Lakeside is a Census Designated Place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. The population was 20,648 at the 2010 census, up from 19,560 as of the 2000 census.
Lakeside began when the land that it is on, near Lindo Lake, was purchased by the El Cajon Valley Land Company in 1886. It started as a resort town, based around the once renowned automobile race course at Lindo Lake that Barney Oldfield made famous in 1907. It was once home to the historic Lakeside Hotel, a destination for health and relaxation reached by a long day's buggy ride or by train.
It has long been known as a "cowboy town" and "rodeo town",due to the rural setting, the large percentage of ranches and the abundant horse ownership in the area. It is home to an 8-acre (32,000 m2) permanent rodeo facility known as Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. The rodeo grounds is manned by a totally volunteer group and has been for over 47 years, with the intention to support the youth of Lakeside. The proceeds from any facility rentals are donated to local youth through sports, service and education grants. The premier rodeo of the Southern California season is the PRCA sanctioned Lakeside Rodeo, usually the last weekend in April, which draws over 20,000 observers to the arena. The Lakeside Optimists annually host the Bulls Only Rodeo (July) at the facility. Many social and service groups are very active in Lakeside including VFW, Elks, Optimist, Soroptimist, 4H, FFA, Boys and Girls Club, Boys Scouts, Girls Scouts, Peacebuilders, PLAY, United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, youth soccer, baseball and football teams, BMX and the Lakeside Historical Society, which tries to keep the Americana feel to the Main Street. A major focus of the community has been the establishment of a River Park along the meandering bed of the San Diego River, where equestrians and walkers alike can enjoy pristine, safe paths and native animals can reside.