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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | COUNTYWIDE

Fair Is Washout but Not Conejo Easter Event

April 05, 1998|LISA FERNANDEZ

Morning rain, muddy fields and cool temperatures did not deter thousands of Ventura County families from the Conejo Valley park district's 13th annual "Eggstravaganza" on Saturday.

"We're troopers," said Laurie Olbrich, recreation coordinator for the Conejo Recreation and Park District.

"We thought about canceling," added her boss, Jesse Washington. "But barring a major El Nino, it's just hard to turn the kids away."

The drizzle and the soggy Conejo Creek South soccer fields didn't seem to bother the Wislinsky brothers, 5-year-old Erik and 4-year-old Kyle of Thousand Oaks. Dressed in matching Scooby Doo rain gear, the two were too busy trying to knock down pink bunnies with a bowling ball than to worry about the rain.

"After karate class, we just headed over here," said their father, Mike. "It's a neat thing the park does. Plus, it's free."

Event planners estimated that this year's Eggstravaganza, which offered pony rides, petting zoos, crafts and a haystack egg hunt, drew a few thousand people. In good weather, about 10,000 people attend the annual event, they said.

The weather wasn't as kind to the Ventura Community Service's "Cottonball Canyon Days," planned for Arroyo Verde Park. Although popcorn and coffee vendors had set up in anticipation of the fair, they were packing up their equipment Saturday morning.

"We had everything ready to go, but it just rained," said Ventura city spokeswoman Andrea Anderson.

But the day wasn't a total loss for some.

A few families still came by to pick up their free bag of goodies and plastic eggs.

Others said they would just have to think of something else to do on a rainy Saturday.

"It's kind of a bummer," said Shani Kelley of Ojai, who had intended to let her 5-year-old niece, Clover, and 2-year-old son, Noah, romp with the Easter bunny. "But we're on our way to see 'Grease' now."

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