California Golden Poppies against a blue sky

California Golden Poppies blooming wild in a field in the Antelope Valley

The 28th annual edition of  the California Poppy Festival will bring new talent and experiences to all who attend the festival, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 27-28, at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park, 43063 North 10th St. West, between avenues K-8 and L.

Headline entertainers will appear throughout both days on the festival’s Poppy Stage, while many local performers are scheduled to appear on the Primrose Stage.

Strolling artists will bring out fun and surprises while guests savor fruits, vegetables and baked goods fresh from the festival’s own Farmers Market. Enjoy the artistry of local crafters and discover beautiful creations fashioned by some of the area’s best artists.

Artists scheduled for the Poppy Stage on April 27 are: Dreaming of You - Selena Tribute, 10:30 a.m.; Jacob Nelson and the Tone Wranglers, 2 p.m.; and Jimmie Allen, 4:30 p.m.

Artists scheduled for the Poppy Stage on April 28 are: KING featuring Mel Booker, 11 a.m.; Bleeding Harp, 1:30 p.m.; and Creedenced - Creedence Clearwater Tribute, 4 p.m.

The local entertainment line-up on the Primrose Stage will give visitors a feeling of community connections in a fun-filled atmosphere. It will also celebrate diverse cultural music, traditions and dance performances that span the globe.

Each year, the California Poppy Festival team works hard to provide guests with a wide array of new, exciting events as well as favorite returning attractions.

Keeping with the Festival’s tradition to always offer something new, there is the Stingray Encounter located in the Adventure Zone. Safely view and even touch these wonderful creatures during this hands-on educational experience. Visit the Stingray Encounter and learn all about these fish.

Also new to the Adventure Zone is the Butterfly Encounter. This exhibit allows visitors to “feed,” observe and enjoy hundreds of beautiful butterflies. Visitors will learn all about the life cycle of a butterfly and how to fix a broken wing.

The Boeing Company’s Employee Contribution Fund is once again sponsoring the ever-popular “Exotic Animals Rainforest” featuring the following exotic animals: alligator, amphibians, boa constrictor, hedgehogs, lemur, python, macaws, owl, parrots, sloth, toucanet (small toucan), tortoises and a variety of insects.

Children will get a special thrill from interacting with these animals in shows that promote an educational awareness to preserve wildlife and the environment around us.

Children of all ages can stop by the huge petting zoo, where they will be able to interact with a miniature donkey, pig, sheep, goats, alpacas, guanaco and more.

Euro Bungy, will return to the Festival this year for the daring adrenaline junkies looking for some fun, high-flying trampoline action. This bungee trampoline will fling you 25 feet into the air as you jump and flip on the inflated trampolines. Euro Bungy’s extreme air power jump truly creates a weightless sensation. Experience the adrenaline rush of a bungee jump, as you perform gravity-defying moves.

Returning this year is the BMX Bike Show featuring Team Soil. Known for going big and performing huge tricks, these stunt riders will wow spectators with their awe-inspiring feats.

The California Poppy Festival also prides itself on offering a wide variety of top-quality handmade arts and crafts from across the country. As the vendors have faced a juried competition, there is a wide range in selection, as well as cost. The huge array of items available to buy in the park setting will certainly please any shopper.

On Sunday only, classic car enthusiasts can see cars from the 1920s through the 1970s, as All Things Engravable hosts the Classic Car Show, featuring more than 100 classic automobiles.

The festival will also have the Children’s Carnival featuring an array of rides and games designed especially for young thrill-seeking festival-goers.

There will also be multiple concession areas around the Festival grounds to tempt your taste buds, offering everything from traditional American classics such as funnel cakes, hot dogs, burgers, pizza and corn on the cob, to tasty, ethnic delicacies. Margarita Madness the Festival’s margarita bar, will once again offer a refreshing beverage alternative for attendees 21 years of age and older.

Visit the souvenir booth to celebrate the California Poppy Festival with this year’s commemorative T-shirts, pins, totes, posters and mugs or purchase vintage merchandise from previous Festivals.

A limited supply of pre-sale VIP tickets for the 7th Annual Field of Drafts Beer Festival, to be held Nov. 2, will also be available for purchase at the City of Lancaster’s Souvenir Booth. Buy tickets early, before they run out and secure your spot at the finest beer festival around. Visit www.fieldofdrafts.com for more information on this popular event.

The Flower and Farmers Market will offer an array of assorted cacti, jerky, fudge, candy, honey, baked goods, cooking oils, nuts, roasted corn, olives, garlic, salsas, gourmet spices, natural luxury soap and skin products and more.

The Healthy Living area will feature information and interactive demonstrations where visitors can discuss smarts ways and gain tips to pursuing better health, overcome health challenges, lose weight and feel better. Massage therapists will be available to check your spine and provide free mini-massages. There will also be a variety of consultants on site to show you the benefits of using natural facial products, minerals, oils and the latest sensation. With every vendor you visit, the more health tips you will learn.

The Safety Zone features a wealth of information and resources related to public safety, crime prevention and emergency preparedness. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department will be on site both days with a display of emergency response vehicles. Los Angeles County Animal Control and Pet Adoption will also be on site ready to place pets needing good homes with loving families, and the United States Army Los Angeles North Recruiting Company will have a tactical weapons simulator vehicle on display.

Additional organizations that will be on hand with helpful information include the American Red Cross, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Highway Patrol, Community Emergency Response Teams (C.E.R.T.), Damsel in Defense, Edwards Air Force Base - Office of Emergency Management, and Jacob Hefter Foundation.

Tickets cost $10 for adults, ages 13 to 61 and $5 for children ages 6 to 12, seniors 62 and older, and active/retired military with ID. Children 5 and younger are admitted for free.

For details visit www.poppyfestival.com, or call 661-723-6077.

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