Memorial Day Weekend Events and Activities Around Ventura County

Memorial Day is a holiday to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971, but its beginnings go back to after the Civil War in 1868.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, cities in the North and South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. But in 1966, Congress and President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. as the birthplace of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.

Traditionally, Memorial Day was May 30th each year. That was changed to the last Monday in May when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was signed into law in June 1968 and put into effect in 1971.

In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was enacted by Congress to ask Americans to pause in an act of national unity at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

Here is a compilation of activities and events this 2019 Memorial Day weekend around Ventura County and adjacent areas.

These are just some highlights...there's more in the CVG Events Calendar

The Stagecoach Inn in Newbury Park is Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 30

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Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 30 is the Stagecoach Inn in Newbury Park. The Stagecoach Inn Museum was originally built as the Grand Union Hotel in 1876 at the southwest corner of what is now Ventu Park Road and the Ventura Freeway. In 1965 it was relocated to its current location at 51 South Ventu Park Road (near the Lynn Road intersection) due to construction of the freeway.

The Inn is a Monterey style redwood structure with a wraparound porch and balcony. The original structure served as a school, post office, steakhouse, church, gift shop and movie set. After it was destroyed by a fire in 1970, the Stagecoach Inn was completely rebuilt and dedicated on July 4, 1976.

Situated on four acres, The Stagecoach Inn Museum site also houses a Chumash Indian hut, an early California Spanish adobe, a three-room pioneer house, blacksmith shop and a collection of vintage items, both inside the Inn and outdoors. Inside the Inn, each room is adorned with antique furniture, dolls, toys, household items and other collections and memorabilia. Behind the Museum is a fun to explore nature trail and stream.

The Inn is also California Registered Historical Landmark No. 659 and was named to the National Register of Historic Places on December 30, 1975.

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Adjacent to the Museum is the 4.9 acre Stagecoach Inn Park, with a large grassy area, full basketball court, stagecoach themed play area and three picnic tables and grills. This is a neighborhood park developed by the Conejo Recreation and Park District in 1985. There are no restrooms at this park.

Stagecoach themed play area at Stagecoach Inn Park adjacent to the Museum.

Stagecoach themed play area at Stagecoach Inn Park adjacent to the Museum.

Don't forget the horsies!

Don't forget the horsies!

In addition to year-round docent-led tours, The Stagecoach Inn Museum frequently hosts special events, including holiday gatherings, Conejo Valley Historical Society meetings and events, antique fairs and more. It is also a popular venue for weddings.

The Stagecoach Inn Museum is located at 51 South Ventu Park Road, Newbury Park.  Open for docent-led tours Wednesday through Sunday from 1-4PM (entire complex open Sat/Sun). $5 adults, $4 62+ and 13-21, $2 ages 5-12 (as of May 2019)

Call 805.498.9441 or visit www.stagecoachmuseum.org to learn more.

Where to Play Pickleball in Ventura County and...What IS Pickleball?

Pickleball court at Del Prado Playgrounds in Newbury Park.

Pickleball court at Del Prado Playgrounds in Newbury Park.

According to www.whatispickleball.com, pickleball is oversized ping pong played on a badminton sized court with a tennis sized net. Pickleball originated in Bainsbridge Island, Washington in 1965 when congressman Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell created the game for their families to play.

Pickleball is played with a perforated plastic ball similar to a wiffle ball that weighs about an ounce and composite or wooden paddles about twice the size of ping pong paddles. Pickleball is an indoor/outdoor sport that is easy to learn and, like tennis and ping pong, can be played singles or doubles. Learn more about pickleball at www.usapa.org.

Today, the sport of pickleball is governed in the U.S. by the USA Pickleball Association. which was founded in 2005 to promote the sport. There are over 150,000 pickleball players and over 2,000 pickleball courts across the country.

While I have not played pickleball myself, I'm intrigued when I watch the video below. Looks like a lot of fun, and certain does look like playing ping pong while standing on an oversized ping pong table (or undersized tennis court, if you will).

Pickleball is growing in popularity here in the Ventura County area. Here is a list of public pickleball courts in and around Ventura County.

"Pickleball player Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." (Somebody had to say it.)

Upcoming 5K, 10K and Other Ventura County Area Running and Fitness Events

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Start training for upcoming 5K, 10K, half marathon and other Ventura County running and fitness events! We've made it easy for you to find a local race by tracking local events right here. So go on, get moving, lace up those shoes and start training! CLICK HERE for local running groups and clubs.  Training for a marathon? Check out 26.2 Training Tips for Your First Marathon!

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California 16 and 17 Year Olds Can Pre-Register to Vote Online

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In 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 113 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson which allowed voter pre-registration beginning at age 16 once the California’s statewide voter registration database, VoteCal, was certified. VoteCal was certified in September 2016

Pre-registering to vote helps enable California youth to vote as soon as they turn 18. The process can be done online at registertovote.ca.gov as long as 16 and 17 year olds have signatures on file with the DMV. If signatures are not on file, they may pre-register by completing a paper form and mailing to their county elections office.

Learn more at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/pre-register-16-vote-18.

Live Music and Other Nightlife Options In and Around Ventura County

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Are you a night owl that is looking for something to do around town? Here's a list of places in and around Ventura County that have things to do during nighttime hours, including live music, concerts, dancing, darts, comedy, trivia and other activities scheduled on a regular basis.

This compilation includes restaurants as well as some bars. TVs are great, but don't count as "something to do" for the purposes of this compilation.

Are we missing something? Let us know!

For other nighttime fun, check out these compilations of Ventura County area movie theaters, comedy shows and entertainment venues. Or bowling. Perhaps wine tasting.

Local area craft breweries with taprooms!

(Information is subject to change at any time, so be sure to contact the business to confirm.)

Conejo Valley (Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake Village)

Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Malibu

Ventura

Simi Valley/Moorpark/Heritage Valley (Fillmore, Santa Paula)

Other West Ventura County (Camarillo, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ojai)

Live Music Ventura County covers local artists and music events around the county.

Dearly departed:

Rattlesnake Do's and Don'ts in the Trails of the Conejo Valley and Neighboring Areas

I've seen more snakes in the trails of the Conejo Valley in recent years than I can ever recall, some, but not all of which are rattlesnakes.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive but can strike when they feel threatened or provoked. If you come across one on the trail, just back off and give them room to retreat. They don't want to mess with you!

Rattler crossing the Rosewood Trail on a sunset hike.

Rattler crossing the Rosewood Trail on a sunset hike.

It is rare that rattlesnakes cause serious injury to humans. According to the California Poison Control Center, rattlesnakes account for 800 bites each year, with only one or two deaths. Most bites occur during the months of April through October, when both humans and snakes are active outdoors. About 25% of bites are dry (i.e. no venom), but still require medical treatment.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Wear shoes when out hiking in the trails.

  • Stay ON the trails...don't venture out into the underbrush, where snakes may be hiding.

  • Watch what you touch with your hands too...especially if it's dark and hard to see.

  • Leave them alone. They are fun to watch, but do so from a distance. Don't try to pick them up.

Is it a Rattler or a Gopher Snake?

On the trails of the Conejo Valley I've come across rattlesnakes, gopher snakes, king snakes, garter snakes and perhaps a few others I wasn't able to identify. The rattlesnakes are the ones to be particularly wary of because of their venom, so be aware of the following distinctions:

Rattlesnakes are wider/heavier than most of the other local snakes and have a triangular-shaped head, broader at the back than at the front, with a distinct "neck." They have openings between the nostrils and the eyes. There are a series of dark and light bands near the tail which look different from the markings on the rest of the body.  DO NOTE that rattles may not always be present as they may have fallen off are are not always developed on a young rattler.

For some great information on identifying California snakes, visit www.californiaherps.com/identification/snakesid/common.html.

Notice the stocky size of this rattlesnake, the clear rattle, and the different series of dark and lights bands leading down towards the rattle.

Notice the stocky size of this rattlesnake, the clear rattle, and the different series of dark and lights bands leading down towards the rattle.

Beautiful King Snake (known for lunching on rattlesnakes).

Beautiful King Snake (known for lunching on rattlesnakes).

Gopher snake crossing the trail in   Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa  .

Gopher snake crossing the trail in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa.

Gopher snake on the   Vista Del Mar Trail   in Newbury Park.

Gopher snake on the Vista Del Mar Trail in Newbury Park.