Ranch set for annual celebration; Pancake breakfast, trail rides among events

Rancho Santa Fe’s historic roots will again be celebrated with Rancho Days, starting next Friday. This year’s eight-day celebration will welcome back two popular events and feature one new one.

The Rancho Santa Fe Association, Community Center and Foundation worked together to plan this year’s lineup, which includes Mexican wedding cake cookies on the Country Friends patio, trail rides, the fall festival barbecue, tours of the historic Osuna Adobe and the annual Fandango chili cook-off.

“It’s going to be a fun and very full week of activities,” said Pamela Meistrell, community center director. “All of the organizations in historic Rancho Santa Fe are very excited about this year’s Rancho Days.”

Back by popular demand is the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District’s pancake breakfast on Oct. 11. Firefighters will flip pancakes from 7 to 11 a.m. as long as there are no emergencies.

“It’s just a great family event,” Meistrell said.

Another popular event that was missed last year and returning this year is the association’s MexFest lunch. The association will serve up tacos and other Mexican-style favorites on Oct. 14.

The new event this year is the film under the stars, presented outdoors in front of the Rancho Santa Fe Library on Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. A big screen will capture the Cary Grant and Myrna Loy film “Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House.”

The Garden Club’s inventive Petals and Prose display will be going on just before from 5 to 7 p.m. so attendees can wander across the street from viewing the flowers to settle in for a old-fashioned movie.

Chili connoisseurs will enjoy the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society’s Fandango and Chili Cook-off, which takes over village streets from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 16. Traffic will be prohibited through Via de Santa Fe between La Flecha and Paseo Delicias as the Fandango hits the street. The band Prairie Fire, featuring Mark Windrum, will entertain the crowd and dancing in the streets is encouraged.

Chef Rex Havick, author of the cookbook, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Recipes” will serve as master of ceremonies and oversee the Chili Cook-off.

Anyone who lives or works in Rancho Santa Fe is invited to participate in the Chili Cook-off. Chilis may be red, green, or vegetarian. The winner will be announced at 7:30 p.m.

Chili cooks will be expected to bring at least two quarts of chili and will be required to bring their own slow cooker or heating device to keep the chili at a consistent temperature.

For an application and a set of rules and regulations, contact Chef Havick at All applications must be turned in by Oct. 12.

In addition to the Chili Cook-off, Mexican food will once again be offered for $10 per adult and $5 for children under 12.

Rancho Days Calendar of Events


  • Merchants’ TGIF Open House 3-5 p.m.

(In the Historic RSF Village) FREE

  • Riding Demonstration & BBQ 4-7 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Riding Club

  • Trail Ride & Lunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Trails Committee FREE

  • Hoe Down Dance 6-10:30 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Golf Club, RSF Association

  • Kids’ Night Out 6-9:30 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Community Center

  • Pancake Breakfast 7-11 a.m.

Sponsor: RSF Fire Department

  • Chuck Wagon Meal & Cowboy Poetry/Music 5-7 p.m.

Sponsor: Village Church

  • Petals & Prose Flower Exhibition & Reception 5-7 p.m.

Sponsors: RSF Garden Club, RSF Library Guild FREE

  • Film Under the Stars 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Sponsors: San Diego County Library FREE

  • Open House & Refreshments at the Art Guild 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Art Guild, Union Bank FREE

  • MexFest Lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Association Board of Directors FREE

  • Dessert, Refreshments & Art (on the CF patio) 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Sponsor: Country Friends FREE

  • Fall Festival Family BBQ 4 -7:30 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Rotary

  • Strings in the Garden 1-2:30 p.m.

Sponsor: Senior Center FREE

  • Fandango Fiesta & Chili Cook-Off 5-8 p.m.

Sponsor: Historical Society

  • Tennis Mixer & BBQ 1-4 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Tennis Club FREE

  • Osuna Open House 2-4 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Association Osuna Committee FREE

  • Neighbor Night 5:30-8 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Community Center FREE

  • Kids’ Night Out 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Sponsor: RSF Community Center