An annual Oxnard festival that celebrates Mexican freedom moves to a new location this year and will charge admission for the first time.
Organizers have moved the 16-year-old Las Fiestas Patrias, which will be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, from Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard to College Park in south Oxnard. The move will accommodate more entertainment, food booths and eating areas, said Robert Sanchez, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Ventura County.
“We just sort of outgrew Plaza Park,” Sanchez said. “The move is something the chamber’s board has been contemplating for more than a year.”
College Park is at least twice the size of Plaza Park, he said.
Admission to the festival, which celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain, will be $2 for adults and $1 for senior citizens and the handicapped. Children under 12 are free if accompanied by an adult.
Admission is being charged to help offset the costs of security, toilets, cleanup and other services needed to put on the festival, Sanchez said.
The festival will feature live entertainment on two stages, including mariachi groups from Mexico and Nuestro, a Latin salsa band. Other entertainment will include the Ballet Folklorico Tepeyac of Santa Paula.
The children’s entertainment corner will be enlarged at the new location, Sanchez said.
Two South Coast Area Transit bus lines originating at the Oxnard Transportation Center in downtown Oxnard serve the College Park area, he said.