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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 12:05 am | Fair 48º


Lompoc Valley Flower Festival Plans Space Theme For 66th Edition

Annual 5-day event opens Wednesday at Ryon Park and includes parade on Saturday

Lompoc Valley flower fields Click to view larger
Flower fields are fewer than past decades but still can be found around the Lompoc Valley. The community’s 66th annual Lompoc Valley Flower Festival begins Wednesday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Two longtime local industries will be on display this week thanks to the 66th annual Lompoc Valley Flower Festival.

The event featuring the theme “Space: The Final Frontier” opens Wednesday and runs through Saturday with most of the activities centered at Ryon Park as the community celebrates the flower industry and mission of nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base.

While the area’s flower industry has waned in recent decades, fields of colorful blooms still can be spotted around the Lompoc Valley with the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce offering tips about the best places to spot them and field etiquette, available here.

In keeping with tradition, this year’s Flower Festival Queen Kaitlyn Chui, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Lompoc, was crowned Saturday night from a field of candidates.

She will help kick off the festival with an opening ceremony planned at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the park.

The flower festival queen and her court will be one of approximately 60 entries traveling through Lompoc for the parade which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at the corner of North H Street and East College Avenue, traveling south on H Street before turning onto Ocean Avenue.

Float entries will feature flowers and other natural materials, many grown in the Lompoc Valley.

Grand Marshal Lee Wise, a veteran who has been active in the community, will ride in a place of honor during the parade.

This year’s procession will include four drill teams and drum squads including the popular Compton Sounders, according to Juan Esquivas, parade chairman.

Lompoc Valley flower fields Click to view larger
Lompoc Valley’s flower fields are a popular attraction, but officials remind visitors to follow field etiquette to avoid walking in the fields. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“We’re expecting a good turnout with the parade,” Esquivas said. 

After the parade, the drill team and drum squads will perform on the stage at Ryon Park in conjunction with parade awards ceremony, set to start at 1 p.m. Saturday. 

Flowers also will be on display at Ryon Park during an annual show, from 10 a.m. Saturday through 3 p.m. Sunday, with awards given out in several categories. 

Assorted food booths, arts and crafts, commercial vendors and live entertainment will be offered at Ryon Park for the five-day festival.

The festival opens at 11 a.m. the first three days, and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission to the festival costs $5 per day, with free admission for children 12 and under. Wednesday is Community Appreciation Day and admission is free all day.

Lompoc Valley flower fields Click to view larger
Lompoc Valley will celebrate its Flower Festival with events including a parade and annual show Saturday.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

On Thursday and Friday, free admission to the festival will be available until 1 p.m.

Butler Amusements will present carnival rides for youths and adults at the park. Single ride coupons cost $1 or $25 for a 25 coupon strip, $70 for 80 coupons and $100 for 120 coupons.

One-day unlimited carnival ride wristbands cost $20, but are only available until noon Wednesday.

Live entertainment at the park will include heavy rock band Whiskey Stone from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, country musician Dylan Ortega from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, rhythm and blues and rock concert by Storm from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1980s rock ’n’ roll band The Molly Ringwald Project from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. 

On Saturday, three concerts are planned including reggae artist Richie Rey from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., following rock variety performer Jacob Cole from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and China Grove, a Doobie Brothers tribute band, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Sunday, an assortment of Hispanic musical performances will kick off at 11:45 a.m. with 805 Cali Tejana, Mariachi Autlense at 2 p.m. and Kombinado at 4 p.m. 

The full list of entertainment acts during the five-day festival can by found by clicking here.

The weekend’s festivities have been organized by the nonprofit Lompoc Valley Festival Association, with tickets and other information available from the group's website.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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