Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ojai offers fun events throughout the year

From great storytelling to creative works of art and even an invasion of pirates, Ojai has many spellbinding events taking place all year long to showcase the community’s spirit, talent and scenic beauty. Visitors can turn an Ojai event into a great getaway by planning an overnight trip. Many of the local inns offer special rates in conjunction with the annual events, creating a wonderful reason to visit the city. While in Ojai, visitors can explore the many unique shops, galleries, and local attractions such as the Olive Oil Farm or Friend’s Ranch that offers agricultural tours and tasty pixies in the spring. Or, perhaps at the end of the day, a spa treatment is in order. Ojai is known as a spa destination with many day spas and destination resorts to choose from.

The following lists the major events taking place in Ojai in 2011:

First Annual Ojai WordFest – March 19-27, 2011
A new event for Ojai, WordFest will showcase the best-selling authors as well as screenwriters, playwrights, poets, cookbook authors and more. Highlights include a writer’s conference, book fair, community events, open mic venues, poetry readings, cooking classes, a movie night and workshops at many of Ojai’s historic and well-known venues.

The 111th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, April 28-May 1, 2011
Founded by NCAA doubles champion William L. Thatcher more than 110 years ago to promote amateur tennis in California, the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament takes place at Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. It is home of the annual Pac-10’s men’s, women’s and doubles individual championship matches.

The 12th Annual Ojai Storytelling Festival, May 5-8, 2011
The 12th Annual Ojai Storytelling Festival will feature seven of the nation’s best storytellers. It will be held at a new venue, the Chaparral Graduation Grounds during the renovation of Libbey Bowl. Attendees will enjoy a tales of suspense, humor, adventure, traditional folktales and other original creations

17th Annual Ojai Valley Garden Tour, May 7, 2011
A self-guided tour, featuring five private gardens in springtime bloom around the Ojai Valley. The annual event is presented by the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce.

22nd Annual Ojai Renaissance & Pirate Faire, May 22-23, 2011
The picturesque Ojai Valley plays host Renaissance revelers as they re-create a 16th century European village at scenic Lake Casitas. Both the participants and visitors have fun transporting themselves back in time to the glories of Queen Elizabeth’s Court.

34th Annual Art in the Park, May 28-29, 2011
This outdoor juried art show draws artists throughout the state and beyond to Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. Mediums include oil, acrylic, glass, pastel, watercolor, mixed media, graphics, wood, photography, sculpture, ceramics, fine jewelry and even wearable art. The event also includes a variety of musical entertainment.

Libbey Bowl Grand Opening Celebration, June 4-5, 2011
The historic re-opening of the open-air Libbey Bowl includes a Gala & Concert on June 4 with acclaimed soprano Dawn Upshaw, and a Day of Music: Ojai’s Community & Arts Celebration on June 5 presenting Ojai Valley musicians and performing arts groups.

65th Annual Ojai Music Festival, June 9-12, 2011
Renowned musical composers gather in Ojai for the annual prestigious Ojai Music Festival, held for the first time in the newly revamped Libbey Bowl. The festival boasts a tradition of mixing new works with exceptional pieces of classical music over a four-day span. The 2011 festival will be led by Music Director Dawn Upshaw.

25th Annual Ojai Wine Festival, June 12, 2011
Held at Lake Casitas, the Ojai Wine Festival includes wine tasting, musical entertainment, arts & crafts, food booths, and boat rides around the lake. Proceeds benefit local organizations.

8th Annual Ojai Lavender Festival, June 25, 2011
The beauty and benefits of lavender are celebrated at the annual festival, which includes demonstrations, speakers, vendors, live music plus all types of lavender products.

49th Annual Fourth of July Parade & Celebration, July 4, 2011
This old-fashioned 4th of July parade through downtown Ojai is followed by games, live music and spectacular fireworks show at Nordhoff High School.

14th Annual Ojai Playwrights Conference Summer New Works Festival, August 9-14, 2011
Established and emerging playwrights from across the country join together for an intensive two-week, in residence workshop that culminates in the presentation of new play workshops and special performances for the public in the Summer New Works Festival.

18th Annual Gold Coast Pirates Faire, September 17-18 & September 24-25, 2011
The West Coast’s largest gathering of pirates, buccaneers and scoundrels recreate the golden age of piracy on the grounds at Lake Casitas. Highlights include continuous entertainment, street & costumed performers, children’s activities, food court and pirate’s marketplace.

11th Annual Taste of Ojai, September 17, 2011
Presented by the Rotary Club of Ojai, the annual Taste of Ojai serves up samplings from area restaurants and wineries on the golf course at the majestic Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

28th Annual Ojai Studio Artists Tour, October 8-9, 2011
Artist studios open for visitors to view latest works of art and connect with the artists. Creative activities & exhibitions take place throughout the Ojai Valley. Funds benefit local art students.

20th Annual Ojai Day and Night, October 15, 2011
The annual street fair celebrates the rich artistic, agricultural and cultural heritage of the Ojai Valley. The event features dozens of local artisans, farmers, vendor booths, demonstrations, with music food and arts & crafts.

12th Annual Ojai Film Festival, October 20-23, 2011
The Ojai Film Festival offers non-stop screenings of new, independent films submitted by filmmakers throughout the world at numerous venues in Ojai. Other festival highlights include seminars, film classic screenings and opportunities to mingle with filmmakers, directors and production staff.

9th Annual Yoga Crib, October 27-30, 2011
Yoga sessions, meditations and evening events take place in some of the most historically significant and sacred spots in the Ojai Valley.

15th Annual Ojai Holiday Home Look In, November 18-20, 2011
A tour of several homes in Ojai which showcase stunning architecture and history, all dressed in theme. In addition, the event also features a Holiday Marketplace containing holiday gift and treasures from local artisans and vendors. Proceeds benefit the Ojai Music Festival and music education program.

For more information on Ojai’s calendar of events, visit or call the Ojai Visitors Bureau 1-888-OJAI NOW.

Ojai is an easy 90-minute drive north of Los Angeles and 50 minutes south of Santa Barbara. The closest airports are in Santa Barbara (45 miles), Burbank (70 miles), and Los Angeles (85 miles). Ojai is just a 20-minute drive from U.S. 101 via California Highway 33. Ample, free parking is available throughout the city

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