CALABASAS : Festival Will Add 5 Extra Parking Lots
Organizers of Calabasas Days, a popular two-day fall festival put on annually by the city, are determined that this year they will not allow the event to become a victim of its own success.
Last year fair-goers trying to enter parking lots were turned away midway through the second day because the event attracted so many people that it was impossible to find parking.
“We had about 20,000 people out there, and we had people waiting about 45 minutes from when they got off the freeway until they got to the site,” said Ray Upton, owner of Wipeout Productions, a Calabasas firm that is overseeing preparations for the Oct. 22-23 event.
So this year the city is adding five extra parking lots around Kanan Road and the Ventura Freeway, for a total of about 3,000 spaces in all, Upton said. Fourteen shuttle buses will carry fair-goers from the parking lots directly to the front ticket booth at the site, at the Paramount Ranch on Cornell Road.
Also to help ease congestion, organizers say they have added about 80,000 square feet to provide extra space for crafts booths.
The theme of this year’s festival is the same as in previous years, “Old West With a New Spirit,” said Jeff Blum, a banker who is chairman of the Calabasas Days steering committee.
“We have de-emphasized the machismo with a gun and emphasized the friendliness of the West,” he said. “In today’s society, there is so much violence. We want to show people we can co-exist without violence, basically.”
The festival used to be held in Calabasas near the Sagebrush Cantina about 20 years ago, but grew too big for the site and was moved to Northridge, Upton said. About four years ago, Blum got the idea to bring it back, and he and others decided to put it where it’s held now, on federal parkland.
There is an old Western village at the site that was once a set for the filming of Westerns, Upton said.
This year’s festival will include entertainment, such as country singer Cliffie Stone, Chet McCracken, formerly with the Doobie Brothers, and the Electric Cowboy Band.
There will also be children’s music, including the Bumblebeez, the Happy Crowd and Laurie Richards, a performer who likes to involve her audiences in her act. There will be stages for amateur entertainers and other attractions, including a pumpkin cook-off.
As part of the festivities, the Calabasas Halloween Parade will be held on the 29th on Calabasas Road.
For questions about the festival, call (818) 225-2227.