The City of Camarillo incorporated in 1964 and to celebrate its new status a
group of citizens organized the beginnings of the Camarillo Fiesta Association.
The event was held in the fall to honor Don Adolfo Camarillo’s birthday, October 28, 1864 and the city’s birthday, October 29, 1964. Over the years it was held at several locations such as the Camarillo Ranch House, the Camarillo Community Center, Constitution Park at City Hall, Adolfo Camarillo High School, Dizdar Park, and Old Town Camarillo.
The Camarillo Fiesta successfully developed into a week long celebration which was kicked off with the Bell Ringing at Saint Mary Magdalen Chapel and Blessing of the Animals. There was a reception, pancake breakfast, and even a dance. The winners of the Tiny Tots’ Pageant would ride in a “do dah” parade on the following Saturday. The parade included sights such as the famous Saint Louis Budweiser Clydesdale Horses.
When longtime President Margie Benchwick suddenly passed away in the spring of 1991, Vice President Donna Morgan headed the event. The Fiesta was outgrowing the Camarillo Community Center so the Fiesta committee decided to take it to Constitution Park at City Hall. Part of the huge success was due to Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Show and the parade which included Bart
Simpson, The Purple Dinosaur, and Big Bird.
Since 1997, in order to stimulate participation, the Fiesta pledged a portion of the funds raised during the event to local school programs. To accomplish this and to allow the event to grow even more, the leaders of Adolfo Camarillo High School agreed with Fiesta leader Mike Morgan that year to bring a circus to town using the school grounds. Ten thousand people attended to see the circus and car show.
The event was becoming so much larger that it needed a bigger venue. In 1998, thousands of people in the community attended the first Camarillo Fiesta and Street Fair along Ventura Boulevard in Old Town which allowed for a bigger event which including carnival rides, a street fair, petting zoo, concerts, and even an art show. In 2002, a donation was collected to aid firefighter victims of the 9/11 terrorist act.
Fiesta is organized and operated by the Camarillo Fiesta Association.