Oct. 16, 2012
By Tiobe Barron, OVN correspondent
Despite numerous setbacks, including the resignation of 20-year veteran coordinator Jody James, Ojai Day is returning to Libbey Park and downtown this weekend.
“So far we have over 150 vendors, live music all day and into the night, great food from 17 different vendors and activities for the kids and adults. It sounds like it will be a big success!” says Ojai City Manager Rob Clark.
After James resigned, the city hired Ojai residents Lynda Killingsworth and Paul Casanta to co-coordinate the event.
“We have a great team together, with both new and familiar faces,” said Killingsworth. She said that while there will be fewer vendors than last year, there is also less space available, with streets closed only to Ventura Street this year.
“I just love festivals. I am so excited! I love everything about Ojai Day,” Killingsworth exclaimed. She added that she has been attending the event since 1993, even flying from out of state on occasion.
One feature Killingsworth is particularly excited to witness is the construction of the 50-foot mandala in front of the post office on Ojai Avenue Friday night.
River Sauvageau, of Studio Sauvageau, has coordinated the mandala for the last 17 years. People will be able to sign up to help create the mandala even on Friday night, though a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18, according to Killingsworth. To participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646-5581, Ext. 304.
Friday night will also offer free car show, presented by the Ojai Valley Lions Club, from 5 to 8 p.m. on South Signal Street. Along with cars there will be food and drinks, including a beer and wine garden, music from the band Studebaker and a free screening of the family movie “Ice Age: Continental Drift” in Libbey Bowl around 8 p.m.
Saturday’s festivities kick off at 10 a.m. and offer a host of activities and a wide variety of vendors. Events include: Chumash storytelling with elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie in the Chumash Village; belly dancers and psychic readings in the Gypsy Gazebo; a skateboard contest and plenty of teen activities at the Ojai Skate Park; a host of activities for young children such as a petting zoo, music, games and face painting; and plenty of food and drinks for all ages. The Lions Club will offer another beer and wine (and food and music) garden Saturday.
Live music will be featured on five stages and at Libbey Bowl, including such acts as the Madrigali singers, Kyle Hunt and the King Gypsy, Lisbeth Scott and Friends, the Nordhoff High School Marching Band, Noble Creatures and Still Above Ground featuring Milton Kelley.
The Ojai Valley Green Coalition will offer a free bike valet service at Ojai Avenue and Ventura Street to safely store bikes for those who choose to pedal to the event instead of drive. Ojai Trolley will also provide free rides to and from the event.
The Ojai Village Merchants, a group of downtown retailers, will offer coupons, flyers, menus and walking guides to visitors of their booth at Ojai Day. The first 600 people to stop by their booth will also receive free reusable shopping bags.
The Ojai Valley News and Visitors Guide booth will offer coupons from several local businesses and will offer chances to win free subscriptions.
Visit www.ojaiday.com for more information on Friday’s and Saturday’s events.