Celebrating Music

The Ventura Music Celebration, something for everyone.

This weekend, downtown Ventura and its various clubs, restaurants and parks will pulsate with a plethora of musical beats, including jazz, rock, Latin, classical, reggae, country and western, blues and more.

The event will kick off at noon Friday with jazz at the Santa Clara Stage (California and Chestnut streets).

And when the sun sets Friday, this year’s installment of “Dancin’ in the Street” (at California and Main streets) will heat up with local rock act Sinister Fisch and jazz--R&B; group Raw Silk from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. The same night, The Harvest Moon Family Country Dance and Barbecue will be held at San Buenaventura Mission from 6 to 10 p.m.


Here are a few highlights of the festival:


* Mission Park (Main Street near Palm Street)

4 p.m.--Estrada Brothers (salsa)


* Plaza Park (Thompson Boulevard and Chestnut Street)

10:30 a.m.--Durango 95 (rock)

1 p.m.--Rock Steady Posse (reggae)

3 p.m.--John Delafose and the Eunice Playboys (zydeco, also 8 p.m. Monday at Alexander’s)

5 p.m.--Joanna Connor Band (blues)

* San Buenaventura Mission (211 E. Main St.)

7:30 p.m.--Cabrillo Classical Players (all Mozart program with period instruments)

* City Hall (501 Poli St.)


3 p.m.--Sofia Cosma (classical pianist)

* Main Street Stage (between Palm and Oak streets)

4 p.m.--Monrovia Old Style Dixieland Jazz Band


* Mission Park

1 p.m.--Chet McCracken (jazz)

3:30 p.m.--Airto’s Fourth World featuring Flora Purim (Brazilian)

* Plaza Park


3:30 p.m.--Greg Harris Band (bluegrass)

5:30 p.m.--Chris Gaffney and the Cold Hard Facts (country and western)

* San Buenaventura Mission

6 p.m.--Ventura County Master Chorale performs “Music of America and Beyond”

Don’t forget the kids. The Livery, 34 N. Palm St., will feature free children’s entertainment Saturday and Sunday, including Madrigal Revelers from the Ojai Shakespeare Festival, Story Theater with Brass Ring Productions, Suzuki Children violinists, Irish dancing and more.

All programs in the parks are free; admission for other venues varies. For a complete lineup of entertainment and venues, call 654-7850.

Simi Valley Festival

Throngs are flocking to take part in the Seventh Annual Simi Valley Days, which opened last Friday with celebrants enjoying motor-sport events, a chili cook-off, a barn dance and more.

“We’re doing great,” event chairman Dick McCoy said. “This is one of our best turnouts so far.”

The festival will continue through Sept. 29 with plenty of entertainment and activities.

Highlights include a parade, carnival, rodeo and equestrian show.

The carnival grounds are at Madera Road and Los Angeles Avenue.

Organizers anticipate up to 60,000 visitors over the 17-day festival.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the community together and to give something back to them,” McCoy said.

Proceeds will benefit area charities.

For more information, call 581-4280.