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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

May 23, 1996|ROD BOSCH

FRIDAY: THE TOP BANANA

Here's an appealing idea. The Banana Slug String Band, those versatile musicians and singers who pitch eco-sensitivity to kids, is doing a 7 p.m. family concert at the Ventura College Theater.

Accompanied by puppets, mandolin, harmonica, banjo and percussion, this Northern California group sings folk songs about dirt, ballads about rivers, rocking boogie tunes about the water cycle and rap songs about the ocean. They have produced five albums and a video, "Dancing With the Earth."

Advance tickets are $6 for children and $8 for adults; $1 more at the door. Tickets are available at Kideos in Ventura, Ventura College's Community Services Department, or by calling 654-6459 or 650-5900. For more information, call 654-6459.

FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: FILLMORE AND MORE

Continuing its 84-year tradition of hosting a festival each May, the city of Fillmore will pay homage to a citrus favorite this weekend. It's the Fillmore Orange Festival, featuring lots of live music, a train and hot-air balloon rides, as well as craft, game and food booths at sites throughout the downtown area.

A parade down Central Avenue will commence at 10 a.m. Saturday. Continuous live music, featuring a variety of bands, will be performed Saturday and Sunday at Central Park and Masonic Park. Featured headliners include the Latin jazz band the Estrada Brothers (6-8 p.m. Sunday, Masonic Park).

A carnival, with rides and a midway, will be set up at Central Park.

Admission to the carnival area is $1 per person and ride tickets are extra. For the bikers, races in several categories, depending on age, will be held Saturday. For race information, call 524-2454 after 6:30 p.m. Carnival hours: 3:30-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. For more details, call 524-3701.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: SOUTHERN SPICE

A little bit of the bayou will come to Simi Valley this weekend when the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise presents its annual Cajun-Creole Music Festival. The infectious traditional dance rhythms of the Cajun and zydeco genres will be performed continuously by eight bands, including noted accordion master Joe Simien, Ventura County's own Acadiana, plus Lisa Haley & the Zydekats, Sheryl Cormier, T Lou & His Super Hot L.A. Zydeco Band and others.

You won't see Chef Paul Prudhomme hawking his spices or stirring a pot of steaming crawfish at the festival, but a fine assortment of Cajun-Creole foods can be had. Jambalaya, seafood gumbo, po' boy sandwiches, and, of course, the traditional red beans and rice will all be prepared on-site. Festivities will include craft booths, children's activities and, what else, a Mardi Gras Parade.

Festival site: Tapo Canyon Road and Los Angeles Avenue. Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Saturday, noon-7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: advance $8, $10 at the gate; children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 520-4894.

A GLANCE AHEAD: COUNTY FAIR CONCERTS

Ventura County Fair organizers just released the entertainment schedule for this summer's event, to be held Aug. 14-25. Here's a look at the headliners performing at the Grandstand Arena:

* Willie Nelson (7:30 p.m. Aug. 14)

* Gladys Knight (7:30 p.m. Aug. 15)

* Gallagher (7:30 p.m. Aug. 19)

* Pat Boone with the New Chordettes (1 p.m. Aug. 20)

* Wayne Newton (7:30 p.m. Aug. 21)

* Patty Loveless with Emilio (7:30 p.m. Aug. 22)

As always, concerts are free with the price of fair admission. Call 642-4100.

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