June 18, 2019
Insider’s Guide to Oxnard Salsa Festival
This July 27th and 28th, 2019, come to Oxnard’s Plaza Park from 11 am – 7 pm to enjoy the Oxnard Salsa Festival. This is one of SoCal’s (and Central California’s) most highly anticipated summer events! Located downtown and presented by the Oxnard Downtowners, the Salsa Festival is in its 26th year and draws more than 35,000 visitors to the area annually. Salsa dancing, live entertainment, The Salsa Tasting Tent, Kids Zone and Arts and Crafts Vendors are just a few of the activities that bring families from all over into Oxnard every July.
Admission, Parking and Transportation
The Oxnard Salsa Festival is a free event open to the public. Parking is free as well but can be a challenge, so get to the festival early to find a space or catch the shuttle.
Catch the free shuttle to the Festival at The Oxnard Performing Arts & Convention Center. Shuttle runs from 10:30AM-7:30PM Saturday and Sunday.
The Downtown Parking Garage at 4th and B streets is a good place to start. There are more than 20 public parking lots throughout Downtown Oxnard that are free, and the 2-hour parking limits on-street parking are not enforced on Festival weekend as a courtesy to festival attendees.
Another option is to take the local Gold Coast transit bus stops in Oxnard, Ventura or Ojai to the Oxnard Transit Center which is three blocks from the festival.
If you’re living outside of Ventura County, take a relaxing ride on an Amtrak train. The station is only three blocks from the festival and children ages 2-12 ride half price with each fare-paying adult and Amtrak offers a senior discount of 15%.
Learn more about getting to the festival.
The Oxnard Salsa festival draws top salsa bands with this year’s main stage acts including Friday Night Kick-Off Concert headliner Pete Escovedo. La Marcha Sound, Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca and Calixto Oviedo & Lily Hernandez Orquestra will appear on Saturday with Sunday’s lineup including La Seleccion, Guicho y La Tribu and Conjunto Costazul.
There are several ways to enjoy music at the festival. One of the most popular is to reserve a private table for the day or the whole weekend! This premium seating option gets you closer to the main stage and offers concert-goers a dance floor just a few feet from the main stage. Each private table seats six and comes with an umbrella to shade you from the hot afternoon sun.
Another Premium option is Club Salsa Tickets. For those wanting to purchase individual tickets but still enjoy seating at a table with an umbrella and access to the dance floor.
Concert venue open seating is also available for only $5 per person. Bring your own chair or blanket (some chairs are provided but are on a first-come basis) and enjoy the festival music all day.
Salsa Tasting Tent
One of the highlights of the Oxnard Salsa Festival is the Salsa Tasting Tent. Whether your taste buds prefer mild or burn-your-mouth spicy, you’ll find a choice of dozens of unique tempting flavors – almost all of them being FRESH salsas created by local Ventura County restaurants.
Hosted under a big top, the salsa tasting runs all day and features many different local exhibitors. For only $5 (cash only), you receive admission to the tent, a bag of Mission tortilla chips and ten salsa tasting tickets.
Shopping & Food
If you love shopping, then you’ll enjoy the more than 100 arts, craft and retail exhibitors. Artisan offerings include pottery, jewelry, clothing, gourmet and hand-crafted salsas. You’ll enjoy hundreds of Latin American items, kids toys and much more.
In addition to the Salsa Tent, restaurants and food vendors all come together in the park. Whether you’re hungry for fresh roasted corn on the cob, tamales or empanadas, carne asada tacos or just want an old-fashioned corn dog, you’ll find plenty of mouthwatering menu items to choose from. Ice-cold Bud Light and Estrella Jalisco are on tap, along with frozen margaritas, lemonade, smoothies and more.
Families will enjoy the fun activities for kids at the Salsa Festival’s “Kids Zone.” Little hands and feet can get moving in bounce houses, atop inflatables and on rides.
Salsa Festival Gives Back
The Oxnard Salsa Festival has raised more than $750, 000 over the past 10 years for various local charities. One of the ways they do this is through the “Dancing with Our Community Stars.” A nod to the popular TV Show “Dancing with the Stars,” stars from around Ventura County are partnered with a local dance instructor.
The stars train and then participate in a dance competition on Sunday’s main stage. You can vote by donating $1 to the star who is representing their favorite charity. One-hundred percent of the proceeds raised goes directly to each charity.
Whether you’re coming for the day or the entire weekend, the Oxnard Salsa Festival is a California festival you don’t want to miss!