Poppy Festival 2012 preview

Andres and Briana Kabrera of the International Dance Fitness Academy performed at a press conference Wednesday to announce details of the 21st Annual California Poppy Festival. The duo and many other performers will entertain crowds at the festival.

LANCASTER – Live shark shows and ziplining are just two of the new attractions attendees can expect when the Poppy Festival bursts into bloom next week.

The 21st Annual California Poppy Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 21 and 22 at Lancaster City Park, located at 43011 10th Street West in Lancaster.

Lancaster city officials held a press conference Wednesday to announce details of the event.

“It’s an engaging and different event and there’s a lot in it for people to do,” said City Manager Mark Bozigian.

This year, the only traveling shark show in the United States is coming to the Poppy Festival. The Haai, Inc. Live Shark Experience will feature several species of sharks swimming around in the tank, and a diver who enters the tank and comes in close contact with the sharks.

“We’ve been trying for years to get this,” said Recreations Supervisor Jeff Campbell. “We’ve very very excited about it and we think that’s going to be an incredible event.

Also new to the Poppy Festival this year is ziplining, a thrilling outdoor activity during which a rider wears a harness that is connected to a cable suspended high above the ground.

“It will be about a 370-foot line that will be running over by the Carnival on the north end of the park,” said Campbell. “You’ll elevate up about 20 feet and zipline right down onto the softball field.”

Taste of Lancaster returns for the third year to the Poppy Festival, featuring cuisine from local restaurants.

Other featured attractions at the Poppy Festival include:

  • The Jest in Time Circus, a unique traveling circus that combines juggling, tight-wire walking, physical and verbal comedy, and amazing stunts into a dynamic show;
  • A classic car show, featuring more than 100 classic muscle cars from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s that have been completely restored (on display April 22 only); and
  • “Taste of Lancaster,” featuring delicious cuisine from various local restaurants with fares ranging from ethnic selections to pasta and pizzas, and delectable treats, such as cupcakes.

“Taste of Lancaster provides a great opportunity for everyone to sample new things, and possibly even discover a new favorite restaurant,” said Council Member Sandra Johnson in a city news release.  There also will be a wine tasting area on site.

Taste of Lancaster will take place on both days of the festival, with seating times from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For $7, participants will receive 10 tickets (one sample per ticket). Wine tasting is an additional $3 and will be limited to a maximum of two samples.

There will be four stages of live entertainment.

Additionally, the Poppy Festival will offer more than 400 vendors and performance groups covering 35 acres. There will be exotic animal encounters, a farmers market, a children’s carnival, bird shows, world cultural demonstrations, aviation exhibits, fine arts, make-and-take crafts, and live entertainment on four stages.

Organizers expect a turnout of more than 45,000 visitors.

“I encourage everyone to come out and join us as we celebrate our 21st year hosting this spectacular event,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris in a city news release. “Bring the entire family, and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful poppies and festivities.

For the first time, attendees can purchase tickets online at www.poppyfestival.com. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children (ages 6-12) and seniors (ages 62+), and free for kids under age 6.

For more information, including a complete lineup of the events, activities, and sponsors of the 21st Annual California Poppy Festival, visit www.poppyfestival.com.

View a preview video featuring the new attractions at Poppy Festival 2012 below.

View the Poppy Festival 2012 Promo video below.