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Byline: Michael Coit Daily News Staff Writer

The night sky remained dark over Camarillo Airport last Fourth of July, the annual fireworks display extinguished by dwindling funds.

Led by the Pleasant Valley Lions Club, volunteers have sparked a resurgent fireworks display that will blaze brightly over the airport landing area this year.

``The important thing was to get us all back the fireworks display,'' said Paul Hawblitzel, the Lions Club leader organizing the show. ``Everybody felt bad last year. You don't think about it until it's gone.''

The revived Camarillo show joins a wide variety of fireworks displays and festivals this Fourth of July in Ventura County and the Las Virgenes area of Los Angeles County:

In Thousand Oaks, the Conejo Recreation and Park District is sponsoring a series of events beginning with an early morning nature walk in Wildwood Regional Park and culminating with a concert at Conejo Community Park and a downtown fireworks display.

In Simi Valley, the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District is hosting a fireworks show and extravaganza at the Simi Valley High School stadium.

In Moorpark, the city, Chamber of Commerce and school district are hosting a concert and fireworks display at the Moorpark High School Stadium today.

Until last year, Camarillo residents could count on one community organization or another providing a professional fireworks display to mark Independence Day.

The Camarillo Chamber of Commerce was the longtime sponsor before the Camarillo Pageant Association took over six years ago. As costs increased, however, funding support decreased.

Rod Franz, a Lions Club member who organized the association's fireworks displays, said money reserved for the annual Christmas parade and other events the association sponsored was increasingly used to subsidize the July Fourth event. The event also was plagued by declining paid attendance.

``It was eating us up for other things. We continually lost money and were to the point where we were about to go into debt further,'' Franz said. ``We just couldn't find the money and we would have lost $7,000.''

The Lions Club this year secured funding from the city of Camarillo and the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District, which always have supported the fireworks display. Several businesses also are sponsoring the show, which will be done at no cost to spectators.

The $15,000 budget is less than the $20,000 or more budgeted for previous fireworks displays, but organizers promise to deliver a spectacular show.

``It's back and the show will be be as good as ever,'' Franz said.

The show will be centered at Freedom Park on the airport grounds.

With the Lions Club marshaling volunteers to lower costs for parking attendants and other labor, about 75 percent of the budget can be spent on fireworks compared with about 50 percent in past years, organizers said.

``I think everybody missed it,'' Hawblitzel said. ``It's a positive thing that we're resurrecting.''

FIREWORKS AND MORE Here is a rundown of Independence Day celebrations throughout Ventura County and the Las Virgenes area in Los Angeles County.

AGOURA HILLS: The city's 12th annual Day in the Park is set for Thursday in Chumash Park, Argos Street and Parkheath Drive. The event, scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., features the children's show ``Puppets on Parade'' and activities including a moon bounce, game booths and food. Phone (818) 597-7361.

CALABASAS: The city's Fourth of July Splash Party will be held at Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, 23400 Park Sorrento. The event, scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., features free use of pool and tennis courts plus a fitness class, pool races, scuba diving and a tennis exhibition, live music, carnival games, hamburgers and hot dogs. Phone (818) 222-2782.

The celebration Thursday also includes a pet show and fun run/walk sponsored by the Calabasas Park Homeowners Association. Phone (818) 222-2782.

CAMARILLO: The Pleasant Valley Lions Club is hosting the city's fireworks display at Freedom Park, Pleasant Valley Road and Eubanks Avenue. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and culminates with the display over the landing area at Camarillo Airport at 9 p.m.

FILLMORE: The Fillmore Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Sespe Creek Regional Chili Cook-Off and Car Show on Thursday in the downtown business district. The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., features more than 60 chili cooks, 400 street rods, custom and muscle cars, and trucks, arts and crafts vendors, a horseshoe tournament, antique train rides, live music and a fireworks display in the Fillmore High School football stadium at dusk. Phone (805) 524-0351.

MOORPARK: The July 3 Concert In The Sky will be hosted by the city, the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce, and the Moorpark Unified School District at the Moorpark High School football stadium, 4500 Tierra Rejada Road. The event, scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., features children's games and activities, hot food and snacks, live music and a fireworks display. Phone (805) 529-6864, Ext. 231.

OJAI: The Independence Day Celebration is set for Thursday at Nordhoff High School stadium, 1401 Maricopa Highway. The event, scheduled from 4 to 9 p.m., features a concert and fireworks. The cost is $4 for individuals and $10 for families in advance and $6 for adults and $2 for children at the door. Phone (805) 649-2729.

The celebration also includes a tri-tip dinner and free concert in Libbey Park today from 5 to 7 p.m. The celebration on Thursday also includes a Lion's Club breakfast on Ojai Avenue, a youth run in Libbey Park, and parade, carnival and Ojai Pony League baseball game. Phone (805) 649-2729.

OXNARD: The city's Entertainment and Fireworks Extravaganza is set for Thursday at the new Oxnard High School stadium, 3400 Gonzales Road. The event, scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m., features live music and a fireworks display. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children. Phone (805) 385-7578.

SANTA PAULA: The Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a fireworks display Thursday at Harding Park, Harvard Boulevard, beginning at 9 p.m. Phone (805) 525-5561.

The Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a trains, planes, animals and automobiles event on Saturday. Scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the event features a community nature program at the Santa Paula Union Oil Museum, round trips on the Fillmore and Western Railroad between Fillmore and Santa Paula, and displays of antique planes and cars at Santa Paula Airport. Phone (805) 525-5561.

SIMI VALLEY: The Fourth of July Extravaganza sponsored by the city, the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, and Rotary Club of Simi Valley, is set for Thursday at Simi Valley High School stadium, 5400 Cochran St. The event, which will begin at 6 p.m., features a sky diving team, twirlers and live music, followed by a fireworks display. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children in advance and $7 for adults and $5 for children at the door.

The celebration also includes an Old Fashioned Family Fourth of July at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 40 Presidential Drive. The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., features carnival games and a concert by the 1st Marine Division Band from Camp Pendleton.

THOUSAND OAKS: The Conejo Recreation and Park District is sponsoring a full day of events Thursday. A nature walk will be held in Wildwood Regional Park beginning at 7 a.m.; a pancake breakfast will be held at Borchard Community Center beginning at 8 a.m.; home run derbies will be held in Borchard and Thousand Oak parks beginning at 8:30 a.m.; a family swim day will be offered at the Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park high school pools beginning at noon; a pops concert will be held in Conejo Community Park beginning at 5 p.m. The downtown fireworks display, best viewed from The Oaks mall parking lot on Hillcrest Drive, will begin at 9 p.m. Phone (805) 495-6471.

The celebration also includes an Independence Day Festival at the Janss Marketplace, Hillcrest Drive and Moorpark Road. Sponsored by the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the event will run from noon to 10 p.m. and features crafts, games, food vendors, family line dancing and a pizza eating contest. Phone (805) 532-9099.

VENTURA: The city presents the 21st annual Fourth of July Street Fair on Main Street, between Fir Street and Ventura Avenue, in downtown Ventura on Thursday. The festival will begin with a children's parade at 10:30 a.m., followed by an arts and crafts fair, food booths and live music from 11 a.m.

The celebration also includes a demonstration by the Ojai Valley Gun Club Muzzle Loaders in Mission Park, on Main Street, at noon. Phone (805) 654-7830. The Ventura Downtown Rotary is presenting a fireworks display at Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Road, beginning with festivities at 5 p.m. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children. Phone (805) 648-1346.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE: The city's Independence Day celebration centers on the 27th annual Community Fourth of July Parade, beginning at 10 a.m., that runs from Westlake Medical Center to Bennett Park on Village Center Road. Popsicles and balloons will be given to children at the park. Phone (818) 706-1339.

The celebration also includes activities at Westlake Yacht Club, 32123 Lindero Canyon Road. The activities begin with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The yacht club also is hosting a Round the Island sailboat race beginning at 1 p.m. and a decorated boat competition beginning at 3:30 p.m., followed by a boat parade beginning at 4 p.m. Phone (818) 889-3204.


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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 3, 1996

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