Kiwanis Santa Paula Citrus Festival
celebrating 47th year of family fun
There will be a few changes at this weekend’s 47th Annual Kiwanis Club Citrus Festival held at Harding Park... including even more music and a special VIP Concert Pass to better enjoy it all!
“We’re expecting a great weekend of old-fashioned festival fun,” said Bill Grant, who each year oversees the annual event, the oldest of the very few such celebrations held across the nation.
The July 18-19-20 Citrus Festival opens Friday July 18 at 5 p.m. and closes at 11:00 p.m.. Saturday and Sunday will have the same closing time although the fun will begin at noon both days.
Admission is only $5 for adults, $2 for kids 10 and younger. There is a fun carnival with thrill rides for adults and a special kids section with rides they’ll love... tickets for carnival rides are a separate cost.
Getting your carnival ride tickets early can really save you money: 20 ride tickets are only $14 (save $6!) and are available at Santa Paula Health & Fitness, 847 E. Main St., El Brillante Market, 1016 E. Main St., and Chhinas Market, 133 Dean Dr.
Bracelet Day is Saturday only and offers unlimited rides from noon to 6 p.m. Bracelets must also be purchased in advance; pre-sales of tickets and bracelets will end Friday at noon.
Grant is excited that this year the festival is offering special Concert VIP Passes; for only $25 each you get admission to the festival, two drinks (beer, wine, soda or water) and reserved concert seating.
Limited passes are available (cash or check only) at the Santa Paula Times, 120 Davis St. Those wanting Concert VIP Passes can also contact Cathy Hicks at 625-3259 or Ralph Reyes at 535-9700.
“It’s a great deal and we have such a great lineup of entertainers,” said Grant.
On Friday and Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. DJ Rene Sanchez Jr. will mix up a good time, opening Friday for the Hip Street Band and Ray Carrion & the Latin Allstars; on Saturday Sanchez will play his eclectic tunes before Juano & Friends and The Grove Line take to the stage.
Sunday the bands will start playing at 4 p.m. with a lineup ranging from Banda el Patron, Nueva Imagen, Grupo Bryndis and Banda Astilleros,
The acclaimed Grupo Bryndis was formed in 1984 - founded and still led by Mauro Posadas of Santa Paula - and among its musical awards is a 2007 Latin Grammy.
Although Grant said the weather is forecast to be warm through mid-week, “It’s supposed to cool down for the weekend... and we just hope everyone comes out to have a good time. We’ve got our great Guadagno Carnival,” with its array of exciting rides for adults and more gentle attractions for small children, as well as the world’s best corndogs.
Grant said festival guests appreciate the more compact footprint of the event, which has merchandise vendors, food trucks and booths outside the Boys & Girls Club building and inside Recreation Park; the Kiwanis Beer Booth this year will have a neighboring Wine Booth operated by and benefiting St. Vincent de Paul. Grant said it’s especially fun at night when the festival is all lit up, the Ferris Wheel and other amusement park rides visible to motorists on Highway 126 who often get off the freeway and come back to join the celebration.
“We’ll have lots of good food, fun times, great music, vendors with really nice merchandise - people tell us all the time how they found really nice stuff to buy - and a great, great time overall... the Citrus Festival is put on every year for our community and visitors, and our festival is just for our guests!”
And it doesn’t hurt that all the funds raised by the Kiwanis Club and other nonprofits that take part in the festival are used to benefit the community, in the case of Kiwanis youth activities and programs.
There is paid parking near the festival and plenty of street parking but shuttle service is not available this year.
To learn more about the 47th Annual Kiwanis Club Citrus Festival, visit www.santapaulafestival.org - and be sure to Like them on Facebook!