CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Ranking among the top festivals in the nation, the fruitful celebration boasts strawberries every way imaginable, along with all day fun for the entire family with concert performances, the Strawberry Promenade with celebrity cooking demonstrations, more than 250 Fine Arts & Crafts booths, Strawberryland For Kids with rides and attractions, gooey contests, special appearances, and more. General admission is $12, seniors 62+ are $8 and children ages 5-12 are $5. Kids 4 and under are free. Active military and dependents with ID are $8. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.strawberry-fest.org. Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 South Rose Avenue, Oxnard.
FILLMORE MAY FESTIVAL Thursday May 17 through Sunday May 20. Tripling in size with more vendors, more entertainment (two large concert stages), beer garden, more carnival rides and a special kiddie area, the festival is sure to be one of the best events in Southern California. The Main Stage features top entertainment in a concert style atmosphere and will be family friendly. Enjoy a snack or dinner while enjoying the performances of great bands, like the SOS Band, a crowd favorite. Thursday’s admission is $1; Fri-Sun admission is $3 for kids 5-11 and $5 general admission. Held in Downtown Fillmore. For more information and tickets, call 524-0351 or visit www.fillmoremayfestival.com
HORACE BRISTOL FILM AND PANEL DISCUSSION Saturday, May 19, 2 p.m. Famed Life magazine photographer Horace Bristol, best known for his Grapes of Wrath series of photos taken while traveling with John Steinbeck, was also mentor to local artists and historian Donna Granata, founder of Focus on the Masters. Granata and panel including photographer and gallery director John Nichols, Henri Bristol and appraiser Nancy Escher will discuss “From Obscurity to the Getty, the history and significance of Bristol’s documentation of Depression era California” following a screening of the documentary The Compassionate Eye. The event is included in the museum’s general admission. Seating is limited. Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum, 926 Railroad Ave., Santa Paula. 525-3100 or www.venturamuseum.org.
GEM OF THE OCEAN Through June 10. Rubicon’s first play by August Wilson is also the first of the playwright’s powerful 10-play series dramatizing the African-American experience in the 20th century. Gem of the Ocean is a powerful, mystical play set in 1904 in Pennsylvania’s Hill District. At a local mill, a black man is accused of stealing a bucket of nails. But rather than confess to a crime he didn’t commit, he jumps in the river and becomes a martyr to his co-workers. Riots break out and the workers begin to strike. Against this turbulent backdrop, another young man named Citizen Barlow arrives at the home of Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old healer who is the keeper of tradition and history for her people. She sends Citizen on a spiritual journey aboard the slave ship Gem of the Ocean — where he must learn about his ancestors and then face the truth about himself. Previews May 17-18. Tickets $25-$54. 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. 667-2904 or www.rubicontheatre.org.