Home » Living Local » Ventura County’s 150th Anniversary Jubilee: A Culinary and Musical Extravaganza Unites our Community

Ventura County’s 150th Anniversary Jubilee: A Culinary and Musical Extravaganza Unites our Community

by Kat Merrick
Mountains to Sea Jubilee Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on stage

Ventura County, California, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and the vibrant city of Santa Paula, the county’s second oldest, was the perfect backdrop for the festivities. Nestled in the picturesque Santa Clara River Valley, Santa Paula’s beautiful historic downtown, deep-rooted agricultural history, and diverse cultural narratives, set the stage for a memorable celebration of the county’s milestone.

The Mountains to Sea Jubilee Music Festival: a musical celebration

The Mountains to Sea Jubilee Music Fest, a momentous musical extravaganza commemorating Ventura County’s 150 years, took place on Saturday, October 21, 2023 in Santa Paula’s Veteran’s Memorial Park. The day was filled with incredible music, highlighting some of the top talent in our community and the diversity of musical styles. Featuring remarkable performances by  the Charles Law Band, Whiskey Business, Rey Fresco, the amazing Kelly Zirbes of Kelly’s Lot singing the national anthem, Mariachi Camarillo, and one of Ventura County’s favorites, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, it was a jubilant celebration of the vibrant cultural tapestry that defines Ventura County.

A culinary delight: local eats and libations

The theme for the day, Celebrating Local, extended beyond music, with a delightful array of culinary experiences that reflected the essence of Ventura County. The food lineup boasted an impressive selection from vendors across the county, offering delectable local dishes that tantalized the taste buds of attendees. The libations as well were perfectly paired and featured some of the best purveyors in our county. From award-winning wines by Strey Cellars to new canned cocktails from Ventura Spirits, the unique brews from Flying Embers, and the exclusive 150th Anniversary Lager created for this special event by Ventura Coast Brewing Company, the event was truly a tasteful example of the power of our business community.

Ventura County 150th Kat Merrick 11

Photo Galleries

Here are a couple of photo galleries showing some of the fun that took place at the Mountains to Sea Jubilee Music Fest.

Check out photos of the Bands and the People and Places. Just click the buttons on the images below to access the galleries.

Photos by Chris Ryan Photography (Oxnard, CA) and Kat Merrick

Supporting local at its best

Behind the scenes, the spirit of community was alive and well. The event’s success was not just a result of the performers and vendors but also owed to the local community’s collective effort behind the scenes.

Students from the Santa Paula High School Music Department pitched in to help roadies and stage crew during the show. Students taking the stage management course at Santa Paula High got to see firsthand what it takes to put on a major production. This hands-on experience was a joyous sight as the students’ enthusiasm and excitement flowed through to band members and backstage team members. This remarkable collaboration was one of the highlights of the event for all involved.

Beyond definitions: capturing the real spirit of ‘Community’

When we talk about community, we often imagine groups defined by location, like our towns and cities, or we think about clubs, societies, and other gatherings based on shared interests. These are typical examples of what we label as ‘community’, but they don’t quite capture its true essence. The term ‘community’ is associated with a sense of warmth and inclusivity.

But the real magic lies within its core. ‘Community’ essentially means ‘coming-into-unity’.

The Mountains to Sea Jubilee transcended being a mere commemoration of Ventura County’s 150th anniversary. It was a journey that began at the Ventura County Ag Museum and reached its zenith with the unforgettable Music Festival at Veteran’s Memorial Park. This extraordinary event epitomized the very essence of community. Together, we discovered the exceptional qualities that define Ventura County and its remarkable people – a unique experience of coming into unity with a profound sense of togetherness.

Acknowledging contributions and expressing gratitude

The success of this event wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and support of numerous individuals and organizations. Totally Local VC and KM Productions extend their gratitude to Elena Maria Brokaw and her team at the Museum of Ventura County for the honor of co-producing the event along with the Santa Paula California Chamber of Commerce. And a big shout out to the County of Ventura and all those who helped to make this event possible.

The bands
Charles Law Band
Whiskey Business
Kelly Zirbes
Rey Fresco
Mariachi Camarillo
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Our MCs
Steve Perez, Cumulus Radio
Tom Spence, KVTA News AM 1590

Santa Paula
City of Santa Paula
Santa Paula Color Guard

Our wonderful support vendors
Big Man BBQ (you knocked it out of the park)
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Creative Designs
Big Shots
Ventura Party Rentals
In the Mix
Adventure Trailers
It’s Only Temporary
Elite Sound
Darvik Productions
Cal-State Site Services
Coast Cart
Alpha Security
Crew Security

Heartfelt thanks
Santa Paula High music program
Elena Brokaw and Museum of Ventura County team
Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce
Brian Tucker and Ventura County Coast

The “I could not do it without you” thanks
Alyson Warner
Mary Hellion Campbell
Mike Terry
JR Ford (for saving the day)
Kristie (life saver)
Cynthia Polke and team
Vince Felix
Tim McDuffee
Torrey Rodriguez

And, of course, the heroes – our amazing volunteers
Jerry Gonzales
Carol Gonzales
Pam Wyville
Pam Halford
Robbie Walker
Pete “PJ” Sanger
Ross Emery
Audra Lucas
Tracy Hudak
Anne Whatley
Merrill Whatley
Claudia Davoli
Patty Brown
Sunshine Cheek
Susanne Lammont
Debra Cally
Terri Campbell
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People and Places

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