salsa and barbecue competition where individuals can enter their own recipes. One the past winners of the amateur contest, Ron Levi, will be at this year’s festival sampling his new line of sauces. Guests of the festival can text “hotlicks” to 53137 to get more information about the event.

With locations in Seaport Village, Old Town San Diego, and Shoreline Village in Long Beach, Hot Licks is one of San Diego’s favorite hot sauce shops. It specializes in spicy foods of all kinds, including some of the hottest sauces and marinades.  For more information about Hot Licks, visit: www.2hotlicks.com.

Fiesta de Reyes is located at Juan and Calhoun streets, a one-block stroll from the Old Town Trolley Station. In addition to Hot Licks, Fiesta de Reyes boasts the Barra Barra Saloon, Casa de Reyes, Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant and 16 other specialty stores.  For more information call (619) 297-3100 or visit www.FiestaDeReyes.com

YES ON PROP 21

August 17, 2010

Voting YES on Prop 21 will infuse a great amount of capital into the state park system, save the state millions of dollars that are currently being spent from the general fund and eliminate day use fees at state parks. It’s a win-win for many reasons. Check out the YES for State Parks site to see how you can get involved: http://www.yes…forstateparks.com/

–All-Day, Free Event Features Speakers, Performances, and more —

Charles Harrington Elster, local author and one of the original hosts of the popular radio show “A Way With Words,” will be participating in TwainFest at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on August 21.

Elster will be performing at 4 p.m. in the Seeley Stables Theatre in the state park. He will be giving a 24-minute talk entitled “My Mark Twain.”

“My speech touches on Twain’s legendary wit and wisdom, and about how he is portrayed in my novel “Test of Time,” stated Elster. “ On the 100th anniversary of his death, Mark Twain’s words live on through his literature and events such as TwainFest.”

TwainFest is an all-day festival celebrating not only Mark Twain but other popular writers of the 19th century.  Presented by Write Out Loud, Fiesta de Reyes and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the free event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“In addition to his appearance at Seeley Stables, Charles will also introduce “Twain Told Tales,” Write Out Loud’s new season opener at the Old Town Theatre at 12:30 p.m.,” said Write Out Loud Executive Director Walter Ritter. “His introductory remarks will include little known information about Twain that Twain lovers will find extremely interesting.”

Other activities of TwainFest include: literary games such as “Fish for Words, Chortle This and Telegraph Crunch,” sack races, marbles, ring toss and other children’s games of the period.  A spelling bee will run throughout the day, as well as a communitywide “Never Ending Story” to which anyone who wishes may contribute.  Other activities include a puppet show and abbreviated Shakespeare.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is at San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street in San Diego and is conveniently located next to the Old Town Transit Center, with Coaster, Trolley, and MTS bus service.  For more information about TwainFest visit www.writeoutloudsd.com or call 619-297-8953.

Congrats to the Spirit of Mexico Festival because the city of San Diego has issued an Official Proclamation, naming Saturday, September 18, SPIRITS OF MEXICO DAY in San Diego! The proclamation is signed by 6 Councilmembers, Council President Pro Tem, the Council President and Mayor Jerry Sanders!