2016 Oxnard Salsa Festival, Plaza Park in Downtown Oxnard

In the next couple of weeks, it will be time for the annual Oxnard Salsa Festival.  The year, the event is happening on July 30th and 31st. As one of the biggest events in Ventura County, the Oxnard Salsa Festival is sure to be a spectacular occasion as always. Make sure to gather the whole family and come out to enjoy the fun. For anybody who has never attended the Oxnard Salsa Festival, and even those who may attend every year, below is some information to get you up to speed for this year’s event.

Oxnard Salsa Festival General Information

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, Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams will be performing until 9:00 PM. Noel and the Wild Clams have a sound that includes elements of soul, salsa, jazz, funk, and afro-cuban music. The gates to the Friday night concert will open at 5:30 PM. Tickets will range from $10 for kids’ tickets to $120 for reserved tables. Beer and margaritas will be available for purchase on Friday night.

Open Seating

Since starting last year, lawn or chair seating in the Concert Venue Open Seating section will be $5 per person (kids 10 and under will be free). You can bring your own chair or blanket to sit on or you can also use one of the many chairs that will be provided on site. The $5 comes with a wristband that you can use all day for any of the open seating. Beer and margaritas will be available for purchase in this section and you will have access to the dance floor. No lawn umbrellas, coolers, pets or outside alcohol may be brought in.

Premium Seating

On both sides of the dance floor will be sections that are reserved for premium seating. For a price, you can have a table under an umbrella that comes with six 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, the table is reserved for you and your party for the entire day. For those not wanting to reserve an entire table, there are also individual tickets into Club Salsa. These tickets do not guarantee you a specific seat, but rather access to the open seating that will be available in this section.

Salsa Tasting Tent

Along with the music, the Oxnard Salsa Festival is also a celebration of food. The Salsa Tasting Tent will feature over fifty different salsas for you to taste and purchase. There will be fruit salsas, smoky salsas, mild salsas, burning hot salsas, and many more. 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. Don’t do like I did last year and say you’re going to buy some salsa right before you leave only to end up forgetting to do so.

Food Vendors

In addition to the salsa tent, there will be food vendors offering international cuisine. The Salsa Festival will have two different food courts featuring tacos, tamales, empanadas, desserts, and much more. Soft drinks, lemonade, smoothies, beer, and margaritas will be available for purchase to help wash down the delicious salsa.

Craft Vendors

The Oxnard Salsa Festival will have over 100 vendors selling everything from Latin American imports, succulents, sauces, sunglasses, hats, toys, clothing, pottery and jewelry. The streets of Plaza Park will be filled with these vendors, so make sure to take a break from the salsa tasting and dancing to check them out.

Souvenir booth

Along with the vendors selling their specialty items, there will be a booth dedicated to selling Salsa Festival Souvenirs. The souvenir booth will offer artwork, shot glasses, beer glasses, t-shirts, and tank tops.

Kid Zone

It wouldn’t be a family event without a kid zone. This year, the Oxnard Salsa Festival will feature an arts and crafts booth, a bounce house, a giant maze, slide, and a climbing wall in the kid zone.

Salsa Recipe Contest

The salsa recipe contest will take place on Sunday this year. If you are an amateur chef, make sure to enter into this year’s contest. The contest is limited to 50 participants, so make sure to register as soon as possible. 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 the grand prize winner will receive a $100 cash prize. If you are thinking about entering, make sure to download your application.

Band Schedule

There will be six different bands performing throughout the weekend. Here is the current schedule:


11:00 AM – Lily Hernandez y Su Orquesta
2:00 PM – Chino Espinoza y Los Duenos Del Son
4:45 PM – Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca


11:00 AM – Conjunto Afro Son
2:00 PM – Son Mayor
4:45 PM – Orquesta Tabaco y Ron

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