Festival Wants to Be Rained On

Reckoning that it's high time for a wet, winter drench for a parched Southland, Friends of the Ojai Library and Chief Peak Productions will hold a Rain Festival this weekend in hopes of prodding some significant moisture from Mother Nature.

To do this, they have conceived a four-pronged scheme "trying to concentrate the town's energy on rain," said Rain (no kidding) Perry, Ojai musician and festival performer. "The whole point is to try to make it rain this winter," she said.

First, a concert will take place 8 p.m. Friday at the Ojai Arts Center, 113 S. Montgomery St., Ojai. Perry and four friends will perform folk and bluegrass tunes, with rain a resounding theme. A dance will follow at 9 p.m. and Ventura blues band Mojo Hand will play for participants wanting to cut the rug. Admission is $6 for the concert and dance.

Saturday, the Ojai Library, 111 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, will host "A Torrent of Tales" at 10:30 a.m. True Heitz will share multicultural stories for kids, celebrating the different ways people around the world attempt to bring rain. Guitarist Linnea Richards will then perform rainy day sing-a-longs.

Starting 7:30 p.m. at the library, "Hell and Highwater"--a slide presentation by the late Ventura County historian Charles Outland--will focus on historic Ventura County floods. Tony Neuron will narrate.

Both Saturday programs are free. For more information, call 646-0117.

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