With summer firmly upon us, we are quite fortunate so many entertaining activities are available to us in the Tri-Counties – indoors and out.
The Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles gets under way July 23. Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days are just around the corner with this year’s opening day set for July 30. The Santa Barbara County Fair starts July 9 in Santa Maria.
For those who want to spend a quieter summer night on July 16, Ventura’s Rubicon Theater Company will start its first international theater festival.
Four plays will premiere at this year’s festival with a focus on presenting international theater troupes in a unique setting.
Rubicon officials said their goal is to produce an annual festival to stimulate the economy and bring visitors to the cultural attractions of “California’s New Arts City” – Ventura.
That’s because performing and gallery art are flourishing in what used to be a breezy beach town that travelers passed through on their way to be entertained in tony Santa Barbara.
Executive Director Edgar Rosenblum said in its first 10 years the Rubicon Theater Company had a $26 million impact. By 2009, Rosenblum said he hopes to have from seven to 11 companies and spend up to $3 million in the community.
The arts are a fast-growing part of Ventura County, and the festival will have a key impact. Recent festivals and other events help keep Ventura County’s hotels, motels and bed and breakfast inns filled up while bringing many more diners to the area’s growing number of tasty eateries.
Organizers want to enlarge the festival to up to 12 shows eventually during a two-week period and draw thousands of visitors.
Just like this year’s Ventura Music Festival in May, the Rubicon is raising the bar for arts and culture in the area. Residents should support events such as these since they are a breath of fresh air in an otherwise lackluster economy.