VENTURA : Warm Weather Draws Hundreds to Beaches on Christmas Day

Warm and sunny Christmas Day weather drew hundreds to Ventura beaches to try out new Christmas toys, play in the sun and walk off heavy holiday meals.

Temperatures on Friday were in the mid-60s to mid-70s throughout the county, bolstered by Santa Ana conditions that created a warm, dry breeze from the east.

Chris Zumba of San Jose and his brother Rick, a Ventura resident, took a late afternoon stroll down the promenade in Ventura after dinner as the sun set behind the Channel Islands.

"It's a relaxing and soothing place to be, especially when we're having August weather in December," Chris Zumba said.

Bonnie Roye and her friend Jessica Gibbons, 17-year-old Moorpark residents, came to have dinner with relatives at one of the nearby beachfront condominiums.

"We came down here to walk off our Christmas dinner," Bonnie said.

The girls stood at the side of the rail, watching children poke at marine life as low tide exposed the rocky shore. Behind them, children and adults rode past on shiny new bikes or tenuously tried out new roller-blades.

One boy, 4-year-old Keegan Lynn of Ventura, navigated a new, remote control race car across the promenade, occasionally crashing into the concrete wall, a passerby or his 2-year-old brother, Dylan, as his uncle John Harte of Colorado Springs, Colo., supervised.

The group had come out on the promenade while they waited for Christmas dinner at the beachfront home of their parents.

"I lived nearby for 27 years and my parents waited until I moved out of state to move to the beach," Harte said.

Weather countywide was expected to continue warm and mild through the weekend, cooling slightly today. By Tuesday, weather is expected to cool into the high 60s, with a slight chance of rain, said Terry Schaeffer, National Weather Service meteorologist in Santa Paula.

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