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East Ventura County

CONEJO VALLEY : Picnic to Kick Off Festival Is Salvaged

March 12, 1994|BRENDA DAY

Volunteers have put together a scaled-down replacement for the traditional Conejo Valley Days kick-off picnic, which was canceled this week because of financial cutbacks.

The smaller event, also a family picnic, will be held on the same date and time as the planned kick-off. Unlike the giant picnic, the March 20 event will not feature sales of beer or commercial items, which will slash the cost of security and insurance, organizers said.

"This will just be a good, old-fashioned family picnic," said Bob Rickards, chairman of the grand marshal competition, who organized the replacement event.

At a meeting of the Conejo Valley Days organizing committee Thursday night, community leaders opened their wallets and offered their labor to keep the picnic from disappearing altogether, Rickards said.

About $800 was raised to rent the pavilion at Conejo Creek Park North and to provide entertainment at the event, which will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Rickards said. Service clubs have agreed to barbecue chicken and steak with proceeds going to the festival, he said.

In past years, service clubs selling food were allowed to keep all but 5% of the proceeds, organizers said.

"I'm very pleased and I'm very proud of the way people responded to this," Rickards said. "They came up with the money in about five minutes."

The money will be split by this year's two grand marshal contestants, who compete to raise the most funds for Conejo Valley Days so they can win the honor of presiding over the festival.

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