Oxnard Multicultural Festival lives up to its name

By George MillerOX100315 063

This year’s festival offered crafts, food, music, dancing, service organizations, business and national exhibits, which were mostly staffed by ethnic locals.  We have amazing diversity in Oxnard, so no problem finding enthusiastic volunteers.

The festival was held at College Park on Rose Ave. The good news is that it was in a population center in South Oxnard. The bad news is that it had nowhere near as much traffic as last year’s event at the Collection Mall off 101. However, that did not in anyway detract from the excellent quality of the events, exhibits and participant enjoyment, from what we observed. (All photos by CitizensJournal.us)

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Music and dancing events were held most of the day.

I received  a Bolivia tour via a native born man now living here, taking me through his marked up color illustrated  guidebook. He left me almost ready to make my airline reservations to head south. A Kenyan lady showed me unique crafts/jewellry for sale and talked about her home country.

A Brazilian transplant to Oxnard once again played his music, in costume, as he did last year.  https://youtu.be/Eu49O-w3EOc

There were folks from Mexico, China, Nicaragua, Africa, Kenya, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Jamaica, Bolivia, Japan, and Middle Eastern group NEMA Association and more.

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At the Kenyan booth- great crafts/jewelry.

 

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A Project Manager of The Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) I met at their booth told me that there are about 20,000 Mixtecos in the county, that English learning was a great need and finding money to pay for it was a challenge. I immediately directed her to the Laubach Literacy folks, who were also there and do just that, at the Oxnard Library and other strategic locations- for free- or more accurately from private donations of money and time. it seems that there are multiple Mixteco languages and dialects (5?), many Mixtecos don’t know English or even Spanish and there is no written Mixteco language.

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There weren’t as many food booths/trucks as last year, but the average quality looked better (certainly my Escabeche Bistro Chile Relleno!) and there was more business for each vendor, but without excessive waits. It was just about right.

The festival is a very kid-friendly event, with games, activities, dances and it is free- so bring the whole family and friends next year.

I sampled a chile Relleno Asado that was so filling that I lost all desire to hit more booths and food trucks.

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There was a lively discussion at the Oxnard Good Club (Democrats) booth, with President Mario Quintana, George Sorkin and Travis Kelly.

The Oxnard Inter-Neighborhood Council was there is force, with three top people.

First 5 Ventura County (for the critical First 5 years of life), a division of Oxnard School District, helps kids out by helping them get ready for school and counseling their parents. 

Our Sister City team for Oclatan, Mexico was there. This program has worked out really well, with annual cross visitations and mutual aid. I have seen multiple presentations at City Council meetings from U.S. and Mexico team members, which you can see on Citizens Journal, with a little judicious googling and HERE and HERE.

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George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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