Food, Festivals and Fireworks

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Fourth of July weekend in Ventura County will be filled with revelers enjoying beaches, wide-eyed kids waiting anxiously for fireworks and plenty of folks staying home to grill steak on the barbecue.

For people looking to bust out for a little fun, there will be plenty of activities between Friday and Monday in addition to the bombs bursting in air Sunday night.

There will be festivals throughout the county, open markets and live music at the Ventura and Oxnard harbors, and air shows and aircraft displays in Santa Paula and Camarillo.

For do-it-yourselfers, fireworks are on sale at two dozen booths along Highway 126 in Fillmore.

Several historic events will honor and celebrate the nation's independence and those who have fought on behalf of the U.S. government.

A 240-foot, half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall is on display at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park at 5600 Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village.

The wall will be accessible 24 hours a day beginning at 6 this evening and running through 8 p.m. Monday, with volunteers on hand to help visitors find names. The replica has all 58,214 names of the men and women who died in the Vietnam War.

There will be a dedication ceremony Saturday at 11 a.m. and a closing candlelight ceremony at 8 p.m. Monday. For more details, call 495-0837.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Southern California Wing of the Confederate Air Force will hold an open house at its museum at 555 Airport Way at Camarillo Airport from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Several aircraft will be on display, including the C-46 China Doll, the F8F-2 Bearcat Navy Fighter and the Yak-3 Russian Fighter.

The workshop where maintenance and restoration are done on the old planes will be open, as will the gift shop. The cost is $3 per adult and $1 for children. Call 483-7575 for more information.

At the Dudley House at Ashwood and Loma Vista streets in Ventura, recordings of John Philip Sousa's band made between 1918 and 1930 will be played from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday while docents give free tours. There will also be a large display of flags. Call 644-3286 for more information.

Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Peter M. Small, will help celebrate the holiday Sunday afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library at 40 Presidential Drive near Simi Valley. Small will stroll the grounds between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and explain how Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Admission to the library will be free between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also on hand will be the U.S. Air Force band, the 24th Michigan Volunteer Fifers and Drummers and an exhibit of American flags. Call 522-8444 for details.

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Following is a list of festivals and fireworks displays in Ventura County over the weekend.

CAMARILLO

Single adults and single parents with children are invited to the Freedom Music Festival and Picnic from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Camarillo Grove County Park.

Seven bands will perform. There will be food stands, or people can picnic. A playground is located at the site.

The park is on Oak Grove Fire Road in Camarillo. Call 388-8917 for details.

On Sunday a festival will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. at Freedom Park next to Camarillo Airport at 555 Airport Way. There will be bands, games, food and an ice-carving demonstration.

A 20-minute fireworks show with 760 shells and patriotic music will start at the park at 9 p.m. Admission is free. Call 484-8388, message code 395, for details.

FILLMORE

The Fillmore & Western Railway Co. at Central Park and Santa Clara Avenue in downtown Fillmore will run train rides for adults and children all day Saturday and Sunday.

There will also be a July 4 BBQ Dinner Train featuring fireworks. Call 524-2546 for cost and details.

On Sunday the 13th Annual Sespe Creek Chili Cook-Off and Car Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Fillmore City Hall, followed by fireworks at Fillmore High School at 555 Central Ave. There will be arts and crafts, a horseshoe tourney, kids' activities and music.

Admission to the festival and the hourlong fireworks show is free. Gates for the 282-shell fireworks show will open at 7 p.m., and the show will start at 9. For more information, call 524-0551 or 525-9820.

OJAI

Libbey Park will be the scene of a tri-tip dinner and a free concert Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Monday's events include the Lions Club breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m., children's Freedom Run at 9 a.m. and a parade from Country Club Drive to Sarzotti Park at 10 a.m. There will be food booths, contests and other family activities at the park between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The fireworks show will be staged at Nordhoff High School at 1401 Maricopa Highway. The gates open at 5 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9.

Admission is $4 for one and $10 for a family pass in advance, or $6 for adults and $2 for ages 13 and under at the gate. The show, set to patriotic music, will last 25 minutes.

For more information, call 646-4295 or 646-2729.

OXNARD and HUENEME

There will be an all-day festival Sunday at Channel Islands Harbor at 3900 Pelican Way in Oxnard with a children's parade at 10 a.m., music, pony rides, face-painting, dancers, craft vendors, ice sculpture demonstrations and a farmers' market.

A 600-shell, 20-minute fireworks show set to patriotic music will be staged at 9 p.m. at the military base in Port Hueneme, with good viewing at the harbor. The show is free. For more information, call 985-4852.

SANTA PAULA

The holiday will be celebrated Sunday with a festival and a fireworks show at the Santa Paula Airport at 822 E. Santa Maria St.

The Chamber of Commerce, the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula and community groups will host an air show with fly-bys, formation flying and demonstrations by police and fire helicopters.

There will be a display of muscle and sports cars, a salsa competition, rides on a miniature steam train, live entertainment, children's games, and arts and crafts. The activities take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the cost is $3 per person.

For more information, call 525-2266.

There will also be a 382-shell fireworks show at Harding Park on East Harvard Boulevard on Sunday night at 9. The free show will run about 25 minutes. The park's gates will be open all day.

SIMI VALLEY

There will be games, food, music and other entertainment from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Simi Valley High School at 5400 Cochran St., ending in a 264-shell fireworks show.

Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children in advance; $8 for adults and $5 for children at the door. For more information, call 584-4400.

THOUSAND OAKS and NEWBURY PARK

The Conejo Recreation & Park District and the city of Thousand Oaks will host several Independence Day events Sunday, culminating in a fireworks show at 9 p.m.

The best viewing for the fireworks will be from The Oaks mall at 222 W. Hillcrest Drive. For more details on the fireworks, call 381-2747.

Other events will include home-run derbies for teens, adults and seniors, and a pancake breakfast at Borchard Community Park in Thousand Oaks.

There will be a morning nature walk at Wildwood Park and a concert by the Conejo Pops Orchestra at Conejo Community Park, both in Thousand Oaks.

There will also be free swimming between noon and 4 p.m. at high school pools in Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park.

For more details, call 495-6471.

People can also watch the fireworks show in Thousand Oaks and eat hamburgers and hot dogs at a picnic sponsored by the Christian Church of Thousand Oaks.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at 301 W. Avenida de los Flores in Thousand Oaks. Call 492-2474 for details.

VENTURA

There will be a blues concert at Olivas Adobe at 4200 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura at 7 p.m. Saturday; $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and ages 12 and under. Dinner at the concert is available for $10. Call 658-4726 for tickets and 650-7559 for dinner reservations.

The annual Push-Em, Pull-Em Parade starts Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Cemetery Park on Main Street, followed by the 24th Annual Fourth of July Street Fair in downtown Ventura. The street fair, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include six entertainment stages with musicians playing Cajun, country, big band, R&B;, soul and Andean music.

It also will feature 500 arts and crafts booths, food vendors, jugglers, puppet shows, cloggers, singers and swing dancers. For more information, call 654-7830.

The Rotary Club of Ventura and Ventura College will host the city's sixth annual Independence Day celebration Sunday at Ventura College.

"The Magic of Fireworks: The 1999 Family Picnic and Fireworks Show" will start at 5:30 p.m. at 4667 Telegraph Road.

The celebration includes a three-hour show featuring the band Riders of the Purple Sage, "The Magic of Broadway" presented by the Rubicon Theatre, bluegrass and blues by the Witcher Brothers, and the Ventura High School Jazz Band. The evening will end with a narrated fireworks show synchronized to orchestra music. There will be strolling performers, balloon sculptors, clowns, kids' games and contests.

Call 650-9718 for more details.

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