Along with the usual overzealous Boogey-board riders and ear-piercing sounds of teen-agers' radios, a Santa Barbara beach will be invaded by anything from giant octopuses to monster frogs this Sunday.
In its 16 years, the Sandcastle and Sculpting Contest at East Beach has inspired such creations as mermaids, a dog watching TV and a New York City skyline.
And if all goes well, a Ventura County dragon will appear in Santa Barbara for the 17th annual contest on Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.
A group of employees at a Camarillo computer company won first place in a Ventura sand-sculpting contest this summer. They would like to recreate their legendary lizard, but the woman in charge of sculpting the head has moved to Maryland.
"We can't have a headless dragon," team captain Carol Cook said. "And that's such an intricate part we don't know if we can get anyone else to do it in time for the contest."
Most teams do a few practice runs before the contest to get things organized so they can finish their sculpture--confined to a 15-square-foot area--by the 3 p.m. deadline. A total of $1,500 will be awarded to the winners, who will donate the money to a chosen charity. Contest entry is closed, but looking is open and free. To get to East Beach go north on the Ventura Freeway and exit on Cabrillo Boulevard. Turn left to the first visible beach.
The films of three significant directors will be screened on three consecutive Sundays and Mondays starting this Sunday. The "Independent! Films by Black Women' series opens with works by the late Kathleen Collins, marking two years since her death. "Losing Ground" is an often-humorous 1982 drama about a black female philosophy professor's search for a more complete sense of identity.
On Oct. 21 and 22, Pearl Bowser, a film archivist, will discuss the work of black women filmmakers in general. She will present a documentary by D. Elmina Davis, "Omega Rising: Woman of Rastafari." The film explores decolonization and raises questions about race and identity.
The series concludes on Oct. 28 and 29 with works by Ayoka Chenzira, a film and video artist in New York, who writes, directs, edits and markets her films.
The first two Sunday shows--this week and Oct. 21--will be at 2 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the third Sunday show will be at La Casa De La Raza, also at 2 p.m. All the Monday shows, this week and Oct. 22 and 29, will be at 8 p.m. at Isla Vista Theater, at UC Santa Barbara. Tickets, $5, are available at the door. For information (805) 893-3535.
Ethnic arts films will be shown at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on Thursday nights throughout October. Two films concerning the people of Oceania will be shown at the Fleischmann Auditorium at 8 tonight. Suggested donation for the films is $6, $2 for seniors and students. Call (805) 682-4334.
Art, food and entertainment are the highlights of the 10th annual Italian Festival. This year, visitors will be invited to take off their shoes and stomp around in a vat of grapes.
The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, at Santa Barbara's Oak Park. Admission is free.
The sounds of Beethoven and Brahms, with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, open the Santa Barbara Symphony's 1990-91 season on Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $35. Call 965-6596. The Angeles Quartet will perform compositions by Beethoven, Brahms and Janacek when they appear at UCSB's Campbell hall at 8 p.m. Friday.
The quartet is composed of violinist Kathleen Lenski, co-concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; violinist Roger Wilkie, also a member the L.A. orchestra; cellist Stephen Erdody and violist Brian Dembow, formerly with the now-defunct New York String Quartet. Tickets are $11 to $15. Call (805) 893-3535.
At UCSB's Campbell Hall, the National Theatre of the Deaf, the Tony Award-winning ensemble of deaf and hearing actors, will perform their original version of Robert Nathan's novel "One More Spring" on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The 1933 Depression-era comedy is about a spirited group who decide to "live off the land" in New York City's Central Park. Tickets are $11 to $15. Call (805) 893-3535.
"Vacuum: A Brief History of Housework and Desire," a new play by Susan Stewart Potter, will run from tonight to Nov. 4 at the Center Stage Theater at the new Paseo Nuevo shopping center, Chapala and De la Guerra Streets. Tickets range from $11.50 to $14.50. For tickets and information, call 963-0408.