Yule Logjam


Christmas is more than three weeks away but a sleigh-load of holiday activities is planned throughout the county this weekend.

There will be a street festival in Ventura and parades of illuminated boats at the Ventura harbor. Holiday plays are scheduled in Camarillo, Simi Valley and Ventura, and free gifts will be given to shoppers in Santa Paula.


A large hunk of downtown Ventura will be blocked off Sunday for the city’s 23rd annual Holiday Street Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The free event showcases the creations of some 500 artists who will display handmade ornaments and glass figurines, wooden knickknacks and myriad other holiday gifts.

Food booths, bands, choirs and children’s activities will also dot the festival, which will be held on Main Street between Fir Street and Ventura Avenue with offshoots on California and Chestnut streets.

Go for Baroque, an acoustic recorded quartet, the Channelaire Chorus and the All Children’s Choir from Ventura Baptist Church will each perform on the steps of the historic San Buenaventura Mission.

New to the entertainment lineup: the Secretaries, an all-woman ensemble that plays hits from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Also appearing will be Action, an 18-person mime team, and a running favorite, Sweet Dixieland Band.

Seven stages will be set up at various sites. Listings of the entertainment with times and stages will be available at several sites along the festival route, said Kathy Bowman, a city spokeswoman.


There will also be booths where children can make ornaments or use chalk to draw pictures on the sidewalk. There will be a big bouncing room at Mission Park next to the playground equipment.

David Cousin will lead a free juggling seminar at 11:30 a.m. in the mini-park between Oak and Palm streets, where visitors can also catch Danny Ray’s magic show.

Santa will sit and listen to holiday wishes starting at 11 a.m. at California and Main streets, and Mr. and Mrs. Dickens will stroll the festival in period costumes and sing carols.

There is free parking downtown and pay parking at California Street and Harbor Boulevard and at the county fairgrounds. For more information on the event, call the city’s Community Services Office at 654-7830.


Ventura Harbor Village will host the Parade of Lights, a procession of more than two dozen decorated vessels that motor down the Ventura Harbor Channel. This event too is in its 23rd year.

The illuminated boats and yachts will make a two-lap loop through the channel, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The theme of this year’s parade is “I’m Dreaming of a Bright Christmas.”


There will be a boat carrying the grand marshals, Miss Teen USA Jennifer Marshal and Miss Ventura County Nicole Torres, and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will also make an appearance on the water.

On Saturday night only, the Ventura Yacht Club plans to sponsor the “Santa Dingy Drill Team,” a tradition that involves 10 small boats performing a synchronized show.

Some good viewing spots are along Spinnaker Drive on the promenade from the Four Points Hotel to the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center and near the launch ramp on Schooner Drive.

Many restaurants at the harbor will also have good views.

Before the boat parade will be a festival at the harbor both Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. that will include live music, arts and crafts for sale, a clown, caroling and face painting.

People who want to see the parade must arrive before 6 p.m. either night because harbor officials plan to close Spinnaker Drive. The parade and festival are free and so is parking.

For more information, call 644-0169 or access the harbor’s Web page at



Merchants in downtown Santa Paula are celebrating the holiday season by hosting the Yule Love Downtown gift giveaway all day Saturday and Sunday.

Visitors can enter the contest by dropping off an entry form in one of the gift-wrapped boxes that will be placed at 16 downtown businesses.

Participating stores are listed on a brochure that will be available at the Santa Paula Union Oil Museum at 1001 E. Main St. or the Whistle Stop Cafe at 989 E. Main St.

Entry forms can be found at all participating businesses. Winners will be notified on Wednesday.

“This is the time to enjoy all the downtown has to offer and register for some great prizes,” said Mike Nelson, the city’s tourism administrator.

The grand prize is a train ride for two on a Fillmore & Western train, a night’s stay at the new Santa Paula Inn, dinner at the Chili Hut Cafe and tickets to the Santa Paula Theater Center.


Additional prizes include a new VCR, a plane ride for two over the Santa Clara Valley, a holiday gift basket, a cake and several lunch gift certificates. There will also be a gift certificate winner at each participating store.

For more information on the drawings, call 525-5561.

Also in Santa Paula will be a free Christmas concert by the Santa Clara Valley Choral Society on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Latter-day Saints church, 604 Ojai Road. For more information, call 933-2118.

From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. free guided tours will be offered of the large antique airplane collection kept at the local airport. For more information, call 933-1961.


Several activities are planned this holiday season at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Running through Jan. 2 is a display of 25 decorated Christmas trees representing cultures and traditions from around the world. Also on display through March 19 is a collection of original Tiffany glass.

There will be a free holiday open house all day Saturday that will include carolers, musical performances, storytelling and Santa Claus.


Also on Saturday will be an etched glass workshop for anyone who wants to make a holiday ornament or sun catcher of clear or stained glass. The cost is $5 a person.

On Sunday, there will be a workshop for people who want to create holiday greeting cards that look like stained-glass windows. Class size is limited.

For either class, participants must be 13 or older. Call (800) 410-8354, Ext. 2041, for a reservation and times.

Sunday at 2 p.m., the Wood Ranch Elementary School Chorus will perform a selection of holiday favorites and patriotic songs in the museum library.

Admission to the museum is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors, free for those 15 and under.


Gypsies in a Trunk Youth Troupe, a group of eight actors between the ages of 12 and 15, will stage a holiday production titled “The Magical Toy Shoppe” Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Camarillo and again Dec. 11 in Ventura and Dec. 12 in Simi Valley.

The story is about what it means to give of yourself, said Roxanne Diesel, author of the play and director of the troupe.


The tale unfolds in a toy shop with a shy teddy bear who is afraid to be sold because she fears being torn and broken. The other toys try to convince the bear that she is special. During the Camarillo and Ventura performances, the acting troupe will collect toys in exchange for admission. Bring an unwrapped toy worth $5 and see the play free. The toys will be donated to Toys for Tots.

In Simi Valley, bring a nonperishable food item and get $1 of the admission cost of $4 for adults and $2 for youths and seniors. The food will be given to the Share and Care Food Bank in Simi Valley.

Tuesday’s Camarillo show starts at 7 p.m. at the Community Center auditorium at 1605 E. Burnley St.

Ventura’s Dec. 11 show will be at 2:30 p.m. at the Barranca Vista Cultural Center at 7050 Ralston Drive, and Simi Valley’s Dec. 12 show will be at 7 p.m. at the Sycamore Drive Center multipurpose room at 1692 Sycamore Drive.

For more details, call Diesel at 522-0449


There will be a free Christmas concert featuring Cal Lutheran University’s choirs and its chamber orchestra Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and again Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Samuelson Chapel on campus at 60 W. Olsen Road.

Kwanzaa, the African American holiday that honors family and community for a week commencing Dec. 26, will be celebrated at Cal Lutheran this Saturday. There will be dance, food and music from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Preus-Brandt Forum on campus.



For more information on holiday events at CLU, call 493-3151.


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