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Thousands Expected for Country Days

September 24, 1998|ANDY SAMUELSON

Celebrating Moorpark's heritage as an agricultural community, the city will host its Country Days festival downtown Saturday.

Organizers expect 3,000 to 5,000 visitors to attend the one-day festival, which includes a parade, a street fair, rides and music.

Country Days once rivaled Simi Valley Days in length and production. It lasted three to four days and organizers brought in carnival rides and other activities.

However, costs escalated to the point that organizers were losing money and, for the last few years, it has been a one-day event.

But, parade coordinator Jim Stueck said the one-day event attracts just as many people as when it lasted three to four days.

In addition to the traditional booths that will line High Street for the street fair, organizers have brought in a 40-foot Ferris wheel, pony rides and a petting zoo.

"It's a lot of fun," said Carolyn Schrimps, executive director of the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce, a major sponsor of the event. The length of High Street "becomes its own little world for the day."

Country Days will kick off with a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m., beginning on Poindexter Avenue and concluding on High Street.

The theme this year is memories, and the grand marshals of the parade are members of last year's Moorpark High School football team, which ended a 60-year string of defeats at the hands of Carpinteria High School.

The street fair will follow along with a teen talent show at 1 p.m. and a swing music demonstration at 2:15 p.m.

Capping off the day, country singer Ashley Jay will give two concerts at the Moorpark Playhouse in the evening.

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