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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND

Summertime: Opportunities to Wine, Dine

June 06, 1996

Those looking for a reason to eat and drink the summer away have come to the right place. Ventura County and the surrounding area have plenty of summer festivals at which food and wine are major attractions. Following is a partial list of events:

June 22 and 23

Ventura Harbor Village will host its first SeaFest, a two-day celebration of the sea's resources. People with an appetite know those resources include clams and clam chowder, so among the many events scheduled for the festival will be a clam chowder cooking competition. Also scheduled are an ice-carving demonstration, boat tours and displays, Hawaiian and Greek dancing, puppet and magic shows, arts and crafts, a beachwear fashion show, a marine touch tank and a children's coloring contest. Food booths will be set up for the festival, which will run 11 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. Call 644-0169 for more information.

July 28

The Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo will host "A Taste of Camarillo" at the Adolfo Camarillo House, 3771 Mission Oaks Blvd., 1-4 p.m. Last year 75 wineries and 42 restaurants shared their specialties. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door if available (which they weren't last year). Admission includes the wine and food samples and souvenir wine glass and food tray. Call 482-8113 for more information.

Aug. 2-4

Pucker up and pay tribute to oranges, lemons and other local produce at the Santa Paula Citrus Festival, to be held at Veterans Park, at the corner of 10th and Ventura streets. This Kiwanis Club event will include a parade, a carnival, food booths and many things citrus. There has been plenty of orange juice, lemonade and fruit jams in past years. The festival will run 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 2, noon-11 p.m. Aug. 3 and noon-9:30 p.m. Aug. 4. Call 933-4223 for more information.

Aug. 3 and 4

Ventura County's summer will heat up when the Salsa Festival comes to Oxnard's Plaza Park, at the corner of 5th and A streets. Two days of music, children's activities and other entertainment will be highlighted by a pair of salsa contests, one for amateur chefs and the other for professionals. Admission is free. Call 485-4542.

Sept. 7

Simi Valley Days will get off to a powerful start with a Chili Cook-Off. Location and time have yet to be determined. The festival--which will include a carnival, a rodeo, a parade, the Miss Simi Valley Pageant, a horse show, a barn dance, kowchip bingo and five- and 10-K runs--will last through Sept. 22. Call 581-4280 for more information.

Sept. 14

Local restaurant chefs will put their soup on the line at the Maritime Days Chowder Cook-Off at Channel Islands Harbor. The contest is part of a two-month celebration (Aug. 1-Sept. 29) featuring a boat show (Aug. 1-4), the Channel Islands Art Festival (Aug. 10 and 11) and a boaters' swap meet (Sept. 14). Call 985-4852 for more information.

UP THE COAST

July 9-14

More than 75 wines from California and other wine regions, and food from a dozen Central Coast restaurants, will be featured at the 16th annual Grand Winetasting, July 14 at Avila Beach Resort in Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County. The event is the culmination of the KCBX Central Coast Wine Classic, a week of extravagant food and wine events that includes a gourmet dinner at Hearst Castle, a lunch-cooking demonstration by Chef Michel Richard of Santa Barbara's Citronelle, a tasting from barrels, and dinners at wineries throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Tickets for the Grand Winetasting alone are $15 (designated drivers) and $30 (general). Various event packages range from $155-$825 per person. Call 781-3026 for more information.

Oct. 4-6

Carpinteria will turn green with avocados during this downtown festival. Though it's not held in summer, it's one of the more popular food celebrations in the area. There will be food vendors, arts and crafts, music and, no doubt, plenty of guacamole. Call 684-0038 for times and more information.

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