Moorpark Country Days is back! This Saturday will feature the return of the annual street fair and parade along High Street in downtown Moorpark.
According to Steve Carlson from the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce, one of the major sponsors in this year’s parade, the celebration has been a part of Moorpark tradition for 30 years.
“We’re a little country town and we like to celebrate that fact,” said Carlson. “We used to be a community of farmers who came together to establish a community. Moorpark has always had sort of a country atmosphere.”
The parade this year will include several newcomers.
There will be four marching bands this year instead of the usual two. The bands will come from , Hueneme, Channel Islands and Rio Mesa high schools.
One of the special floats this year will feature Audrey, the gigantic man-eating flower from the musical Little Shop of Horrors. The float is a playful reminder that Little Shop will open at the Oct. 7.
Cowboys will also be coming to town via the equestrian riding group the Fillmore Cowboys. The Thousand Oaks Elks Lodge is also bringing its toy train for children to watch and enjoy.
This year the celebrity grand marshals are Robert Hayes from the movie comedy Airplane! and his former wife Cherie Currie, one of the singers from the all-girls rock band the Runaways. Currie also helped write the screenplay for the film.
The community grand marshals are Charlie and Mary Schwabauer, who have lived in Moorpark since the 1960s. Mary taught in the Moorpark public school system and Charlie helped bring water to Moorpark. He was also instrumental in helping to plan much of the current city.
Of course, the parade has its annual traditions. Local poet J.R. Rolly will return to entertain the crowd on his bicycle. The Teaching Zoo will bring along its usual menagerie. And Moorpark’s local Civil War actors will arrive in uniform with their guns.
The parade starts near the corner of Poindexter and Sierra avenues. Check-in for vendors and floats is at 8 a.m. Street vendors will open at 9 a.m. for an hour or so before the actual parade begins at 10 a.m.
The route will proceed east on Poindexter past , veer left on Moorpark Avenue, then turn right down High Street. It will finish at approximately 11:45 a.m. near the corner of High and Spring streets.
When the parade is finished, the street vendors will reopen and the party will last until 4 p.m. The High Street Arts Center will feature live music in its auditorium from noon to 4 p.m.
According to Carlson, Country Days has one important purpose for people in Moorpark—to have a good time.
“It’s our community celebration,” Carlson explained. “It’s a way to bring the community together and celebrate ourselves, eat good food and have fun.”
For more information about Country Days, visit its website at moorparkcountrydays.com or call the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce at 805-529-0322.