Escondido is a city occupying a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills, just north of the city of San Diego, California. Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. The city had a population of 143,911 at the 2010 census. Its municipal government set itself an operating budget limit of $426,289,048 for the fiscal year 2010-2011. The city is known as Eskondiid in Diegueño. A 2005 nationwide study of the most conservative cities in America ranked Escondido #11 out of 25.
Downtown has become more active in the past few years with the opening of restaurants, cafes, and galleries. Every Friday night from April through September, Steve Waldron and a handful of friends host the popular "Cruisin' Grand", where the public can show and view hot rods and historic cars. A different car club and/or featured attraction (for example, antique fire trucks, nitro night, midget and sprint cars) is highlighted each week. Cruisin' Grand also features a DJ, hula hoop contests for children, and the awarding of trophies.