A bundle of entertaining activities — music, sports, theater, museums, parks and shopping — is waiting to be unwrapped in Ventura County and beyond. Drop into a wave at one of the county’s beautiful public beaches, for instance, or shop until you drop at Ventura Harbor Village. Don’t miss the annual county fair or the traditional holiday “Nutcracker” performance by the Ventura County Ballet Company. And be sure to check out the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Residents of Ventura County will enjoy a variety of annual events, festivals and community gatherings.
Galleries, businesses and sidewalks come to life with art exhibits that highlight Ventura’s unique visual and performing arts community during the first weekend in October. One of Ventura’s signature events, the self-guided tour of beauty draws thousands of people every year.
This free festival in September encourages attendees to “go bananas” while supporting the namesake port in Port Hueneme. During the one-day event there is live music, a kids zone, port tours, a banana cream pie-eating contest, food vendors selling banana smoothies and splits, and a local marketplace where you can purchase banana soap, handcrafted items and more.
California Strawberry Festival
Local strawberry growers show off the fruits of their labor at this annual event usually held in May in Oxnard. Taste and purchase locally grown strawberries while enjoying a carnival, live music, strawberry-eating contests and games for the whole family.
This annual motorcycle art and culture show revs up each December at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Wonder at the custom designs and paint jobs; wander vendor booths and a swap meet; and enjoy food, live music and other entertainment. The festival has a modest admission fee, with discounts for members of the military and youth. Visit the website for schedules and more details.
Harvest Moon Spooktacular
This free event, hosted by Downtown Ventura Partners and Open Classroom, will scare up a good time in late October. Enjoy carnival games, jumpers, junior haunted house, scavenger hunt, pie-eating contest, food and beverages, crafts, face painting, raffle and a silent auction. Costumed youth can trick-or-treat for free candy at about 50 locations downtown.
Oxnard Steampunk Fest
A fascination with wonders and curiosities comes to Heritage Square in Oxnard. The Oxnard Steampunk Fest has expanded to two days in October. Join the gathering of goggle-adorned top hats, corsets, Victorian clothing embellished in clocks and gears, leather and lace or just come to learn more about this fabulous sub-culture. Don’t forget to see Steampunk 101, and learn about all things steampunk has to offer. A costume and/or gadgetry contest will take place on the main stage both days with a cash prize.
Ventura County Fair
This event held in August has been delighting residents every year since 1875, with the exception of a few years during World War II. Peruse farm animal exhibits, get your thrills on the carnival midway, eat yummy food, enter a cooking contest or enjoy live music and other entertainment — there’s something for everyone.
Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights
This annual tradition held in December celebrated its 40th year in 2016. Enjoy watching as a parade of boats reflects bright holiday lights in the Ventura harbor. Indulge in a little seaside dining as the fleet goes by, and pick up some last-minute holiday gifts in the shops of Ventura Harbor Village. Kids will also enjoy carnival rides and free visits with Santa. Fireworks put an added sparkle in the sky.