Saturday, November 28, 2015 • 07:23

OG Fest promises a party to remember

October 09, 2013
When James Staake was a student at Orange Glen High School in the early nineties, there was one place everyone could count on for a good time.

"The best parties were always in Valley Center, thrown by the Valley Center kids," said Staake. Before Valley Center High School opened in 1998, most Valley Center residents went to Escondido for high school, including Staake, who graduated in 1993. "When my era of alumni see a party in Valley Center, they know it's going to be good," he said.

In honor of the great community Orange Glen and the other Escondido high schools have fostered over the years, Staake and fellow Orange Glen alumni Jessie Boyens Dooley are organizing OG Fest at Adams Park this Saturday, Oct. 12 from noon to 10 p.m.

Open to Orange Glen alumni of all years, as well as alumni of the other Escondido high schools or anyone with a connection to OGHS, the all-day party will feature music, food, refreshments, and entertainment for all ages.

"Valley Center and Escondido used to be one community. It was actually the high school that made it one community," said Staake. "We need some kind of event to pull that community back together again."

Staake and Dooley first got the idea for OG Fest after celebrating their 20-year reunion at Harrah's Rincon Hotel and Casino a few years ago. After a great time seeing their old classmates, they knew they had to put together a big event to keep the community alive.

Six bands will be donating their time to play music at the event, including Thomas Brotherz, Generator, Nude BBQ, (760), Lost Souls, and Better Daze. The bands are all bringing their own equipment and some are traveling more than 100 miles just to perform at the event.

"The amount of support we're getting to pull this off is unbelievable," said Staake. Two former NFL quarterbacks who went to Orange Glen, Cree Morris and Sean Salisbury, will be hosting a passing workshop at the festival for the youth. There will also be a bounce-house for kids, a horseshoe tournament, a basketball shooting game, and a jousting arena.

Aside from a great chance to have fun and see old friends, OG Fest is also a party for a cause. Vu Dang, a former Orange Glen student and owner of Dang Good Yoga in Escondido, was recently diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. Although OG Fest is not officially a fundraiser, proceeds from the raffle, t-shirt sales, and other commercial efforts will go toward Dang's treatment.

"There's no reason why, when you get together with all those great people and energy, that you can't do something good with that," said Staake.

Tribal members from San Pasqual will be making authentic Native American food, and the Eagle's Nest Restaurant will be selling pizza. There are also t-shirts and mugs for sale at the event, and free keg beer for anyone who purchases a mug.

The festival ends at 10 p.m., but the party doesn't end there. There will be an after party at Harrah's Rincon from 11-2 a.m., followed by a "Zombie Breakfast" from 2-4 a.m. Everything will wrap up exactly where the idea for OG Fest began — at the side of the Harrah's Rincon pool on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Whether you graduated from Orange Glen or just have some friends who went there, OG Fest is already shaping up to be a great weekend.

"I have literally pulled every single contact out of my rolodex and figured out how to get them involved," said Staake. His goal is to build a strong network of friends, business associates, and families that revolve around their Orange Glen heritage. Staake already has a second OG Fest planned for next summer, this time in honor of the Wounded Warrior Project. He hopes to make this an annual, or possibly even semiannual, event.

Tickets cost $10 for children ages four to 12, $15 for teens 13-17, and $30 for anyone 18 and over. Children three years of age or younger get in for free. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or online at

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