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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

July 25, 1996

WEEKEND: Head to the Chapel

The Santa Clara Chapel Fiesta--an annual event that attracts throngs of celebrants--will take place this weekend beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. Proceeds from this year's 12th installment will help the chapel move to make way for a new freeway overpass. The fun includes amusement rides, games, foods, raffles and plenty of live entertainment.

Charisma is the musical headliner Friday night, Satin Soul II will give its final performance Saturday so band members can get ready for college, and Nuestro headlines Sunday afternoon. Event coordinator Joe O'Neill expects upward of 10,000 people over the weekend. Festival hours: 6-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-7:30 p.m. Sunday. The chapel is at 1333 E. Ventura Blvd. near the Rose Avenue exit of the Ventura Freeway. Call 486-1251 to find out more.

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Fun on Two Wheels

There will be serious fish scaring going on at Lake Casitas this weekend as the Southwestern Motorcycle Jamboree revs up on Saturday and Sunday. How Southern California became part of the Southwest is best left to the geographers as the event is titled "Where the Iron Horse Meets the Old West." The weekend activities will feature the California Desperados competing in mounted shooting competitions. There will be bullwhip, gun twirling and enough shootouts to make "The Wild Bunch" seem like a love-in. Sixteen bands will play throughout the weekend featuring everything from rock to country to bluegrass. For the two-wheel enthusiasts, there will be a vintage motorcycle show, weekend rides through the Ojai Valley and a custom Harley show.

Admission is $6, $4 for senior citizens and children under 11. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day and camping at the lake is always an option. The lake is the big blue thing at 11311 Santa Ana Road in Oak View. Call 649-2233 to find out more.

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SATURDAY: Totally Organic

There won't be any headline entertainment, cotton candy or gut-wrenching roller coaster rides, but there will be . . . beneficial bugs?

It's the Organic Fair at Great Pacific Iron Works in Ventura, a kind of gardening celebration, sans chemicals. Held from noon to 4 p.m., the event will include informational talks. Presenters will discuss such topics as how to use beneficial insects to rid your yard of pesky pests and creating a healthy backyard garden, plus there will be a hands-on composting workshop, organic produce tasting, children's activities, prize drawings and more. No charge. Great Pacific Iron Works is at 235 W. Santa Clara St. Call 643-6074.

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UP THE COAST

* The St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church will host its 23rd annual Greek Festival at Oak Park, Alamar Avenue and Junipero Street. If you have a hankering for traditional Greek foods, this will be the spot to be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Also on the schedule are arts and crafts, live entertainment--including folk dancing--a torch-lighting ceremony at noon Saturday and more. No charge. Call 683-4492.

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A GLANCE AHEAD

* The Ojai Shakespeare Festival will return to the oak tree-studded Libbey Bowl beginning Aug. 2. This year's lineup includes the Bard's two-act comedy, "The Merry Wives of Windsor," and "Numb-Skull of Normandie," three one-act comedies adapted and directed by Susan Kelejian from works by Moliere. The festival will continue through Aug. 18. Tickets: $8-$10 Thursdays; $7-$12 Fridays and Sundays; $7-$15 Saturdays. Prices vary depending on the production. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 646-WILL (646-9455).

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