Ventura Music Festival
May 3 – 12 | Ventura
The Ventura Music Festival offers a 10-day themed festival in early May, and jazz and “crossover” concerts in the fall and winter months. The concerts are held in a variety of local venues. The festival stands as one of the county’s signature events, attracting more than 6,000 concertgoers every spring. Each year, the festival focuses on a specific theme, amplified by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta’s choice of artists and repertoire and highlighted during concert talks, lectures, and interviews. For tickets and detailed information about the 2012 Ventura Music Festival, visit venturamusicfestival.org.
Tales at the Ranch
May 16 | Camarillo Ranch House
Wyatt McCrea, grandson of legendary film stars Joe McCrea and his wife Frances Dee, who were also local ranchers, will share his grandparents’ life in Ventura County and their many community activities. $5 for non-members; free to CRF members. 7 p.m. Camarillo Ranch House, 201 Camarillo Ranch Rd., Camarillo. For more information, visit camarilloranch.org.
May 18 – June 17 | Ojai Center for the Arts
From the fertile mind of Donald Margulies (Dinner With Friends) comes “the fun-niest and one of his most moving plays,” about a man who becomes a successful novelist then returns home to Brooklyn to visit his dying father, his family, and his friends. Full of irony, wit, and wisdom, the play follows our protagonist as he tries to reconnect with the other characters in light of his success and failures. 113 S. Montgomery St,, Ojai. For more information, visit ojaiact.org.
Lisa Haley & the Zydekats
May 19 | Dancing Oak Ranch, Ojai
This Americana/Cajun/Zydeco category Grammy-nominated fiddler, dancer, vocalist, and songwriter serves up heart-moving Louisiana Bayou rhythms, traditional stylings, and original songs speaking to all ages. Lisa’s musical upbringing combines multi-faceted genres of Americana, Cajun, Zydeco, Celtic, Folk, Blues, and Jazz genres. $18 in advance, $20 at the gate, kids under 15 free. Gates open at 5 p.m. Dancing Oak Ranch, West Highway 150, Ojai. For more information, visit ojaiconcertseries.com.
California Strawberry Festival
May 19 & 20 | Oxnard
This long-running festival celebrates Ventura County’s sweetest crop and benefits more than 25 Southland charities. In addition to strawberry-inspired foods and activities, visitors will enjoy countless attractions, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, “Strawberryland For Kids,” gooey contests, arts and crafts, and more. Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard. For more information, visit strawberry-fest.org.
Gem of the Ocean
May 19 – June 10 | Rubicon Theatre Company, Ventura
Rubicon’s first play by August Wilson is also the first chronologically in 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 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. $25 - $54. 1006 East Main St., Ventura. For more information, visit rubicontheatre.org.
Boys & Girls Club of Ventura Garden Party
May 20 | Pierpont Inn, Ventura
The 19th Annual Garden Party will include diverse wines, brews, and cuisine from some of the area’s finest restaurants, caterers, confectioners, and bakeries. A large silent auction featuring a variety of themed baskets and specialty gift items will be included. There will be music by Jeanne Tatum & Co. in the Pierpont gardens. Event proceeds will benefit the youth (6-18 years of age) at the five centers of the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura in Ventura, Oak View, and Saticoy. Advance tickets are available for $50 each or $60 at the door on the day of the event. 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Historic Pierpont Inn, 550 Sanjon Rd., Ventura. For more information or to order tickets, visit bgclubventura.org.
Conejo Wine & Jazz Festival
May 20 | Thousand Oaks
The festival includes restaurants, caterers, and wineries in addition to live jazz performances by some of the area’s finest musicians. Guests will enjoy wine and food tastings. This event supports the local high school music programs of the Conejo Valley. The cost to attend is $50; VIP tickets ($75) include a VIP parking pass, one-hour early admission, and reserved VIP seating near the jazz music stage and under a shade tent. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Conejo Creek Park North, 1379 East Janss Rd. in Thousand Oaks. For more information, visit conejowineandjazz.com.
Kingdom Center Classic Golf Tournament
May 21 | Olivas Links, Ventura
The community is invited to participate in supporting The Kingdom Center Ventura (TKC Ventura) at the 2nd Annual Kingdom Center Classic Golf Tournament. The event includes a luau with a BBQ dinner at the Wedgewood, located just down the road from Olivas Links at the Buenaventura Golf Course (5882 Olivas Park Dr., Ventura). The luau will feature live Hawaiian dancers and guest speaker Kevin Malone, former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. $125 per player includes the luau. Registration for the luau only is $30. 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Olivas Links, 3750 Olivas Park Dr., Ventura. For more information, visit tkcventura.org.
Art in the Park
May 26 & 27 | Libbey Park, Ojai
Art in the Park is an annual tradition started in 1977 by local artists at the Ojai Art Center to give fine artists a place to sell their work during the Memorial Day weekend. The festival attracts artists from near and far. The relaxed atmosphere and approachable artists draw crowds from Ojai and neighboring communities. The event will include a young patrons gallery, high school student exhibition area, youth art workshops, art demonstrations for adults, food lounge, and music venue. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Libbey Park. For more information, visit ojaiartcenter.org.
ON THE HORIZON
Casa Pacifica Angels Wine & Food Festival
June 3 California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo
Guests will enjoy food from some of the best restaurants, bakeries, and caterers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, along with an excellent selection of award-winning California wines, including local favorites. A culinary competition will showcase the work of Ventura County’s top chefs. Proceeds go to Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families, the largest nonprofit provider of children’s mental health services in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Tickets: $100 in advance, $125 at the door, $200 VIP. CSUCI campus in Camarillo.1:00 p.m.to 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit cpwineandfoodfestival.com.
Ojai Music Festival
June 7 – 10 | Ojai
Established in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has fostered a healthy spirit of eclecticism in its programs, gaining a worldwide reputation for artistic freedom and exceptional classical music. For tickets and more information, visit ojaifestival.org.
A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash
June 16 | Ventura County Fairgrounds
Roadshow Revival and Cindy Cash will bring “A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash” back to the Ventura County Fairgrounds. This fourth annual event will take place on Father’s Day weekend 2012 and showcase fantastic musical talents, ranging from rockabilly to outlaw country, with performers that include national headliners, tribute bands, and local acts. 10 West Harbor Blvd., Ventura. For tickets and detailed information, visit roadshowrevival.com.