MUSIC TO BOOT : Toe-Tapping Is Just Part of the Fun at Two Outdoor Festivals

<i> Zan Dubin covers the arts for the Times Orange County Edition</i>

Big stars, home-grown talent and a bovine with an attitude are among the entertainers lined up for two outdoor country music festivals coming to South County this weekend.

Carlene Carter and Juice Newton will headline Saturday’s eighth-annual CotoFest, with live music and dancing from 2 p.m. to midnight at Coto de Caza Equestrian Center in Coto de Caza.

Meanwhile, Chris Gaffney, a regular at Yorba Linda’s Canyon Inn, will join nationally known singers Doug Stone and Lari White and some two dozen other musical acts for the California CountryFest & Rodeo, Friday through Sunday at San Juan Capistrano’s Buchheim Field.

The latter event will also include open-air dancing and a nightly rodeo featuring Utah’s Ricky the Bull, who has bucked all but four cowboys in his last 1,000 rides.


“He’s one of the toughest bulls in the world,” says CountryFest promoter Eric Jensen, “like no bull the rodeos in Orange County ever get.”

The local Bounty Hunter Band will kick off and conclude CotoFest with music for two-stepping and other honky-tonk dances throughout the day. Carter and Newton are part of an all-female concert, dubbed “Women of the Wild West,” which begins at 6 p.m.

A crowd of roughly 5,000 is expected, and all proceeds from CotoFest, organized by the Rotary Club of Coto de Caza-Trabuco Canyon, will benefit such charities as Women’s Shelters of Orange County. For eats, the Rotary’s sister club in Mexico, Ciudad de Obregon Rotary Club, will prepare and sell “killer tacos.”

Ten area restaurants, including Costa Mesa’s popular Taco Mesa, will sell munchies at the second annual CountryFest, and 50 vendors will hawk Southwestern-style merchandise. Contests in the nightly rodeo, which drew 15,000 spectators last year, include calf roping, barrel racing and bull riding, with Ricky and others.


Free dance lessons and dance contests will be held at both festivals.

* What: CotoFest, and California CountryFest & Rodeo.

* When: CotoFest is Saturday, Aug. 20, 2 p.m. to midnight. CountryFest is Friday, Aug. 19, 3 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, Aug. 20, noon to midnight; Sunday, Aug. 21, noon to 10 p.m.

* Where: CotoFest: Coto de Caza Equestrian Center, Coto de Caza Drive, Coto de Caza. CountryFest: Buchheim Field, corner of Camino Capistrano and Junipero Serra Road, San Juan Capistrano.


* Whereabouts: CotoFest: San Diego Freeway to Oso Parkway. Go north to Antonio Parkway, then north again to Coto de Caza Drive and turn right. CountryFest: exit the San Diego Freeway at Junipero Serra Road, go west to corner of Camino Capistrano.

* Wherewithal: CotoFest: $25. CountryFest: Single-day advance tickets are $12, children 12 and under pay $5; three-day advance tickets, $30. Single-day tickets at the door are $17, $5 for children.

* Where to call: CotoFest: (714) 858-4500 or (714) 740-2000, TicketMaster. CountryFest: (714) 645-1999.

The Lineups




6 p.m., Three of Hearts female trio.

7 p.m., Juice Newton.


8 p.m., Carlene Carter.

(Bounty Hunter Band plays dance music at various times.)




3 p.m., Darla Lee & Hearts of Fire.

4 p.m., Gina Quartaro.

5 p.m., Humming Bird.

6 p.m., Loose Boot.


7 p.m., Riverbend.

8 p.m., Smokin Armadillos.

9 p.m., Lari White.

10:30 p.m., Unbridled.



Noon, Jitters.

1 p.m., Pale Rider.

2 p.m., Buck Naked & Chapped Cheeks.


3 p.m., Country Store Band.

4 p.m., Dan Hartman.

5 p.m., Lacy J. Dalton.

6 p.m., Diamondback.


7 p.m., D.D. Wood.

8 p.m., Kelly Willis.

9 p.m., Rick Trevino.

10:45 p.m., Kelly Rae Band.



Noon, Free Reign.

1 p.m., Craig Colley.

3 p.m., Lila McCann.


4 p.m., Chris Gaffney.

5 p.m., Rosie Flores.

8 p.m., Doug Stone.