August 22, 2014

Oxnard Salsa Festival, July 26, 27

 

Spicy food, hot music and Oxnard's cool ocean breezes are on the menu for the 21st Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival. Plaza Park is the place for a two-day celebration of everything salsa—food, music, and dance. You can taste it, you can dance it, and you can even take it home!

The celebration starts with a Friday night kick-off concert (paid concert) on July 25, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m, introducing the Oxnard Salsa Orchestra led by Raul Rico Jr.

Tickets for the Friday night concert seating are $10 per person and can be purchased on-site. Groups of six can pre-order reserved tables ($85) on the festival website.

Sizzling Salsa Bands—Four new bands join the Festival this year. , July 26 and 27. OPA OPA, plays Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with their rich percussive rhythms, remarkable vocals and robust brassy horns. At 2 p.m., appearing for the first time, the 17-piece Sabor Latino Orchestra performs original music in the traditional Latin music genre of the golden era of the Mambo Kings, New York Salsa and Afro-Cuban music. At 4:45 p.m., Yari Morè Band closes the day in its first-ever appearance at the Oxnard Salsa Festival.

Sunday’s celebration kicks off with Conjunto Afro Son, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Led by Bobby Escoto III, this group of seasoned musicians hail from different parts of north, central and South America. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the 10-piece Orquesta Tabaco y Ron, a Southern California favorite, continues the salsa beat. The Janeen Puente Orchestra takes to the stage and closes the day’s music. Puente is the granddaughter of the great Tito Puente.

The Festival Main Stage entertainment runs continuously from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday

Salsa Dance Shows—On Sunday, local community leaders are paired with the region’s best salsa instructors to dance for charity during the Dancing with Our Community Stars Dance Contest and Charity Fundraiser. Patterned after ABC’s hit TV show, this salsa-twist version is a highlight of the Festival weekend.

Salsa Recipe Contest—Salsa lovers can put their creations to the test by entering the The Great Oxnard Salsa Challenge. The Challenge gets underway on Sunday morning, July 27. Judging begins at 11 a.m., with winners announced at 1 p.m.

Kids Korner with Tortilla Art—Endless hours of fun await kids at this year’s expanded activities. Kids get creative in the arts and crafts booth, using real tortillas provided courtesy of Mission Foods. Kids can also get their bodies moving with a variety of inflatables, including a traditional ‘\bounce house, plus a giant maze and slide for the younger kids.

Festival Marketplace Food & Shopping—Find a wide assortment of international foods and shopping opportunities with close to 150 food, craft, gourmet sauce and retail exhibitors.

Salsa Tasting Tent—An estimated 60,000 samples of specialty salsas will be dished up by local restaurants, Mexican markets and gourmet salsa vendors inside the Festival’s big-top Salsa Tasting Tent. Whatever one’s salsa preference— fresh & fruity, hot & smoky, sweet & spicy or extremely hot—it’s all available here. Tent admission is $5 per person and includes freshly made Mission Foods tortilla chips and ten tasting tickets.

Reserved Seating—There are two different ways for festival goers to get closer to the music: reserved seating and Club Salsa. Reserved tables are available on the west side of the stage with a table for six and an umbrella for shade. Club Salsa is located on the east side of the stage complete with tables, umbrellas plus its own private dance floor. Ticket information and reservations can be found online.

Plaza Park is located at Fifth and B Streets, in Oxnard, CA. Festival admission and parking are free. No pets or coolers are permitted on-site. For more information: oxnard.com; Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 2-Oxnard. For Festival information: (805) 247-0197; or oxnardsalsafestival.com.