Ojai preparaes for its day
By Lenny Roberts
Here's something you can only
do in a small town: close down main street for a whole day and
push people around on beds. Or go inside Ojai's newest historical
landmark - a cement box, two-cell jail in the rear of Libbey
Park and sense the feeling of what is was like when the jailer
closed the door and went home for the night with you, the prisoner,
With a main focus of featuring the work of local artists, Ojai
Day, Saturday's annual street fair hosted by the Ojai Recreation
Department of the City of Ojai, presents an opportunity for the
community and visitors to come together and celebrate the rich
cultural heritage of Ojai.
Organizers promise Ojai Day 2003 will truly have something for
everyone, from the "Do Da" Parade to the seven stages
featuring every type of live music imaginable, to the overwhelming
number of art and food booths. And, entrance, parking and entertainment
are all free.
Want to learn how to carve the perfect pumpkin? Bill Fox will
be more than happy to show you how near the Libbey Park fountain.
For the hungry, tri-tip sandwiches, fresh roasted corn, hot dogs,
Kettle Korn, shaved ice and more will be offered at booths lining
the Arcade area. Dwayne Bower will pile up the whole family for
free hay rides originating near Ojai Chevron, while Ms. Maybel's
Clip Clop Trolley provides free rides near Signal Street.
In the children's area, music, magic and animals will be on-stage
with many free activities, including bounce, slides and other
fun games, pony rides, face painting and hair braiding. Teens
can participate in the dunk tank, rock climb, make-overs, or
get a henna tattoo. Dance demonstrations, cheerleading and baton
twirling, pingpong and D.J. Divas are just some of the other
For all car buffs, Bower has again organized the classic car
show, featuring restored and original practical vehicles from
the '30s through the muscle cars of the '60s and '70s. Classic
motorcycles will also be on display. In the Market Area, homemade
soaps and perfumes, herb sachets, aromatherapy, vitamin and herb
information and chair and table massages will be offered. Arts
and crafts booths include handmade clothing, jewelry art and
One of the more popular events is the bed race. Last year, teams
raced questionable contraptions down South Signal Street in a
series of challenging events. Nothing was apparently challenged
so much as the rule book and the teams' liberal application of
the regulations. Organizer Jody James said her Stir Crazy bed
should have won last year, but, "they gave it to someone
This year, six teams have signed up for the 2 p.m. event, but
James' team is not one of them.
"I cant even get anyone to build one," she laughed.
"Wait; I have a bed at home. I hadn't even thought of that."
Along with Ojai Police Chief Gary Pentis, Sgt. Ken Edling supervised
his department's entry last year. This year, they plan to win
with returning participants, Deputies Andrea Regan, Tom Triplett
and Joe Preciado.
"It'll be the same all-stars, only I'll be on-duty,"
Edling said. "I'll be out in a black-and-white just to make
sure there's no one absconding with the rules. I have no idea
who's in charge, but we're absolutely going to win."
Edling then became elusive, not revealing if they plan to race
the same losing bed as last year, "It may be the same as
last year; it may be a little different. I can't tell you because
then it won't be a secret," he said.
Ojai Day begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m.
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
Ojai Day 2003 kicks
off Saturday morning and features numerous booths, vendors, music,
art and food, including feats of derring-do, as in this photo
of a bicycle acrobat from last year.