LANCASTER — The fact that flowers may not bloom for another week or so in the California Poppy Reserve won't halt this weekend's ninth annual California Poppy Festival.
Organizers say the event, which started as an Earth Day celebration for area residents, has evolved into a "mini jazz festival" to complement the 200 arts and crafts vendors and family activities.
When the bright orange flowers are in abundance, the festival attracts 65,000. When there is a dearth of poppies, about 50,000 attend, spokeswoman Stephanie Weiss said.
Today's entertainment includes an 11:30 a.m. performance by the Ronnie Crumbly Combo, followed by a 1:30 p.m. show by alto saxophonist Eric Marienthal and a 3:30 p.m. performance by saxophonist and singer Kevin Mahogany.
On Sunday, the funky Graffiti Cafe will play at 11:30 a.m., followed by the Mark Isham Band at 1:30 p.m. and jazz vocalist Kurt Elling at 3:30 p.m.
There will also be a carnival area, children's crafts, flower and garden market, displays of dinosaur heads, helicopter rides and futuristic X-planes from the NASA-Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.
The festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday at Lancaster City Park, 43011 N. 10th St. West. Admission is $6 for people 13 to 61, $3 for those 62 and older and children 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and younger. Parking is $2 per car. For more information, call (661) 723-6077.