SIMI VALLEY : Get Ready for Rides, Rodeo, Parade, Bands


By today, Wesley Miller said, the Megaloop will be ready. So, too, will the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Scrambler, the Quasar and the other rides that, starting this afternoon, will give the Simi Valley Days Carnival its adrenaline edge.

The carnival opens at 5 p.m., ushering in the final stretch of the two-week civic festival. Included in the festival’s last five days are a rodeo that starts Thursday and features about 300 riders and a parade down Los Angeles Avenue on Saturday morning.

For days, work crews have labored to turn an empty plot of land at the intersection of Madera Road and Los Angeles Avenue into a temporary fairground, Miller said. They have brought in bleachers for the rodeo and created a petting zoo for children. They have brought in generators for power. And they have installed about 25 rides.


“It’s a lot of work, but it is fun to see it go together,” Miller said.

At the rodeo, professional riders will try to ride bulls and broncos and rope calves.

They will share the stage, however, with amateur local riders who will compete against each other in barrel racing. That event involves racing a horse in a crisscross pattern through a course of three barrels, said Allen Miller, who is coordinating the rodeo.

Having local amateurs participate, he said, makes sense in a city with such a long equestrian history. “This is an old ranching community,” Allen Miller said. “People moved out here for its rural charm, and rural means the Old West kind of thing.”

Although festival organizers consider the rodeo one of Simi Valley Days’ most popular attractions, not everyone supports the event. Members of Animal Emancipation plan to stage a protest at the corner of Madera Road and Los Angeles Avenue on Sunday.

The rodeo is not the only competition scheduled for the festival’s final weekend. Before the parade starts Saturday, seven local marching bands will compete before members of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Assn.

Band members, most of them in high school, will be judged on their musical performances and marching skills, said parade chairwoman Mary Rhoads. The bands will then line up for the parade itself, taking their places among the floats, classic cars and fire engines.

This year, the parade will also feature the First Division Marine Corps Band from Camp Pendleton, a first for the event.


“I really think this is better than last year as far as the show’s concerned,” Rhoads said. “I feel I’ve got to top myself each year.”