SOUND OF MUSIC POPPY FESTIVAL PROMISES FUN, ENTERTAINMENT FOR FAMILIES.
LANCASTER - Music, arts and crafts, a farmer's market, environmental displays and carnival rides will welcome California's state flower at Lancaster's tenth annual California Poppy Festival.
The tenth edition of the festival, which runs April 7 and 8 at Lancaster City Park, adds several features, including a fourth entertainment stage.
``There is more art and more music than in the past,'' said Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts. ``There is music going on all the time.''
Music headliners include jazz artists Hiroshima, Mike Gealer and Euphoria, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, all performing on the Poppy Stage. The other three stages will offer music that includes country, Latin, rock and local talent.
Aside from listening to the music, festival visitors will be able to view and purchase arts and crafts from more than 200 exhibitors.
Kids can ride carnival rides and look at a Moon Rover reproduction supplied by Boeing. Kids can ask both the rover and astronaut questions about the moon landing.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers will be available at the flower and garden and farmers' markets.
A tour of the poppy festival by helicopter is available for $15 for a five- to seven-minute ride and $75 for an extended ride over the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
``We're expecting a really good bloom,'' said Lancaster spokewoman Anne Aldrich said of the local wildflower season. ``It may be later than the festival but it will be a good bloom.''
For the duration of the festival, artists Jonathan Baker and Prapat Sirinavarat will be painting 6- by 8-foot backdrop panels to be used at the 2002 festival.
The festival is expected to attract nearly 60,000 visitors this year, Roberts said.
Performances include: on the Poppy Stage, Mike Gealer and Euphoria at 2 p.m. April 7, followed by jazz band Hiroshima at 4 p.m.
Jazz singer Flora Purim performs with her percussionist husband Airto Moreira at 1:30 p.m. April 8. Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour performs at 3:30 p.m. April 8.
The Primrose Stage will feature a wide range of music, beginning with folk band True Rumour at 11:30 a.m. April 7, followed by country singer Clayton Lee at 1 p.m., Jazzapella doing a capella jazz vocals at 2:30 p.m. and rock band The Bomb Squad performing funk-rock, hip-hop and reggae at 4 p.m.
On April 8, Primrose Stage entertainment includes Antelope Valley College rock band Test Flight at 11:30 a.m., pop vocalist Louis Sacco at 1 p.m., bluegrass band High Chaparral at 2:30 p.m. and Celtic band Blarney Rubble playing a mix of traditional dance music from Ireland and Scotland at 4 p.m.
On the Lupine Stage, radio station KTPI-FM (103.1) will present the ``19th Annual True Value Country Showdown,'' a contest featuring country bands, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 7. Radio Unica KUTY-AM (1470) takes over the stage from noon to 5:30 p.m. April 8 with ``Musica Mas Caliente.'' KUTY will also host the Second Annual Miss Radio Unica Pageant.
The Community Stage will feature local groups, bands, individuals, dancers, and performers from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.
Admission is $6 for visitors age 13 to 61, or $3 for seniors age 62 and over and for children 6 through 12. Admission for children under 5 is free and parking is $2 per car.
For more information on the event, call (661) 723-6077 or visit www.poppyfestival.com.
(1 -- color) Artists Jonathan Baker, front, and Prepat Sirinavarat give a preview of the mural painting they'll be doing at the festival.
Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer
(2 -- 5) Performers at this year's California Poppy Festival include: top, jazz band Hiroshima; left, artist Mike Gealer; right, jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour; and below, jazz singer Flora Purim and her percussionist husband Airto Moreira.