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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

August 01, 1996

FRIDAY: Cool Country Rock

Todd Snider, perhaps the coolest Snider since the Duke, will be bringing his country rock show to the Ventura Theatre. More Bottle Rockets than Willie Nelson, Snider writes funny songs about the ubiquitous Ms. Wrong, plus Will Kimbrough shreds on guitar. The new album is "Step Right Up" and should please roots-rocks fans as well as those in pointy shoes.

Also on the bill is another country rocker, Jack Ingram, and also Jenna & the Weeping Buddahs. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are, for these days, a deal at $10. The venue is at 26 Chestnut St. Call them at 648-1888.

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SATURDAY: Remembering Lenny Bruce

Books on Main in Ventura will celebrate the life and humor of Lenny Bruce on Saturday, 30 years to the day after his fatal heroin overdose. A large and unique collection of Bruce memorabilia includes recordings, posters, photographs, scripts, letters, reviews, interviews and more. All of the material comes from Bruce's personal papers.

Between frequent drug busts and arrests for obscenity, Bruce was the patron saint of stand-up comedians, but we probably can't quote him in a family newspaper. The exhibition will be on display through August, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. Books on Main is at 588 E. Main St. in downtown Ventura. Call store owner Keith Burns at 652-2008 to find out more.

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WEEKEND: Hot, Hot, Hot

This isn't a weather forecast, but rest assured things are going to get hot in Oxnard this weekend. The third annual Salsa Festival returns to Plaza Park for three days of palate-punishing fun that includes salsa tastings, a professional salsa contest, a carnival, live music, arts and crafts, and a 5K run at 8 a.m. Saturday. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, while the carnival kicks off Friday.

Carnival hours: 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Festival hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 483-4542 or 385-7545.

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UP THE COAST

Santa Barbara's annual Old Fiesta Days kicks into high gear today and continues through Sunday. While there are far too many activities to list here, you can plan on a healthy offering of music, dance, outdoor markets, horse shows, traditional foods and more.

Some of the highlights follow.

* Carnival: 5-10 p.m. daily, Santa Barbara City College's La Playa West parking lot.

* Competicion de Vaqueros: The rodeo is held at 7:30 p.m. nightly, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

* El Desfile Historico: One of the premier events of the festival, the Old Spanish Days Parade will kick off at noon Friday at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard, proceed east to State Street, then north up State Street from the beach to Sola Street.

* Mariachi Festival: Several top mariachi bands, including Mariachi Sol de Mexico, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Santa Barbara County Bowl.

* Las Noches de Ronda: traditional Spanish music and dancing, al fresco, 8 p.m. nightly at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens.

For a complete schedule of events and ticket information for individual events, call 962-8101.

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A GLANCE AHEAD

The 16th annual Acoustic Music Festival comes to Camarillo on Aug. 10. Held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Dizdar Park, featured performers include bluegrass specialists Jimmy Adams and Bud Bierhaus, blues man Bob Jones with Mike Velasquez and the Hawaiian folk group Ohana Puanani. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic for this ever-affordable free festival. The park is located on Glenn Drive, just off Ventura Boulevard. For more information, call 482-6115 or 641-3788.

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