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A happy couple enjoys the music at the Wine Craft Beer and Art Festival. (Photo by Chris Frost)
Friday, August 23, 2019

By Chris Frost


Oxnard—The Second Annual Wine Craft Beer & Art Trail at Heritage Square brought out a great crowd ready to sample delicious food, fine wine, beer from the Red Tandem Brewery and bid on silent auction prizes.


The event also featured lots of dancing, as attendees received wine glasses and plates on the way in, enjoyed a great meal, danced, caught up with friends and had a great time.


The event supports the Oxnard Downtown Lions Club and its mission to improve eyesight, give support to diabetics, end hunger, and help children with childhood cancer to name a few things.


Oxnard Downtown Lions Club, First Vice President Christine Gonzales said all the profits from the event go back to the community.


"Without these people attending this event, we wouldn't be able to do that," she said. "We thank them for everything and all of our volunteers. We've got lots of great food wine, arts, and crafts and we also have auction items."


The event keeps growing, she said, as the lineup includes live music from Gil Valencia and Friends, plus they have lots of different arts and crafts vendors here and our great silent auction items."


Rancho Ventana is a new spot to grab some great food, she said. Magnavino Wine Cellars are new and they love it.   


The event was close to capacity, and she was thrilled.


"We have people coming in, and it's going great," she said. "The best part about this is giving back to the community and having all these people come and participate."


One thing, the Lions are proud to do is support the children in Oxnard schools.


"We provide them with school supplies, and the Winter Closet for those less than fortunate students," she said. "We help the homeless out, feed them, and give back to the community for foster children and help the Boy's and Girl's Clubs in the community."


Denis O'Leary brought some of his oil paintings that he's done as a hobby for many years.


"I'm enjoying people looking at those, he said. "I also have six of my books here that I've published in the last couple of years, everything from adult novels to children's stories. I'm enjoying having conversations with people who have glasses of wine."


This was O'Leary's his first trip to the event.


"The music is great, and I am enjoying all the conversation," he said. "It's been nice."


He loves all his art for different reasons, but he loves his painting of the ice cream man.


"I grew up seeing people like that, and he looks like a dear friend who passed many years ago," he said. "It reminds me of my friend Jack Nava."


Ernie Morrison enjoyed the walk and spent some time looking at O'Leary's art.


"I am trying to find the shortest line," he joked. "I've tried a couple of wines, and they have been great so far."


Gil Valencia was born in Oxnard and is proud to be playing at the event with his band.


"This used to be my grandparent's property here for many years," he said. "It's a great turnout. A good friend of mine asked if we'd play and here, we are."


Victoria Garcia from Otani's brought red snapper seasoned fries, fish bites zucchini, tartar sauce, and lemon.


"This is my first time here," she said. "I think it's great. It's a lot of fun and energetic and has lots of dancing. I hope to get out there and dance eventually."


The items she was serving are a staple on Otani's menu.


"Everybody loves our menu," she said. 


Heritage Coffee brought a tea break for those who don't want alcohol.


"We're trying to trick people," Theresa Enriquez said. "This is our second time at this event, and last time everyone wanted tea, so we brought tea. This is a nice time. I love helping the Lions Club out."


The venue is getting ready to celebrate its first anniversary.


"It's been a lot of work, but for anything worthwhile, you have to work for it," she said.


Mark Caviezel from Red Tandem Brewery brought lots of beer to the event.


"It's a great local event," he said. "It's supporting the Oxnard Downtown Lions Club. We get a number of event requests from groups that don't put anything into Oxnard, so we are happy to do this event which is in Oxnard and specific to Oxnard."


Erica Mendez said she'd tried everything.


"I've tried the wine, the beer, the food is delicious, and the tequila is great," she said. "I am having an excellent time." 


 She was ready to start bidding on the silent auction items.


"I like the Cowboys football," she said. "I also like the breakfast for 125 people."


Donna Perroni, Debbie Gandy, and Theresa Delgado were having a dance party and enjoying the day.


"We're friends with the DJ; we're friends with Magnavino, so we have a connection," Delgado said. "This is a great party. I like the red beer from Red Tandem."


The party will continue.


"After the event, we're going back to our house and continue the dance party," she said.

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