Somehow in our post about Ventura County events happening in July, we missed not only one of the most anticipated events of the summer, but an event that Ventura County residents look forward to all year long. The Oxnard Salsa Festival is happening this weekend, and it is definitely one of my personal favorite local events, which makes the fact that we missed it even more confusing. With only a couple of days left, hopefully this post will get you up to speed on everything that you need to know to make plans to attend the event.
Friday Night Concert
Although the majority of the festivities happen on Saturday and Sunday, the festival officially kicks off on Friday night. Starting at 7:00 PM, Oscar Hernandez and his band will be playing with Justo Almario and Dr. Bobby Rodriquez. Known as one of the most gifted Latin jazz performers, Oscar Hernandez and friends will be playing until 9:00 PM. The concert will be at Plaza Park with gates opening at 5:30 PM. There will be beer and margaritas for sale and no outside alcohol is permitted.
Starting this year there will be a $5 charge per person to sit in the Concert Venue Open Seating section. According to the website, there will be a number of chairs provided or you can bring your own chair or sit on the lawn. The $5 charge is only to get into the Open Seating section, so you can attend the festival for free and enjoy the rest of the activities from outside the open seating section. There will be beer and margaritas sold inside the Open Seating section. Coolers and outside alcohol will not be permitted.
On both sides of the dance floor will be sections that are reserved for premium seating. For a price, you can have a table with five seats reserved for you and your friends. Being right next to the dance floor and stage, the premium section offers some of the best views you can find. If you purchase a table, you are guaranteed to have unlimited access to that table for the entire day. Tickets are currently not available for purchase online, but the website states that there may be a limited amount of tables available on Sunday. If you are interested, make sure to check with the Reserved Seating Host as soon as the festival begins on Sunday.
Salsa Tasting Tent
Along with the music, the Salsa Festival is also a celebration of food. The Salsa Tasting Tent will feature over forty different salsas for you to taste and purchase. For $5 a person, you get admission to the tent, a bag of tortilla chips, and ten tickets to be used to taste the different salsas. Purchasing any of the salsas to take home is in addition to the $5 tent charge.
There would be no point in having salsa tasting and sales if there were no other food to go with it. The Salsa Festival will have two different food courts featuring tacos, tamales, empanadas, desserts, and much more. Soft drinks and beer can also be bought in the food courts to help wash down your meal.
The Salsa Festival will have over 100 vendors selling everything from jewelry, toys, hats, pottery, Latin American imports, and hundreds of other items. When you need a break from all the dancing, make sure to check out all the different booths and see what the different vendors have to offer.
Along with the vendors selling their specialty items, there will be a booth dedicated to selling Salsa Festival Souvenirs. If you would like 2015 Oxnard Salsa Festival clothing or merchandise, make sure you make your way to the Souvenir booth.
As with any good family event, the Salsa Festival will have a kid zone. Featured in the kid’s zone will be arts & crafts, a giant maze and slide, inflatables, and a climbing wall.
Salsa Recipe Contest
On Sunday the Salsa Recipe competition will take place. The contest will feature approximately 50 different amateurs competing to take home the prize for best salsa. Categories will include best hot salsa, best medium salsa, best mild salsa, best fruit salsa, best green salsa, and best red salsa. The category winners will receive a “goodie bag” and a $30 gift certificate to the Kitchen Eatery. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 cash prize.
There will be six different bands performing throughout the weekend. Here is the current schedule:
11:00 AM – Orquesta Rumbankete
2:00 PM – Son Mayor
4:45 PM – Echo Park Project
11:00 AM – Conjunto Oye!
2:00 PM – Sabor De Mi Cuba
4:45 PM – Tabaco y Ron