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JAUNTS: In and Around Ventura County | GOING SOUTH

Party Time

Festival promises 60 acts, 50 vendors and a luau.


If you're headed to the park this weekend, you'll find much more going on than dog-walking, duck feeding and a few pickup games.

How about dancing to good salsa music performed live by popular bands? Even those who don't really know how to dance to salsa may find themselves naturally moving their hips to its fast-paced beat.

If you prefer rock, there will be a few bands playing hits as well as popular tunes from the '50s.

The music is only a part of the entertainment planned at the "Salute to Recreation" family festival Friday through Sunday in Northridge.

Costa Azul and Rudy Regalado headline the salsa acts, Line of Fire and Bad Medicine are among the rock bands, and Lil' Elmo and the Cosmos is the featured oldies act.

This weekend they will perform on the main stage set up within the 80-acre Northridge Recreation Center. The area will transform into one big party with fireworks, lots of music, dancing, contests, shopping, a chili blowout and a parade.

The yearly event, which is free to the public, was created in 1982 by the city Department of Recreation and Parks to acquaint the community with some of its activities and services.

A department spokesman estimates that about 300,000 people will attend the three-day event, which will feature four large stages, more than 60 acts, about 50 vendors and an array of attractions for kids.

The entertainment includes folk dancing, clogging, Cajun and jazz music. There's also a Hawaiian village, site of a giant luau with festive island music and hula dancing.

The children's area includes puppets, a petting zoo, miniature train rides, clowns, panning for gold and elephant rides.


"Salute to Recreation" festival, Northridge Recreation Center, 10058 Reseda Blvd. Hours: Fri., 5-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission is free. Information: 767-4171 or 756-8060.

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