This weekend, Ventura County families will have a number of ways--musical, theatrical, athletic and even academic--to observe the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo.
On Saturday, Latin and salsa sounds of local musical group Nuestro will fill the air at a free Cinco de Mayo concert on the lawn at Ventura Harbor Village. The event is free and runs from 1-4 p.m.
Nuestro offers a big sound--nine musicians adept on a dozen instruments including vibes, trumpet, trombone, flute, sax, guitar, drums and keyboard--so expect quite a show.
For a purely theatrical celebration of Latin culture, consider taking the family to a weekend performance at Oxnard's Petit Theatre. Local company Teatro de Los Americas has begun a series of Spanish-language productions there.
The plays are presented with English super-titles (projected above the stage) so you don't have to know Spanish to enjoy them. The current production is "Chumbale," a family-oriented comedy that has proven such a hit that reservations may be difficult to get this weekend. The run lasts until May 10, so there's still time.
The Westpark Community Center in Ventura will host its first annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to traditional food and entertainment, the event will be the occasion for one of the center's popular handball tournaments.
Play is open to kids ages 12-17. There will be adult matches for those 18 and older. Contestants must register prior to play. Doubles begin at 10 a.m., singles at 2 p.m. About 100 people are expected to participate.
There will also be a soccer tournament, five-a-side style, for boys 16 and up. Teams must sign up prior to Sunday by calling (805) 648-1895. (There's a charge of $75 per team to participate in the tournament.)
The fiesta entertainment will be provided by the Westpark Cheerleaders at 11 a.m. and the Ballet Folklorico of Sheridan Way Elementary School at 11:30 a.m. From noon to 3 p.m., Los Bohermios, a local bolero music trio, will perform.
A Cinco de Mayo open house, planned at Ventura College on Saturday, will provide visitors with something that's hard to come by these days--a free lunch.
A "complimentary enchilada lunch" will be served at 12:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. That's the draw for an event that's primarily intended to attract youths who are beginning to think about continuing their education beyond high school.
There will be "door prizes" worth 12 units of paid tuition (worth $156), which will be provided by the Ventura College Foundation. Exhibits and demonstrations will give kids an idea of the college's programs such as biotechnology, business, automotive, criminal justice, nursing and machine technology.
Cinco de Mayo Concert by Nuestro, Sat., 1-4 p.m., at Ventura Harbor Village, 11559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura. Free. (805) 644-1684.
"Chumbale," Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m., at Petit Playhouse in Heritage Square, 730 South B St., Oxnard. $5-$10. (805) 984-3222.
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Soccer and Handball Tournament, Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Westpark Community Center, 450 W. Harrison Ave., Ventura. Free. (805) 648-1895.
Cinco de Mayo Ventura College Open House, Sat., 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Long Vista Road at Day Road, Ventura. (805) 654-6462.