Are you looking for some local fun this New Year's Eve?
If so, you might want to head to the Ojai Valley Woman's Club at 411 Ojai Avenue for a dance party sponsored by the Ojai Concert Series.
Here are the event details (from the hosts):
Join us for a New Years Dance Party, featuring the amazing CROWFOOT, the multi-talented band who is the featured band for the Ojai Mardi Gras's Fais-Do-Do (coming up on March 5-6 2017). The dancing starts at 8:00 and there will be plenty of fun and surprises until 12:30 AM. The themed decorations will be provided by the Ojai Mardi Gras Wake-Up! Krewe and the suggested, but optional dress code is for "flapper", swinging 1920's attire, because we will be "Putting on the Ritz".
There will be a "No-Host" bar (please bring your ID and cash to buy drinks) and a hors d'oeuvre and dessert potluck. Plus we will provide a Champagne toast at Midnight!!! Guest who bring a potluck dish will have their name entered in a drawing at midnight when four people will win tickets (a $30 value) for next years Ojai Mardi Gras Masquerade Party on Saturday March 5th 2017.
Tickets are only $25. Get them while they last at: Ojai Coffee Roasting Company, Serendipity Toys, Ojai Creates, Cardinali Brothers Music and Ojai Valley Feed. There are only 100 tickets in the stores at $25, after they are gone, you will have to pay an online service charge or the door price of $30. So getting them while you can and be a part of the swingingest New Years Dance Party in Ojai.
Advance, $25 tickets are also available on our website: www.ojaiconcertseries.com For info call Shane Butler at: 805-665-8852
Lifelong Ojai Valley resident, Nora Davis, was named Ojai Valley 2016 Realtor of the Year by the Ojai Valley Board of Realtors at its Annual Installation Luncheon. Davis is the first real estate agent in Ojai to be awarded this distinction twice; she was previously recognized as the 1996 Realtor of the Year.
Davis has been a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe for more than 25 years, has served as ombudsman and president of the Ojai Valley Board of Realtors, and was the founder and first chairperson of the Board’s marketing committee.
Davis has received a number of awards and recognition for her work within the community, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service to the People in the 23rd Congressional District and receiving the Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe Exceptional Service Award for Outstanding Leadership three times.
Her community involvement includes volunteering and providing financial support for local organizations, participating in the annual Help of Ojai food drive and family sponsorship program, and organizing the Marines Corps Reserves Toys for Tots toy collection drive at her office and other local businesses. Past community involvement includes many years as a Girl Scout leader and co-founding the Jane Cusumano Breast Cancer Foundation.
Davis has been listed as one of the top ten agents at Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe each year since 2009, has received the International Presidents Elite award consecutively since 2010, and is consistently in the top one-percent of agents within Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe.
She currently trains and mentors new realtors and, while she is perhaps best known as a ranch and horse property specialist, Davis works with a wide variety of clients ranging from first-time home buyers to those seeking to buy or sell luxury estates.
“I am just so thankful that I get to do something that I love while working with and meeting so many great people,” said Davis. “It is so much fun to introduce people to our valley and such an honor to help people find their perfect home.”
If you have a home to sell or would like Nora's help in finding your next home, contact Nora today!
In most cases, hosting outdoor parties in Ojai in winter is not much different than entertaining outdoors in summer. It may be a little colder and it certainly gets dark earlier but, aside from that, we are fortunate to live in a temperate, near-coastal community that allows us to enjoy outdoor living any time of the year.
However, Ojai’s amazing weather may decide not to cooperate that day and it might be a bit too cold for comfort -- or it might even rain (let’s hope!). Fortunately, you do not have to let a little inclement weather get in your way and, with the proper party preparations, your winter shindig is sure to go off without a hitch.
To help ensure that your outdoor Christmas dinner or Chanukah party is a fun, memorable event, here are 10 tips to help you keep your guests comfortable and filled with holiday cheer.
10 Tips for Hosting Outdoor Holiday Parties in Ojai
1. Create a kids’ area.
Whether you are hosting your party indoors or outdoors, if the invitations say it is an all-ages gathering, you are sure to have at least a few children there. This is particularly true if you are hosting this year’s family dinner. When there are gifts and games involved, it is definitely more fun to have the kids involved, but you will also want to be prepared to keep them entertained when the adults need a break or are partaking in other activities.
Some easy ideas include setting up a temporary movie theater on your patio where you can show holiday movies, creating a kids’ space with a craft table or cookie decorating table, putting together a holiday scavenger hunt or putting one of the older kids in charge of games with fun prizes.
2. Set up a self-serve drink station.
If you are hosting more than a few family members or close friends, you could find yourself running inside to the kitchen to refill drinks throughout the night. To make your hosting duties a bit less stressful and make sure your guests are well hydrated, set up a centrally located self-serve drink station. Keep in mind that if you are serving alcohol and have children in attendance, you should set up two drink stations to keep alcoholic beverages out of little hands.
Since it will likely be a bit chilly outside, be sure to include at least one or two warm beverage options, such as coffee, spiced cider, hot chocolate or tea.
3. Determine how you will keep your guests warm.
Patio heaters, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits or chimeneas are all great options that can create a welcoming, wintery environment while helping ward off the cold. If you have a fire feature as part of your outdoor living area, be sure it is clean, in good repair and well stocked with the appropriate fuel. If you have propane-fueled patio heaters, be sure to have extra propane tanks on hand.
If you do not have any of these options already on hand, you can purchase an inexpensive, portable fire pit at Home Depot or Lowes, buy patio heaters at either of these stores, or rent patio heaters just for your party.
If you will not have too many guests in attendance, another fun idea is to pass out cozy slippers and throw blankets as party favors.
4. Be prepared for rain.
We don’t have that many rainy days in Ojai, but the holidays do happen right in the middle of our rainy season. You may not know the weather report when you pick the day for your party, so it is possible that this could mean some much-needed rain might coincide with your holiday gathering.
If you have a covered patio, you might be okay, but if you are expecting a lot of guests, you may need to consider purchasing or renting a canopy or tent to expand your covered entertaining space. If this is your plan, look for one with curtains, since this will allow you to close one or more sides to help keep your guests warm and dry.
5. Have a back-up plan.
Your heart may be set on an outdoor Christmas, but Mother Nature may have other ideas. Just in case the weather really does not cooperate and it is simply too cold or rainy for your guests to comfortably congregate outdoors, make sure you have a back-up plan. The easiest option for most folks is going to be having an indoor room ready to go in case you need to move the party inside.
If possible, pick a room that is adjacent to the outdoor area you plan to use. That way, it will be easy for guests to move between the spaces. It will also make your hosting duties a bit easier if your guests are not spread all over the house.
6. Create a festive, cold-weather menu.
If you are hosting a family holiday meal, tradition may dictate most of the menu. However, there is probably at least a little wiggle room for adding something fun and festive to the feast. And, of course, if it is just a party celebrating the season, you are free to plan a menu that compliments your theme.
When entertaining outdoors in colder weather, comfort foods and hot beverages are always a safe bet, which means fondue, chili, warm desserts, hot apple cider or Irish coffees all work for winter menus.
7. Consider extra lighting.
Depending on the time of day you choose, it may be dark before your guests even arrive. This calls for extra lighting to guide the way and create a festive ambiance. Most any lighting will do, but the holidays give you a great excuse to go a little crazy with the string lights.
If you are considering solar path lights to illuminate walkways, be sure to put them in place at least a few days in advance to make sure they all work and have plenty of time to get a good charge.
8. Stock your gift closet with a few extras.
If your gathering will include a white elephant gift exchange or friends and family exchanging gifts, your hosting duties include keeping a few extra gifts on hand. This ensures that everyone will have something to unwrap – just in case unexpected guests arrive or someone forgets their white elephant gift at home.
You can pick up a few last-minute gifts at any of the boutiques in downtown Ojai.
9. Determine how to handle gift wrapping materials.
Another consideration for parties with gift exchanges is how to manage the inevitable piles of wrapping paper, ribbons, gift bags and tissue paper. Have receptacles ready to receive trash, recycling and reusable wrapping materials and make sure they are clearly marked to make your job easier.
10. Make it memorable.
Make your holiday celebration all the more special by adding an element that makes it more memorable. This could be something as simple as having an ugly sweater theme or handing out the perfect party favors. Or it can be a bit more involved, such as inviting your guests to create seasonal crafts to take home with them, playing festive party games, or helping a good cause by collecting donations of toys or food.
AimeeJo Davis-Varela is the marketing director for The Davis Group and a freelance writer specializing in real estate, sustainable home improvement, eco-friendly landscaping, green living and travel writing.
If you haven’t quite finished your Christmas shopping or love to hunt for unique finds, you will not want to miss these two pop-up holiday markets in Ojai on Saturday!
This Saturday (December 17) be sure to stop by Ojai Rancho Inn and Topa Mountain Winery to check out the pop-up shops offered at each. Since they are just down the street from each other and one is open longer, you should be able to stop by both locations to shop.
From 12:00pm to 7:00pm, head to the 6th Annual Deck the Halls event at Ojai Rancho Inn at 615 West Ojai Avenue (right next door to the Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe office). All of the rooms will be transformed into pop-up shops, plus there is live music to enjoy while you shop!
You can take a break from these festivities to check out the other holiday market at Topa Mountain Winery (821 West Ojai Avenue) from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. Here you will find handcrafted gifts, the Deer Lodge food truck and The Salty Suites playing live while you shop. There is also a food drive happening at this gathering, so be sure to bring three cans of food to receive 10% off of a purchase from Topa Mountain Winery.
Stop by this Sunday to see this Oak View home for sale that is on a large lot with a garage, workshop, carport and studio.
Approximately 1,102 square feet
Built-in corner hutch in dining room
Mud room with storage cabinets
Wrap-around, covered porch
Separate, one-bedroom, one-bathroom studio
Detached garage and carport
Ample guest parking
Large garden area
Walk to shops and restaurants
Short drive to downtown Ojai
Oak View Open House Details:
Date: Sunday, December 4
Time: 12:00 to 3:00pm
Location: 570 Old Ventura Avenue
The Davis Group
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