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Sweet music: Strawberry Festival in Oxnard; Topanga Banjo, Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival in Agoura

Get your sweet Saturday or Sunday, and get your folk on Sunday

Posted: May 14, 2009 11:21 a.m.
Updated: May 15, 2009 6:00 a.m.

The Topanga Banjo, Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival plays in Agoura on Sunday, May 17.

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Strawberry Festival 

"Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them," lisped Captain Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) during the court martial in "The Caine Mutiny."

Sure he was paranoid, but that was some powerful fruit. The crew of Queeg's destroyer couldn't keep away from them.

And, if you can't keep away from the delicious little berries, you might head up to Oxnard this weekend. You could get your fill of them, and more, during the 26th annual California Strawberry Festival.

At the festival, strawberries will be served every way imaginable, even (their flavor) in beer. And yet, the actual ingesting of the fruit is only a small part of the fun.

There will be arts and crafts presentations by 315 artists, 50 food and beverage stands and a wine pavilion. The Strawberry Promenade will feature cooking demonstrations, presentations by strawberry experts, a strawberry recipe cook-off and a three-dimensional "Life of a Strawberry" exhibit. There will be live music all weekend and a Strawberryland for Kids, with free rides and attractions.

On Monday (5/11), Patrick Mullin, the festival director, said, "The excitement of the festival is building as we enter the final week of preparation. The community is ready to welcome our festival attendees. The...forecast is reporting terrific festival weather for the families to enjoy plump sweet strawberries and all the scheduled activities."

So give into the power of the strawberry and enjoy some sweet times just up the road in Oxnard this weekend.

2009 California Strawberry Festival Details

Date/Time/Location:
Saturday and Sunday,
May 16, 17, 2009
10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 South Rose Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033
Toll free info: 888-288-9242
Visit www.strawberry-fest.org for tickets or more information

Directions:
From the 5 freeway, travel west on Highway 126 35.1 miles. Get off at the CA-118 exit and follow the signs for Saticoy and merge onto CA-118/Wells Rd. Follow CA-118 1.8 miles southeast and then turn right at CA-232/E. Vinyard Ave. Travel southwest on E. Vinyard for 3.7 miles until you merge onto US-101 S/Ventura Fwy via the ramp to Los Angeles. Travel 0.9 miles east and take exit 61 for Rose Ave. Turn right at Rose Ave. Travel south on Rose for 3.8 miles, then make a U-turn and travel about 300 feet north to 3250 S. Rose Ave.

Parking:
Onsite parking is $5 or you can take the Strawberry Express Shuttle Service from key Park ‘N' Ride locations.

Admission:
General admission each day is $12. Seniors and active military and dependents $8. Children age 5-12 $5. Free for children 4 and under. Cash only for tickets purchased at the gate.

Facilities:
The facility is handicapped accessible. Policy prohibits animals, bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, chairs, folding tables, coolers and non-festival food/beverages on the Festival grounds. No wheelchair rental available on site.

Strawberry Promenade

imaginative and informative activities, the Strawberry Promenade tented oasis is haven for all things berry, including the field-fresh "Life of A Strawberry" exhibit. Presentations with experts every hour throughout the day cover a spectrum of strawberry topics, including the Berry Blast Off Recipe Cookoff.

The Promenade is also home base for the Star Berry Hunt, where patrons set off with a map and clues to solve a riddle while expanding their berry knowledge in a quest for prizes. All participants are in the running for the grand prize drawing of a free Hawaiian getaway, courtesy of Shell Vacations Club.

Saturday
11 a.m. - It's Easy to Be Green: Eco-friendly living tips from Hillary Jiler, editor of Green Home & Family Magazine
12: p.m - Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest: Two finalists compete head-to-head to prepare the ultimate berry best strawberry dish in timed challenge for judges. Top prize is a four-night Carnival Cruise Vacation getaway, courtesy of Shell Vacations Club.
2 p.m. - Berry Know How: All things strawberry, an interactive FAQ presentation on the many wonders of strawberries, hosted by the California Strawberry Commission. Prizes awarded.
3 p.m. - Planting Strawberries: Tips for growing your own strawberries, hosted by the Young Leaders Society of Ventura County. Giveaways offered for kids.
4: p.m. - Berry Decorating Workshop: Hands-on craft showcase with strawberries, hosted by the Concerto Conservatory of Music, includes giveaways while supplies last.

Sunday
11 a.m. - It's Easy To Be Green: Eco-friendly living tips from Hillary Jiler, editor of Green Home & Family Magazine
12 p.m. - Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstration: Renowned "Top Chef: New York" finalist and fan favorite Fabio Viviani, executive chef of Cafe Firenze in Moorpark, shares his culinary secrets and favorite strawberry dishes. Available for autographs following his demonstration.
2 p.m. - Strawberry Beverages Blends: Co-owner and general manager of Cafe Firenze in Moorpark, Jacopo Falleni offers his expertise in preparing three different types of sensational strawberry beverages.
3 p.m. - Planting Strawberries: Tips for growing your own strawberries, hosted by the Young Leaders Society of Ventura County. Giveaways offered for kids.
4 p.m. - Berry Decorating Workshop: Hands-on craft showcase with strawberries, hosted by the Concerto Conservatory of Music, includes giveaways while supplies last.

Strawberryland for Kids
A magical kingdom for the youngest seedlings of the family, Strawberryland for Kids features free rides and attractions, included in the price of admission.

Whether it's the Berry-Go-Round and Safari Train, the Tug Boat, Lady Bug Ride or Carousel, and others, there's lots to keep the smiles as plentiful as the berries. Kids won't want to miss the Gull Wings "On The Go" mini-museum or the tented "Jest In Time Family Fun Stage" with ongoing performances from jugglers, magicians, puppeteers and more.

Strawberry Shortcake
Come and meet everybody's berry best friend, Strawberry Shortcake, the official Berryfest Princess of Strawberryland for Kids, making special appearances daily in the contest area. Or, catch her strolling the festival grounds, giving out free prizes and posing for pictures. Be sure to bring your camera.

And more
Enjoying your day is easy to do. Check out the trampoline bouncer and climbing wall, or visit with the strolling clowns, all included in the admission price. Also offered for an additional fee, the bungee Jump from a towering height, henna art, make your own candles, temporary wax hair coloring, face painting and balloon making.

MUSIC

Saturday

Festival Stage
10:30 a.m. Hammersmith (Harmonica & Blues)
12:10 p.m. Jeanne Tatum & Co. (Smooth Rhythm & Blues)
1:40 p.m. Toni Dodd & Southbound Blues (Rockin Blues)
3:10 p.m. Emilbus, formerly the Ska Daddies (Reggae, Ska, & Rock)
4:40 p.m. R&B Bombers (R&B)

Dr. Kato Stage
11 a.m. U.S. Air Force Band (Big Band Americana)
12:30 p.m. Freddy Fender, Jr. (Country Tribute)
2:30 p.m. Platinum Rock Stars (Tribute to Foreigner, Van Halen, and more)
4:45 p.m. Led Zepplica (Led Zepplin Tribute)

Sunday

Festival Stage
10:30 a.m. Bluez Boyz (Jump Swing)
12:20 p.m. Big Adventure (Progressive Rock)
2:10 p.m. Savor (Santana Tribute Band)
4 p.m. House Arrest (R&B)
5 p.m. Disco Inferno (Disco)

Dr. Kato Stage
11 a.m. Channelaires (Ventura County's award winning chorus)
12:30 p.m. Latin Legends Cannibal & the Headhunters, featuring Pat Vega of Redbone (Latin Funk)
2:30 p.m. Colour My World (Chicago Tribute)
3:30 p.m. Don't Stop Believing (Journey Tribute)

 

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