Hot Latin sounds, exotic dancing and spicy culinary flavors are all part of the 25th Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival. The festival, July 28 and 29, is a celebration of all things salsa–the food, music and dance. Festivities take place at Plaza Park, Fifth and “B” streets in historic downtown Oxnard from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. both days.
Entertainment: Festivalgoers can dance to the beat of Latin bands from when the doors open to close. Highlights includes Janeen Puente, and her orchestra who are performing on Saturday at 4:45 p.m. Puente has a strong southern California following. Her band initially focused on paying tribute to female icons of salsa, but now has established its own voice, style and sound. On Sunday Orquesta Tabaco Y Ron takes the stage at 4:45 p.m. This 12-piece “Big-Band” orchestra is composed of musicians from all over Latin America. The orchestra produces a high-energy, hard-edged brand of salsa music that appeals to devoted salsa dancers and Latin music lovers worldwide.
Salsa Tasting Tent: The tent is filled with dozens of samples of salsa and hot sauce from local restaurants and gourmet grocers. The Great Oxnard Salsa Challenge is Sunday and open to amateur salsa chefs. Admission to the tent is $5 per person and includes a bag of fresh Mission tortilla chips and 10 tasting tickets.
The two days also feature a vendor marketplace, international cuisine, community stage, a kids’ zone and the annual “Dancing With Our Community Stars” contest to raise money for local charities. Over the years, the contest has raised more than $750,000 for local charities.
This year’s Friday Night Kick Off Concert, July 27, features Poncho Sanchez and his fiery stew of infectious melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources. The concert will also be at Plaza Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the concert from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. As part of the 25th festival celebration, general admission is free to the public. Bring your own food. Beer and wine margaritas will be available.
The festival is presented by the Oxnard Downtowners and sponsored by Bud Light, Gold Coast Broadcasting, Mission Foods, Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau and other community partners. Festival proceeds go back into downtown Oxnard and to help pay for events including the Oxnard Farmers Market and Oxnard Christmas Parade.
About 40,000 people attend the festival each year. Festival admission and parking are free. Main stage seating is just $5. For festival information, call 805‐535‐4060, email email@example.com or visit www.oxnardsalsafestival.com or on Facebook.