by Lisa Carey
October kicks off the month with the much-anticipated 2015 Ventura Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Show, a coveted fall tradition at Seaside Park October 2-4, complete with a pumpkin patch for kids, an outdoor stage with live entertainment, and three buildings brimming with hundreds of captivating arts & crafts and specialty foods.
The unique setting brings out the best for shopping and entertainment in a fall celebration that has surprises at every turn. Only hand-made original works are permitted in this exclusive showcase that presents more than 24,000 creations. From stunning jewelry and clothing, to purses, ceramics, woodwork, blown glass, gourmet sauces, photography, ornaments and more, there is something that appeals to all styles and tastes. Patrons appreciate the opportunity to interact with artists, get their items personalized and even learn some helpful tips through crafting demonstrations.
“In celebration of our 26th year in Ventura benefitting local non-profit organizations, we will be giving the first 100 attendees each day free admission,” said Nancy Glenn, Harvest Festival show manager. “We work year round to deliver the total experience our patrons have come to expect, with engaging festivities and quality works that push the boundaries of creativity and we want to reward their loyalty.”
Local artists will be among the hundreds of inventive exhibitors. Ever had a purse or a wine tote made from a cowboy boot? The novelty and workmanship of leather creations from Chris West Originals of Ventura are a “must see” blend of old west meets contemporary art with function from re-purposed western wear. Karen Nolke of Winnetka specializes in handmade porcelain pin sets, necklaces, and earrings, while Cecily Reeve of Thousand Oaks transforms ceramic tiles into artistic light switch covers, trivits, coasters and more.
Patrons who bring non-perishables for donation to Food Share will receive $2 off admission. The Ventura Boys & Girls Club hosts the parcel and bag check, while Clinicas del Camino Real offers free health screenings. Macaroni Kid presents the interactive Kidzone and serves up oodles of fun with free make ‘n’ take crafts and play equipment from MyGym Ventura. Green Thumb of Ventura presents the wonderful pumpkin patch. Lowe’s Home Improvement of Ventura also joins in with a “build it” area for kids to create free mementos to share with friends. Contests feature an array of prizes, among them, a gift pack courtesy of Ventura Wine Trail.
Main stage entertainment features “The Fargo Brothers,” whose vocal harmonies deliver a remarkable combination of blues and rock & roll and the high-energy juggling and acrobatic duo of “Something Ridiculous.” Strolling performers include “Fables of the West,” stilt walker “Friendly Frankie” and toe tapping tunes from “Big Mama Sue & Fast Eddie.”
The Ventura Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Show is Oct. 2-4 at Seaside Park, Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 West Harbor Blvd, Ventura. Hours are Fri-Sat.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are: adults, $9; seniors (62+), $7; Youths (13-17), $4; kids 12 and under are free. For more information go to www.harvestfestival.com or call 800-346-1212.
Conejo Valley Happening is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s event. For a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets, click here.