|Cajon Speedway – For forty-four exciting years the Cajon Speedway was “the finish line” for auto racing enthusiasts and drivers throughout San Diego County. A veritable “Who’s Who” of drivers have been successful at the Speedway and many went on to have professional careers. Owners of the Speedway, the Brucker family, always made Saturday nights a rockin’ time in El Cajon. Good times were had by all and no one said it better than long time stock car racer, Ed Hale who always proclaimed, “We had fun!” Visit www.boomspeed.com/memlane/cajon for more Cajon Speedway history.|
| NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson – The oldest of three (Jarit and Jessie), Johnson was born on Sept. 17, 1975, in El Cajon. Johnson’s mother, Cathy, drove a school bus and his father, Gary, operated heavy machinery. Johnson began racing motorcycles at age five and won his first championship at the age of eight. He attended Granite Hills High School where his number 48 has been retired from all sports. In 2010, Johnson became the first driver in NASCAR history to win five consecutive Sprint Cup championships. Between 2002 and 2012, Johnson recorded 60 career Sprint Cup wins, which ranks 8th on the all-time wins list. In 2009, Johnson became the first race car driver to be honored as Male Athlete of the Year (U.S.) by the Associated Press. He has been named Driver of the Year four times, most recently in 2010.
The Jimmie Johnson Foundation, launched in 2006, focuses on K-12 public education and assists children, families and communities. To date, more than $5.6 million has been contributed to various organizations. In honor of his many contributions, both professionally and philanthropically, El Cajon’s City Council proclaimed Oct. 6, 2009, as Jimmie Johnson Day in the City of El Cajon.Visit www.jimmiejohnson.com for more information about Jimmie Johnson and his foundation.
|Bounty of the Valley – Originally settled by the Spaniards, the El Cajon valley boasted over 7,500 acres of fertile land open to settlement after the Civil War. By 1893, El Cajon growers won top prizes at the Chicago World Fair for wine and raisins and were additionally recognized at various county fairs for outstanding grains, citrus fruits, eggs and produce. In the early 1900’s, the Orange Day Parade in El Cajon celebrated our valley’s bounty. Visit www.elcajonhistory.org for more historical facts about El Cajon.|
|Olaf Wieghorst – Olaf Wieghorst is best known for his western inspired artwork with paintings hung in the White House by Presidents Eisenhower, Ford and Reagan. Olaf retired to a career of painting and sculpting his American West memories after careers in both the U.S. Cavalry and the New York City mounted police. His best-known works were created right here in El Cajon where he built his home upon retiring. His original home and now museum are located in the heart of downtown El Cajon’s Rea Arts District. Please visit www.wieghorstmuseum.org|
|Drive-In Culture – Known as “Cruiser Central” in San Diego County, Second Street in El Cajon was the “place to be seen” on any weekend night back in the ‘50’s, 60’s and ‘70’s; Ford’s, Dodges, Buicks and even an occasional Mercury were taken out for a drive. Custom car paint jobs, dangle dice, custom knobs, and of course, drive in waitresses on roller skates have all been a part of El Cajon’s drive-in culture. Today, East County car lovers can enjoy the Cajon Classic Car Show every Wednesday night from spring through fall on Main Street. Visit www.cityofelcajon.us under What’s Happening for the Cajon Classic Cruise schedule.|
|Gillespie Field – The oldest and largest of eight County airports, Gillespie Field, opened in 1942 for the purpose of training World War II Marine Corps paratroopers. By 1946, the County of San Diego leased the field and converted it to a public airport. Today, the airport serves as an active general aviation facility and the long-standing home of the annual “Wings Over Gillespie” summer festival. Visit www.gillespiefield.com for more information.|
|Family Fun Time – Family fun is as important to the people in El Cajon as it is across America. From traveling carnivals to local attractions, city pools and plentiful neighborhood parks, recreation centers and open space, families flock to El Cajon to live, work and play. The annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Kennedy Park is a summer standard for kids of all ages! For more information about community events and recreation opportunities for the family, please go to www.cityofelcajon.us.|
|Music and the Arts – El Cajon boasts famous and aspiring musicians, actors and artists cultivated by the support of local schools, colleges and non-profit organizations. A downtown art district provides additional cultural experience with museums, art galleries and studios accessible for the community to enjoy. Free Friday night “Concerts on the Promenade” have also become a downtown favorite! Did you know that El Cajon is also home to the world famous Taylor Guitars? Visit our City website at www.cityofelcajon.us to learn about events and activities in The Valley of Opportunity.|
|Mother Goose Parade – One of the largest annual public parades in California, the Mother Goose Parade, was originated in 1947 by a group of El Cajon businessmen as their gift to “the children of East County.” Upwards of 400,000 spectators are attracted to Main Street each year to view the parade as the unofficial kick off of the region’s holiday season. Visit www.mothergooseparade.org for more information.|
|San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway – The Cuyamaca and Eastern Railway installed tracks through El Cajon past Lakeside and on to Foster in 1889. The El Cajon Depot served both mountain-bound miners and passengers and was the last stage stop before westbound travelers reached San Diego and the coast. Today’s trolley tracks follow much of the same route originally established over 100 years ago. Visit www.sdrm.org for more information about railway history.|