29th annual Thousand Oaks Rotary Street Fair brings the community together

Vintage+cars+are+shown+at+the+Thousand+Oaks+Rotary+Fairs+Car+Show+on+Sunday%2C+Oct.+17th.+The+show+had+various+models+and+makes+of+many+vintage+and+antique+cars.+Photo+credit%3A+Christina+Mehr

Vintage cars are shown at the Thousand Oaks Rotary Fairs Car Show on Sunday, Oct. 17th. The show had various models and makes of many vintage and antique cars. Photo credit: Christina Mehr

By Christina Mehr

After being canceled the year prior because of COVID-19 restrictions, the 29th annual Thousand Oaks Rotary Street Fair made its way back to the street for a day full of family, friends and fun.

Vendors, sponsors, live music performers and food trucks lined the streets, as thousands participated in family-friendly activities such as bounce houses and go-karts. The event took place on Oct. 17 on Moorpark Road between Hillcrest Drive and Wilbur Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Event Chair of the Thousand Oaks Rotary Club Christal Doyle shared the process behind planning the event and how it almost didn’t happen.

“The planning of this event happened twice as we got canceled two times because of COVID, so when they finally said we’re going to have the 2021 fair I couldn’t believe it,” said Doyle. “I said ‘we’re pretty much ready if it does happen, but I doubt it.’ But then the city gave us the O.K., and as soon as that happened the committee banded together and said ‘we’ve got 60 days; let’s go at it.’”

A large crowd of people is seen walking down Moorpark Road and checking out the numerous booths the Rotary Fair had to offer. Booths lined the streets with various things to do.
A large crowd of people is seen walking down Moorpark Road and checking out the numerous booths the Rotary Fair had to offer. Booths lined the streets with various things to do. Photo credit: Christina Mehr

The Rotary International Club is an international organization aiming to bring people together with business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services. Rotarians work for the committee to help provide services and aid in the well-being of local communities. Doyle also explained how their small committee of Rotarians was able to pull off this event in such a small amount of time.

“We started at four in the morning when the Rotarians got here to block off the road and mark up the street,” said Doyle. “It’s amazing to see all of this, and two to three hours after we shut down you would’ve never known that we were here because it gets cleared out and turned back to the city better than we found it.”

Art vendors, sponsors and community members ran booths with the goal of spreading information. Ventura County Sheriff Deputy Henry Ramos described goals to recruit and share knowledge with the community members of Ventura County.

“Today we’re focusing on recruitment to try to help more people come into the sheriff’s office as we’re always looking for the next young new faces to come and take part in our family and try to help the community of Ventura County,” said Ramos.

Jeff Borenstein and Tony Kouiaunis are seen telling jokes at their “Free Advice From Grumpy Old Men (Not the best advice but hey, it’s free)” fundraising booth. The booth was a fundraising idea put on by the Rotarian Club.
Jeff Borenstein and Tony Kouiaunis are seen telling jokes at their “Free Advice From Grumpy Old Men (Not the best advice but hey, it’s free)” fundraising booth. The booth was a fundraising idea put on by the Rotarian Club. Photo credit: Christina Mehr

Rotarians Jeff Borenstein and Tony Kouiaunis ran a “Free Advice From Grumpy Old Men (Not the best advice but hey, it’s free)” fundraising booth. Along with telling jokes and poking fun at people, the two Rotarians were there with the intent of fundraising for the community.

“This is one of our main fundraisers,” said Borenstein. “We raise a bunch of money for this, and we give it back to other nonprofits in the community. So, it’s just a fun day.”