Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

California Strawberry Festival Parking: Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19, Ventura County Fairgrounds.


Avoid traffic delays and parking fees by utilizing the free park ‘n’ ride Strawberry Express Shuttle Service from convenient locations throughout Ventura and Oxnard.

Shuttles run on surface streets and have direct access to get you to the Festival fast and help you save on parking. Pick-up and drop-offs run approximately every 15-20 minutes. The first shuttle picks up at 9:00 a.m. Shuttles will operate until 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Handicapped accessible shuttles are available.


  • San Buenaventura State Beach ($10 Parking)
    Parking Lot at 901 San Pedro Street, Ventura
  • Ventura County Government Center (Free Parking)
    800 South Victoria Avenue, Parking Lot F on the Hill Street side
  • Pacific View Mall (Free Parking)
    3301 E. Main Street, Ventura, Parking and pickup behind the vacant Sears building
  • Oxnard High School (Free Parking)
    3400 W Gonzales Rd, Oxnard
  • De Anza DATA Middle School (Free Parking)
    2060 Cameron Street, Ventura
  • Seaward & Harbor (Free Parking)
    955 S Seaward Ave, Ventura CA 93001

Vol. 17, No. 17 – May 15 – May 28, 2024 – Community Events

Ventura Events

Mental Wellness Festival Ventura Event: Saturday, June, 1st, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm – Ventura Harbor Village
2nd Annual Mental Wellness Festival Event. Art Show, Native Plant Exhibit, Live Music, Yoga & Meditation, Vendors & Info Booths.

Seaside Marathon. Sunday: May 19, 7 am
Course starts at Solimar Beach at 7AM. 29808 Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura.Full & Half Marathon,

Ventura Senior Men’s Group – First and Third Tuesdays each month: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m – Poinsettia Pavilion.

Any man who considers himself in the “senior” category (and many who don’t) might benefit from a visit to the Ventura Senior Men’s Group.  Buffet luncheon with interesting speakers and good friends. Your first lunch is free. We talk about everything except religion and politics. Eligible to all men 50 plus. Call Tom at 805-657-1071 for more information or visit to find out who our speakers will be.

Play Bridge: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – 12:30 pm

ACBL-sanctioned duplicate bridge games. All levels of play, and we will guarantee to have a partner for you if you need one. Lessons are available. Tuesday, Wed and Thursday games are held at Temple Beth Torah, Foothill & Kimball Rd, Ventura. Every Saturday at the Ventura Townhouse.  For additional info visit our website at Contact Rose at [email protected].

Ventura County Philatelic Society: First and third Monday’s each month – 7:30 pm
Church of the Foothills, Ventura. For more information, visit

Beach Cleanup: First Saturday of every month – 8:30-10:30 am
Meet your neighbors and help keep our beach looking fresh. Hosted by Pierpont Beach Community Council in partnership with Surfrider. Meet up at the end of Seward near the beach. (1140 S Seward St). Arrive any time during the timeframe. Fun for the whole family! Supplies provided – BYO water.

Paws for Reading
Brings together young readers and affectionate canine listeners to help boost the confidence of beginning readers. Hill Road Library, Wednesdays, 3:30 – 5 p.m. and E.P. Foster Library, Thursdays, 4 – 5:30 p.m. Join PAWS dogs for one-on-one reading sessions. Arrive at the library early to choose a book and get in line to read to a special pooch. Children of all ages are welcome.

Ventura County Chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors : May 19, 11 am
Anyone interested in timepieces, both antique and modern, can join for a watch/clock marketplace, lunch, and a presentation on a horological topic. Bring a watch or clock for a free evaluation. 11am at the Campus Student Center of Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Road, Ventura. For Details contact, Bob McClelland, Director, Public Information. (818) 225-8212. [email protected].

Other Events Around Town

2024 Point Mugu Surf Contest: Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 – 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
NBVC Point Mugu (Naval Base Point Magu), Surfer’s Beach. The contest will feature four categories including: Military, Open, Women’s, and Juniors. Free Admission & Parking.

Ventura Audubon Society’s free beach naturalist training workshop: Saturday, May 25th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Interested in helping nesting shorebirds and participating in community science in Ventura County? Please join Ventura Audubon for a free Beach Naturalist workshop. With a combination of classroom and field training, you will learn how to become a volunteer Beach Naturalist for the Shorebird Recovery Program.

Our biologists will give you valuable information about the snowy plover and least tern life history, survival challenges, beach ecology, how to engage with beach goers about shorebird conservation, and the effects of climate change on our local birds. After completing the training, you will be able to share your new knowledge and skills by signing up for two 2-hour outreach opportunities per month from June through September. Refreshments and lunch will be provided for the workshop.

Space is limited. So, register by May 21st. For more information, including location and to sign-up, go to or email [email protected]. Funding for this workshop is provided by the State of California “Whale Tail” and Federal National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants.

Ojai Events 

Celebrate our region’s wildlife and wild places at the 16th Annual Ojai WILD! The event is a benefit for Los Padres ForestWatch and raises critical funds for the protection of wild lands and wildlife in the Los Padres National Forest. The event will also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Los Padres ForestWatch.

Ojai WILD! is Ventura County’s longest-running fundraiser for land and wildlife conservation. It is open to the public and takes place at The Thacher School’s beautiful Pavilion Lawn, with panoramic views of the Ojai Valley and the Topatopa Mountains. More than 300 conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, and community leaders will enjoy a fun afternoon with local wines, craft brews, delicious dinner and dessert, and exciting silent and live auctions.

Tickets for the afternoon are $200, and tables for eight can be reserved for $1,600. Reservations may be made at, or call Camden at 805-617-4610 ext 4.

Method Machine Lab’s Witch by Jenn Silverman May 17- May 26
Friday-Sunday at 7:00P $10, $15 & $20 In Witch, a charming devil arrives in the quiet village of Edmonton to bargain for the souls of its residents in exchange for their darkest wishes. Method Machine Lab @Kim Maxwell Studio 226 W Ojai Ave Suite 201 Ojai, CA 93023 for more information and tickets.

Happy 15th Anniversary to The Ventura Ladies Luncheon 

Founder, Laurie Ann Meyer.

by Carol Leish, MA

Founder, Laurie Ann Meyer said, “I saw a need for a venue where women could gather at lunch time without interrupting their evening or morning schedules to come relax for a nice meal and be served.” That is why I started the group in June 2009 in which ladies’ network and gather without annual/monthly dues, have no minimum on categories, and pay only for the months that they can attend.

“We first met at My Florist and Bakery, which was in downtown Ventura, with 5 women. The next month we decided to do it again and had 15 women. We moved the third meeting to the Pierpont with 25 women. And, at the fourth luncheon we had over 40 women!  That is when I realized that we had something special going!”

Besides having met at the Pierpont, before they went through some changes, The Ladies Luncheon also met at the French Bakery in the Ventura Harbor for a few months before going back to meeting at the Pierpont.  After the Pierpont started remodeling, the group met for lunches at the Poinsettia Pavilion for many years.  “Then, in March, 2020, when COVID hit, the group met over Zoom, which was a challenging and interesting time” according to Meyer.  “We made it through that time!  Then, in 2022, post COVID; or, as it was winding down, we started meeting at The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood, at the Ventura Harbor.   They have been a great venue with incredible owners and staff.”

Meyer mentioned how important it has been/continues to be to build relationships first and business second.  She said, “When an unlimited number of people in the same profession attend our luncheons, they end up collaborating instead of colliding.  It is the theory of, “When 2 or more are gathered.”

Besides having the monthly luncheons, the group gathers for evening wine mixers in locally owned women businesses.  In March of 2020, the Ladies Luncheon Ventura had their first all-day event:   “Radiant You”.  Meyer said, “We hope to be able to repeat this event soon, since it was very successful with over 100 attendees.  Hopefully in May, 2025.  In December, we substitute our monthly luncheon for a Holiday Boutique with holiday vendors, food, etc. We also invite men, including spouses, and friends.”

Meyer stressed how the group is, “Now about ‘Community, Connection and Support.’ While we support each other, and refer each other for our businesses, the LOVE that has been created is exponential. And, after 15 years, we have been through many ups and downs with each other, including adversities and successes.  The bond continues to be strong, and we are not going anywhere, except growing larger now that, since the pandemic, ladies have more of a desire to be able to connect in person.”

Sponsoring the monthly luncheon, “Gives ladies an opportunity to highlight their business through all our various marketing platforms, such as social media and our website.  By being able to present at the luncheon event exclusively, they have a great way of exposing what and how they do in their businesses.  Visit the sponsorship tab on our website for more information.”

Meyer emphasized that, “We are known for the best RAFFLE in town!  Because, in most cases for the monthly luncheon, EVERYONE leaves with a gift.  In addition, we all leave with a Gift of Love and a hug!  I am so grateful for all the love women have brought and continue to bring to each other at the Ladies Luncheon.  We meet on the first Thursday of every month.  Thank you, Ladies!  Happy 15 Year Anniversary to YOU!”

Please register on the website for the upcoming June 6, 15th Anniversary Luncheon Meeting at the Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood: 1583 Spinnaker Dr. #101; Ventura, CA 93001. For more information call Laurie at (805) 223-0154.  Come celebrate and gather with a wonderful group of ladies while eating delicious food!

The Museum of Ventura County Announces New Events and Museum Closure in May

Wednesday, May 29th, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 6 for beer and wine bar), The Museum of Ventura County – Ivor Davis: Up Close and Personal on The Devil in My FriendIvor Davis will be in the “hot seat,” facing probing questions from Paul Bishop, a top interrogator from the Los Angeles Police Department. Get ready for a gripping tale as Davis shares the shocking revelation about a friend and neighbor who committed an unthinkable crime. Tickets are FREE for members at the Individual/Family level or higher, $10 for non-members, and $5 for non-members tuning in via Zoom. Tickets can be purchased at

Monday, May 13th – Friday, June 7th, The Museum of Ventura County galleries will be CLOSED  – New exhibitions are coming to the Museum of Ventura County, Ventura Campus. The last day to view current exhibitions is Sunday, May 12 and doors will open to showcase two new exhibitions at an Opening on Saturday, June 8, 6-8 pm. The Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula will remain open with normal operating hours.

Take 5 and Read to Kids! campaign kicking-off

Ventura Conty District Attorney Eric Nasarenko reading to Take5 and Read to Kids children.

The eighth annual Take 5 and Read to Kids! campaign will kick-off May 3rd at preschools and various locations throughout Ventura County. More than 50 local celebrity readers will be reading to young children. First 5 Ventura County hosts the free community events to help raise awareness about the importance of early childhood literacy for the more than 55,000 children in Ventura County who are age 5 years and younger. For more information, visit

This year’s impressive lineup of readers includes Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Assemblymembers Steve Bennett and Jacqui Irwin, Supervisors Jeff Gorell, Matt LaVere, Kelly Long, and Janice Parvin, County Executive Officer Dr. Sevet Johnson, Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff, Ventura County Fire Chief Dustin Gardner, and many more.

Members of the public with children age 5 and younger are invited to attend Take 5 and Read to Kids! storytimes with a celebrity reader at select First 5 Ventura County Neighborhoods for Learning (NfL) sites as well as local libraries during their regularly scheduled storytimes:

Ventura locations:

  • Sheridan Way Elementary (NfL classroom), 573 Sheridan Way, Ventura, May 3rd at 9:30 a.m.
  • E.P. Foster Library on Monday, May 6th at 10:30 a.m.
  • Hill Road Library on Wednesday, May 8th at 10:30 a.m.

First 5 Ventura County encourages parents, caregivers, and community members to become champions of early literacy by taking at least five minutes each day to read with a young child. “Talking throughout the day with your young child, reading together, telling stories, and singing all help develop pathways in the brain that will later be used to recognize letters, read, and think critically,” Supervisor and First 5 Commissioner Matt LaVere added.

“We know that the first five years of life lay the foundation for success in school and life. For young children, early exposure to books is beneficial for long-term academic achievements,” said Health Care Agency Director and First 5 Commission Chair Barry Zimmerman. Studies have proven that when you talk, read, and sing to children starting at birth, you promote and support early language and literacy development.

Brain research shows that the prenatal period and first five years of a child’s life are critical for developing lifelong social, emotional and learning skills. Based on this research, California voters passed Proposition 10 (a tobacco tax) in 1998 which established First 5 county commissions throughout the state to improve health and education programs for children prenatal to 5 years.

For more than 25 years, First 5 Ventura County’s investment, expertise and leadership have made a significant, positive impact on early childhood in our community. F5VC’s early education and childhood development programs – Neighborhoods for Learning and Help Me Grow – strengthen families and help ensure Ventura County’s 55,000 children age 5 and younger reach their full potential. About First 5 Ventura County,

CAPS digital storytelling summer program 2024

ECTV Students in Control room.

The CAPS Digital Storytelling summer program returns this year with week-long sessions July 15-19 and July 29-August 2 for students ages 10-14. Guided by experienced videographers and storytellers, the summer camp crews collaborate in teams of four or five to create their own video productions. The fast paced and engaging creative program features hands-on, experiential learning in all aspects of media storytelling including story development, scripting, casting, staging, directing, camera training with HD camcorders and smartphones, video composition, lighting, remote and in-studio production, graphic design, editing and more.

Each weeklong session runs Monday – Friday, from 8:30am to 1:00pm with class sizes limited to 10-12 students. The Digital Storytelling program is held at the CAPS Media Center at 65 Day Road in Ventura, between Loma Vista and Telegraph, on the eastside of Ventura College. The weekly fee is $250 for the week and includes five 4-hour sessions, a one-year family membership at CAPS, a CAPS Crew Member shirt, graduation certificate and a special Friday night film festival for friends and family. The registration deadline is June 1. Go to to sign up.

Prior to the summer program CAPS crews will be busy with multiple productions including recording and live streaming ceremonies for Ventura College graduates and all of the VUSD High Schools graduates. The Ventura College graduation is on May 17 at 10am. The VUSD graduations are June 11 – 13. On Tuesday, June 11 ceremonies begin at 10am with El Camino High School, Pacific High School at 12:30pm, Foothill High School at 2:30pm and VACE at 5:30pm at Ventura College. Wednesday, June 12 is Buena High School’s ceremony beginning at 4pm at Buena. The Ventura High School graduation is to be held on Thursday, June 13 at 3pm at Ventura High. All graduations will be live streamed by CAPS on the day of the ceremonies and recorded for broadcast on CAPS channel 15 in the days and weeks that follow.

Recently CAPS launched ReCAPS, the special weekly series featuring storytellers throughout Ventura County. Every Monday night at 7pm a new edition of ReCAPS premieres on CAPS Channel 6 and streams online, with stories and histories by local storytellers sharing their personal journeys. Recent ReCAPS storytellers include Moses Mora, Adam Hart, Jake and Jenny Dilbeck, and Carlos Ortega. In the coming weeks ReCAPS will feature Luis Sanchez, Lucas Zucker, Regina Hatcher-Crawford, Jim and John Proctor, David Endaya, Dustin Gardner and many more.

Congratulations to Phil Taggart, one of CAPS Media’s many artists in residence, who, along with his Arts In Exile crew won a 2024 WAVE Award for excellence in community programming from the Alliance for Community Media’s Western region.

Everyone in the community is invited to visit the CAPS Media Center on the first Monday of each month at 6pm for informal introductions. The evening includes a tour of the CAPS studio, information on CAPS membership benefits, and a creative overview of media production from concept development through production. Everyone is encouraged to drop by and discover what CAPS has to offer.

CAPS Media manages and programs cable channels 6 (Public) and 15 (Education and Government), and CAPS Radio KPPQ in Ventura, and manages the CAPS Media Center, at 65 Day Road, which is open Tuesday – Thursday, 12p– 8pm. CAPS provides unlimited creative resources and expertise to everyone in Ventura.

Eco Fest offered a variety of engaging activities

Vendors and advocates for plugging oil and gas wells Hayley Ehlers, Abrah Steward and Brooke Balthasar.

by Patricia Schallert

On April 28th, 2024, The Ventura Charter School  held their 13th annual Eco Fest. It  was an exciting and educational event that celebrated environmental conservation and sustainability. Held annually, this free festival welcomed the community and aimed to promote awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving our planet for future generations.

orbin Bray demonstrating the Bridgewalk built by Boy Scout troop 111.

The Eco Fest offered  a variety of engaging activities and exhibits for people of all ages. One of the main attractions at the festival was  the interactive exhibits, where visitors  learned about renewable energy sources, waste reduction techniques, and eco-friendly practices. From electric cars to rope bridge demonstrations, these exhibits showcased innovative ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Guests were also given the opportunity to bid in a silent auction, benefiting Ventura Charter School’s many diverse and inclusive academic programs.

In addition to the exhibits, the Eco Fest also featured a wide range of topics such as sustainable gardening, water conservation, and climate change. Attendees had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and practical tips on how to achieve a greener and more environmentally conscious lifestyle.

Summer Dalton, Amanda Kelley and Alison Beck Chairperson of the fundraiser committee.

Another highlight of the Eco Fest was the local vendors market, where guests were able  browse and purchase a wide range of eco-friendly products. From organic produce to handmade crafts made from recycled materials, this market supports local businesses that prioritize the environment. It is a great opportunity for visitors to support sustainability while discovering unique and environmentally friendly products.

The festival also featured live music performances, delicious food trucks offering organic and locally sourced options, face painting and games for children. With its lively and vibrant atmosphere, the Eco Fest created a sense of community and encouraged people to come together in support of our planet.

The Ventura Charter School Eco Fest,  held annually, is more than just a festival; it is a platform for individuals and organizations to come together and create positive change. It inspires and empowers the community  to take action towards a more sustainable lifestyle and showcases the incredible possibilities of living in harmony with our natural world.

Overall, the Ventura Charter School Eco Fest is an annual must-attend event for anyone interested in environmental conservation and sustainability while benefiting Ventura Charter School. With its engaging exhibits, informative workshops, silent auction and fun-filled activities, it is an excellent opportunity to learn, connect, and have a great time while making a positive impact on the planet. thank you to the fund-raising committee for all the work they put into making this festival a successful event.

Olivas Adobe Events

Music Under The Stars at the Adobe start on July 13.

Sunday, May 5- Olivas Adobe House Tours 11-3pm The Olivas Adobe historic site features the original two-story adobe home of Don Raymundo Olivas built in 1847. Celebrating Ventura’s Rancho and Latino heritage. Located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura. House tours are $5 for Adults and $3 for children and Seniors. More Information is available at

Annual Murals & Roses

Sunday, May 12 • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Mothers Day at the Olivas Adobe. Murals and Roses is a free art exhibit held annually on Mother’s Day at the Olivas Adobe. The exhibit showcases the historic Olivas Adobe Rose Garden and a series of colorful murals painted by renowned California muralist Marguerite Hardeman. Each year, up to fifteen of the murals are taken out of storage and displayed around the Olivas Adobe grounds in celebration of spring. Visitors can enjoy historic tours of the Olivas Adobe grounds and browse the site’s unique gift shop.

Sunday, May 19- Olivas Adobe House Tours 11-3pm The Olivas Adobe historic site features the original two-story adobe home of Don Raymundo Olivas built in 1847. Celebrating Ventura’s Rancho and Latino heritage. Located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura. House tours are $5 for Adults and $3 for children and Seniors. More Information is available at

Sunday, May 26- Olivas Adobe House Tours 11-3pm The Olivas Adobe historic site features the original two-story adobe home of Don Raymundo Olivas built in 1847. Celebrating Ventura’s Rancho and Latino heritage. Located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura. House tours are $5 for Adults and $3 for children and Seniors. More Information is available at

Earth Day

Yana and a friend enjoying Earth Day. Photos by Yana Khiyod and Patricia Schallert

The Earth Day celebration in the City of Ventura held on April 20th at Plaza Park was an exceptional display of community spirit and environmental consciousness.

Attendees were treated to an array of attractions, including electric cars, eco-friendly activities, live music, sustainable vendors, interactive displays, and captivating performances by local Mexican dance groups and vocalists.

Mia Lopez, embodying her Chumash heritage, bestowed a heartfelt blessing upon the festival’s opening, emphasizing the ongoing efforts for a better Ventura. Mayor Joe Schroeder echoed “the significance of embracing Mother Earth and promoting unity amidst diverse lifestyles is important.”

The event served as a unified platform for acknowledging the past and collectively moving forward towards a greener, more sustainable future. It was a celebration that left a lasting impact on the community, igniting a shared commitment to environmental stewardship.

150 Artisans Will Display Their Designs At 38th Annual California Strawberry Festival

Nicole Dembowich of NZ Designs Studio is creating mugs for the festival.

Artisans from California and beyond will display their creations at the 38th Annual California Strawberry Festival, May 18 and 19 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura (10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura, CA 93001).

Known for its array of strawberry-themed food and beverages, the festival has also established itself as one of the top destinations for unique and eclectic artistic designs. Many of the 150 crafters at the festival incorporate strawberries into their paintings, woodwork, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, specialty foods, furniture, children’s toys and photography. “While strawberries are the main attraction, festivalgoers often head straight to the arts and crafts booths to check out what’s new,” says Dana Hale-Mounier, director of Pacific Fine Arts Festivals and coordinator of the festival’s arts and craft booths.

For Britney Mendoza, this will be the first time she will be displaying her candle designs at the festival. “The California Strawberry Festival is very nostalgic for me,” says Mendoza, who began her Thirty Four Charms business nearly a decade ago. “My family would attend all the time when I was a kid growing up in Oxnard. Spring is officially here when I see the festival come to town.”

Paul Crabtree, owner of Colorburst Studios, will display earrings (including strawberry designs), barrettes, necklaces and bracelets made from Niobium and Titanium.

Nicole Dembowich of NZ Designs Studio is creating mugs, berry bowls, sponge holders, trinket trays, pitchers, olive oil bottles, serving trays, butter dishes, garden stakes and more that will all be strawberry-themed. This will be Dembowich’s third year participating at the festival.

The California Strawberry Festival, which attracts 50,000 visitors over two days, features more than 50 food and beverage booths, many with a strawberry dish or drink made from fresh strawberries. Other attractions include live entertainment on multiple stages, Strawberryland for Kids, carnival rides, a Ninja Nation obstacle course and a $5 “build-your-own” Strawberry Shortcake Experience.

Festival general admission is $15, active military with ID and family and seniors 62 and over, $10, youth ages 5 to 12, $8, and children 4 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at or upon entry to the festival. A limited amount of parking is available onsite for $20 per vehicle.

Festival-goers are encouraged to use the free shuttles, which will run every 15 minutes to the festival from nearby locations in Oxnard and Ventura. Festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

For more about the festival visit or follow on Facebook and Instagram.