–Spirits of Mexico Festival Crowns People Choice’s Award on Barra Barra–

Barra Barra Saloon, located in Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town, won the title of People’s Choice at the Sangrita Cocktail Challenge during the 2010 Spirits of Mexico Festival held last week. The winner was decided by a vote of the attendees at the festival.

“We are thrilled to feature the winning cocktail at Barra Barra,” said owner Chuck Ross. “Barra Barra has always taken great pride in our tequila selection and our handmade drinks so to win this award was very exciting.”

It was also announced at the Spirits of Mexico Festival that Barra Barra will be the first restaurant in the United States to serve KAH Day of the Dead Tequila, winner of Best Extra Anejo and Best of Category at the festival.

The winning sangrita recipe was for the Jalantro Sangrita cocktail mixed by German Ochoa of Casa de Reyes. The recipe contains 3/4 ounces of agave syrup, three ounces of pineapple juice, 20 cilantro leaves, two jalapeno slices and two ounces of Herradura Blanco tequila. These ingredients are shaken and served on ice. The drink is available now at Barra Barra Saloon.

Also awarded as grand champion of the Sangrita Cocktail Challenge was “Sangre de Migrante” with Fidencio Mezcal, rendered by mixologist Shane Tison of The Randolph at Broome in New York City.

Barra Barra, home of the “Best Margarita in San Diego For Only Five Bucks,” is located in the northeast corner of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park at the corner of Wallace and Calhoun streets.  The eclectic menu features traditional Mexican comfort food with a variety of appetizers, tortas, Indian flat bread tacos, enchiladas and tamales. The restaurant provides outdoor and indoor seating, showcases historically inspired and one-of-a-kind Mexican artifacts and furnishings.  Banquet space is available.

Barra is a one-block stroll from the Old Town Trolley Station and free parking is available on evenings and weekends at the CalTrans headquarters at Juan and Taylor streets. In addition to the Barra Barra Saloon and its sister restaurant, Casa de Reyes, Fiesta de Reyes boasts 16 specialty stores open daily from 10 a.m to 9 p.m. For more information call (619) 297-3100 or visit www.FiestaDeReyes.com

Book Signing Friday!

September 22, 2010

Book Signing with Jack Innis this Friday at Old Town Gift Co. from 3 to 5 p.m. He will be signing his book San Diego Legends. See flier below.

–Get Your Scare in Old Town This October–

Get a good fun fright and a bit of history with the lineup of spooky events this Halloween season at one of the most haunted areas on San Diego, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and Fiesta de Reyes.


Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will be hosting “Séance at the Seeley Stable. Is Anybody There?”. During this performance, audience members will hear scary, funny, and tragic stories of people who once lived in early San Diego during the 1800s. Patrons will be present at a “séance” led by Madam Stolichnaya as she attempts to summon “real live” ghosts who will tell their stories in a fun and spooky way. Performances take place October 15,16,22,23,29,30, and 31 at 6 and 7:30 p.m.   Adults are $10 per ticket and children 12 to 18: $5.00. For reservations visist:www.brownpapertickets/event/12812 or for more information:619-220-5422.


Michael Brown leads San Diego’s only real ghost tours. During his walking tours, guests will get to visit various paranormally active places in Old Town State Park such as the Whaley House, a park that used to be cemetery, and a haunted brothel located on the Whaley House property. He shares tips, tricks and techniques to find ghosts and other paranormal happenings in Old Town State Park. His tours are every Thursday through Sunday in October. Walking tours begin at 9 p.m. in front of the Fiesta de Reyes fountain.  Adults are $19 and children 6-12 are $10. Kids 5 and under free. For more info visit: http://www.oldtownsmosthaunted.com/.


Write Out Loud will present “Quoth the Raven” in the Old Town Theatre on Saturday afternoon, October 16 at 12:30 p.m. and on Monday evening, October 18, at 7 p.m. Quoth the Raven will feature stories and poems of mystery, fantasy and delusion brought chillingly to life by professional actors. Authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, Lafcadio Hearn, H.P. Lovecraft and Jerome K. Jerome. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students, seniors and active military. For more info, please visit:    http://writeoutloudsd.com/.

OLD TOWN THEATRE: War of the Worlds

Presented by Cygnet Theater Company, War of the Worlds is a staged radio play that re-enacts the day of Oct. 30, 1938, when millions of radio listeners were shocked when news alerts announced the arrival of Martians forging a ferocious and seemingly unstoppable attack on Earth. The War of the Worlds performance is on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Old Town Theatre. Tickets are $10 for all ages. For more information visit, http://www.cygnettheatre.com or call (619) 337-1525.

Costume Ball at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant

The newly opened Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant is hosting the Old Town’s scariest party of the year. Complete with costume contests, flowing food and live music, this will be the place to be for Halloween eve night. Happening Saturday, Oct. 30 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., tickets are $25 per person. For more information, please visit http://oldtowncosmopolitan.com/ or call (619) 297-1874.


Everyone is invited to get in the ghoulish mood with a free spooky movie night under the stars.  Bring lawn chairs, blankets and your bravest face and enjoy a family-rated spooky movie under the stars. The movie night will be held Friday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. in the Fiesta de Reyes courtyard. Before the movie on Saturday, there will be a children’s costume contest featuring prizes from merchants in the park for the various categories of costumes. Admission is free.


Trick-or-treaters are invited to come out Saturday , Oct. 30, and Sunday Oct. 31. from 4 p.m. to 6:30 to collect goodies from participating shops and museums throughout the park. Admission for this is free.


The haunting will continue with a live storytelling of Old Town’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28 and at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31.

Fiesta de Reyes, Old Town San Diego State Park, Write Out Loud, Cygnet Theater and the Old Town Merchants Association sponsor the preceding events. There is free parking available in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street in Old Town after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. For more information about any of these events, visit Fiestadereyes.com or call 619-297-3100.

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Halloween Performances Return to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park “Séance at the Seeley Stable. Is Anybody There?”

Would you like to meet “real” ghosts and learn their stories?  Come to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to hear scary, funny, and tragic stories of people who once lived in early San Diego during the 1800s. Meet the spirit of Hippolyte Bouchard, but don’t call him a pirate or he will react! Is Joaquin Murietta still looking for his head? Is that ghostly stagecoach driver Charley or Charlotte? These are the comic and tragic stories of people who lived in California long ago. You will be present at a “séance” led by Madam Stolichnaya as she attempts to summon “real live” ghosts who will tell their stories in a fun and spooky way.

Tickets are $10 each for adults and $5.00 for children 12 to 18. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the Robinson-Rose Visitor Information Center and the Seeley Stable. Advance reservations may be made through the Internet at www.brownpapertickets/event/128125. Tickets purchased through Brown Paper Tickets will receive a discount.

Ticket holders will be entitled to a onetime 20% discount on food at the newly restored historic Cosmopolitan Restaurant.

Performances are limited to 35 people.  Two performances will be offered on the nights of October 15,16,22,23,29,30,and 31.  The first performance begins at 6:30 PM and the second performance begins at 7:30 PM.  It is strongly recommended that you be at the Seeley Stable approximately 15 minutes before the start of the performance.  Children under age 12 will not be admitted.


Performance Name: “Séance at the Seeley Stable. Is Anybody There?”

Event Dates:October 15,16,22,23,29,30, and 31.

Event Times: Performances at 6:30 and 7:30 PM.  Please be at the Seeley Stable at least 15 minutes before the performance begins. No one will be admitted after the performance has begun.

Maximum: 35 people per performance

Cost: Adults: $10 per ticket; Children 12 to 18: $5.00.

Performance Length: 1 hour.

Tickets: Seeley Stable at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.  Tickets are only available on the day of the performance on a first-come-first-served basis.  Advance reservations are only available through Brown Paper Tickets.




–Fiesta Patrias 200th Anniversary Celebration—

Enjoy a former time when Old Town San Diego celebrated Mexican Independence Day with lively dancing, music, food and drink on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. The festival commemorates the beginning of Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1810, which is one of the most important days in Mexico’s history.

Guests of the festival will be able to join local dignitaries including host Governor José María de Echeandía inside the beautiful Casa de Estudillo as they enjoy the play, Bells of Dona Josepha. Portrayed by actor Victor Contreras, Governor Echeandía was twice governor of Alta California from 1825 to 1831 and from 1832 to 1833. The romantic play is about Josepha Carillo and Henry Fitch. Hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

The festival will feature many free activities for visitors of all ages such as contests, relay races, paper-flower making, piñatas and cornhusk-doll making.

Everyone can dance to early California music in the historic Casa de Estudillo museum afterward. Tickets can be purchased at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park visitor center, information booth in the plaza between noon and 4 p.m. or at the door. Adults are $10.00; kids $5.00 (ages 5-12); under 5 is free.

For more information, call Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Visitor Information Center at 619-220-5422 or visit www.parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego.

At this year’s Fiery Food Festival in Old Town, guests will have the opportunity to win a year’s supply of hot sauce, which will include 24 bottles of the Hot Licks brand” most popular sauce. Three lucky winners will be chosen at the end of the Fiery Food Festival.

“We are holding our contest in an interesting way this year,” said Hot Licks owner, Craig Learner. “Participants can text keyword “Hotlicks” to 53137 to be entered into the contest so that anyone, even if they are unable to stay for the drawing or come to the festival, will be able to have a chance to win.”

Winners will be announced via their cell phone.

The Fiery Food Festival features hot sauce tastings, live music and raffle prizes. The event will take place Sunday in Old Town Historic State Park and will last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Hot Licks store has several locations in Seaport Village, Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town and Shoreline Village in Long Beach. Currently holding the title of San Diego’s favorite hot sauce store, Hot Licks carries a huge selection of fiery sauces. For more information about Hot Licks, visit www.2hotlicks.com.