Live music performed by 20 bands, more than 200 vendors and 19 carnival rides are just a glimpse of what makes this year’s Camarillo Fiesta and Street Fair so unique.
“It’s a highly entertaining event — not just food and vendors and music,” said Mike Morgan, president of the Camarillo Fiesta Association. “We’ll have a large classic car show, and we’re going to have a military vehicle show from the bases. It’s also free admission.”
Up to 30,000 people are expected to attend this year’s fiesta, which began in 1964 when the City of Camarillo incorporated. To celebrate the city’s new status, then newly-elected councilwoman Tweedy Rouce organized the beginnings of the Camarillo Fiesta in honor of her father-in-law, Adolfo Camarillo. At the time, the event was held in the fall to honor two major events: Adolfo Camarillo’s birthday, which was Oct. 28, 1864; and the city’s official incorporation on Oct. 22, 1964.
Morgan, who has been involved with the Camarillo Fiesta with his wife since 1987, attributes the success of the annual event to making it different each year.
“We don’t always have the same thing,” he said. For instance, this year, “we have many different rides; and our car show is different this year with an area for the Thunderbird Club. Last year we had the motorcycle club, and this year will be military vehicles.”
The Camarillo Fiesta is also a fundraiser, with “our goal to raise money for youth in the community,” Morgan said.
Local youths that assist with the event include members of the Camarillo High School band and its football and water polo teams, all of whom help with cleanup.
“We also donate to the Boys and Girls Club for helping out, and St. Mary Magdalen School for use of their parking lot . . . and the Pleasant Valley School District for use of part of their grounds,” Morgan said.
Leading up to the event, the Camarillo Fiesta Association offered a free concert in Constitution Park at City Hall on July 13 featuring “A Space Oddity,” with David Brighton’s Tribute to David Bowie.
The event proper runs July 18-21, and will take place in Old Town Camarillo on Ventura Boulevard. On July 18, 6-10 p.m., the “carnival special” will offer any ride for $1. Live music will be presented by several musicians performing on the Dizdar Park and West stages. Among the many acts will be tribute bands Ozzmania and Fan Halen (July 19), local favorites the Mini Driver Band and Mariachi Camarillo (July 20) and Wanted (July 21). (A full lineup can be seen at the fiesta’s website.)
On July 20, starting at 10 a.m., the street fair will be in full swing, with military and other special vehicles on display on the Arneill Bridge.
And while guests are enjoying the music, there will be refreshment near at hand: “We also have two wine and beer gardens, one next to each stage,” Morgan said.
For all the guests, “to accommodate the traffic, we’ll have parking throughout the neighborhoods, parking at the shopping centers and trolleys coming in from other areas into the event,” Morgan said.
Free shuttle service to and from the festivities will be available at several locations in Camarillo, including the Metrolink Station, Ponderosa Center next to Harley’s Camarillo Bowl, Camarillo City Hall, the library and Premier America Credit Union.
Morgan said the ultimate goal of the Camarillo Fiesta is to put on a great show “so people in the City of Camarillo and elsewhere have a fun activity to go to, while celebrating the heritage of our city. We want people to have fun and enjoy the event.”
The Camarillo Fiesta takes place July 18-21 in Old Town Camarillo. For a full schedule of events and more information, visit www.camarillofiesta.com or call Mike Morgan at 805-573-2058.