Conejo Valley Days will take on a military cast this weekend, with a missing-man flyover during the annual parade and a two-day visit by a Navy F/A-18 flight simulator.
About 50,000 fairgoers are expected for the five-day Conejo Valley Days Carnival, which begins today and features entertainment, vendors and a weekend rodeo at Conejo Creek Park South in Thousand Oaks. That figure would match last year’s attendance, said spokeswoman Diane Rumbaugh.
New this year are the flyover by the Commemorative Air Force, an organization dedicated to preserving World War II aircraft, and the simulator.
The 68-foot-long simulator will be towed near the front of the annual Conejo Valley Days Parade, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Hampshire Road and runs to Erbes Road. The device will then travel to Conejo Creek Park South, where fairgoers can try it out.
The simulator usually is used as a recruitment tool, but the festival managed to snag it during its travels around the country, festival Chairman Scott Wolfe said.
“We were lucky to catch it as it came by,” Wolfe said. “It fits in well with our type of event.”
The National Weather Service predicts a chance of rain Friday and Saturday, but Wolfe said the parade will go on no matter what. However, the flyover could be affected by low clouds.
The festival, which benefits about 20 local charities, will also include the old standbys, including the rodeo on Saturday and Sunday.
The commercial tent, re-christened CVD Marketplace, will feature a larger and more diverse group of vendors, Wolfe said.
Entertainers this year will include Asleep at the Wheel and Riders of the Purple Sage tonight, Teresa Russell on Thursday, Sweet Country Band on Friday, Midnight Train on Saturday and the Philip Norris Band on Sunday.
Admission is $6 general, $5 for students and seniors and $3 for children ages 6 through 12. For more information, call 371-8730 or check the Web site at www.conejovalleydays.com.