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Costumes Required This Weekend : Besides the scheduled pumpkin events, there's a two-day historical re-enactment celebration at Lake Casitas near Ojai.


If you cowgirls have been looking for an excuse to climb into that old cat suit hangin' in the back of the closet, this weekend is as good a time as any. And gents can indulge that wanna-be "hat-hunk" fashion urge at several countrified Halloween events planned around the county. Here's a sampling of what's in store.

The Country Lovers Western Dance Club should get the weekend off to a good start Friday with a Happy Halloween Dance featuring a costume contest and plenty of two-steppin' and line dancing. Last year's event was great fun. And you can't miss with Shiloh, one of the area's most popular country bands, and the American Legion's huge dance floor.

David Graves will teach at 7 p.m., then Shiloh plays until midnight. Tickets are $7 per person for members, $8 for non-members. (American Legion Hall, 83 S. Palm St., Ventura, 647-1893).


On Saturday you've got more choices than Carter had pills. But whatever you decide to do, don't leave home without wearing a costume. On Saturday and Sunday an estimated 12,000 visitors are expected to attend Gold Coast Productions' first-time "American Country Celebration" on the shores of Lake Casitas near Ojai. Two hundred costumed characters will perform re-enactments illustrating ways of life from historical periods including the European colonization, American Revolution, Civil War, the Mountain Man-fur trade era and settlement of the West.

You'll find stuntmen demonstrations, food and crafts booths and pony rides. The "Western States Fast Draw Finals" competition is sure to attract scores of gunfighters.

But the most colorful cowpoke is sure to be Montie Montana, a living legend and inductee in several rodeo halls of fame. The veteran of more than 60 television shows and films since 1934 will perform his world-famous rope tricks and sign copies of his book, "Not Without My Horse!."

For a musical treat, head for the main stage where Rick Henderson will teach a line dance at 10 a.m., then emcee an alternating series of one-hour sets by two popular bands. On both days at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Buck Page's Original Riders of the Purple Sage will delight the crowd with classic cowboy tunes dating back to the '30s.

On Saturday the Rhythm Rangers will play their popular mix of high-energy country-rock at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. And on Sunday, look for dance-along entertainment from Darlene O'Connell & the Dixie Flyers at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.

The fun goes both days from 10 a.m. to dusk. Admission is $6 adults, $5 for students with I.D., $4 for seniors and children age 12 and under; $2 parking. For directions or more information, call 646-8126 or 496-6036.


The Crazy Bull folks in Camarillo have put together a real wing-ding Halloween concert and costume party for Saturday night. The fun starts at 7 p.m. when local favorites Darlene O'Connell & the Dixie Flyers take the stage.

Then get ready for a special show starring Branscombe Richmond and the Renegade Posse. Fans of the hit television series, "Renegade," will recognize Richmond as the character Bobby Sixkiller. There will also be appearances by American Gladiators, "Gemini," Ms. California, Page Adams and Tony Pena of television's "The Young and the Restless."

K-Hay's "Miss Radio," Charlye Parker, will host the evening. And instead of Saturday's usual dance lesson, you can bet on a great costume contest including special prizes for the best Darlene O'Connell and Branscombe Richmond look-alike outfits.


* WHAT: Halloween Concert and Costume Party.

* WHO: Branscombe Richmond and the Renegade Posse with guests Darlene O'Connell & the Dixie Flyers.

* WHERE: Crazy Bull Steakhouse & Saloon, 4426 Central Ave., Camarillo.

* WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday

* HOW MUCH: $10 per person in advance, $12 at the door.

* ETC: K-Hay radio personality, Charlye Parker, will emcee this concert, costume contests and appearances by several celebrities.

* CALL: 988-4209.

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