072817  Old Town Dog Show 08.jpg (copy)

In this July 28, 2017, file photo, Maria Hall gets her blue great dane Kira to do a trick as part of the Family Fun Dog Show during that year's Old Town Market. The annual summer series will return with another family dog show on Friday, July 5.

Lompoc’s annual Old Town Market series is set to return this week, and local families — including their four-legged companions — are invited to help kick off this year’s festivities.

The summer street fair will once again take over the 100 block of South H Street from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 5. The series will continue with events during that same three-hour block each Friday through Aug. 16. This Friday’s festivities will include the return of the free Family Dog Show, an event in which community members can bring their dogs to show off their talents and compete for prizes.

The Old Town Market is coordinated each summer by the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber CEO Amber Wilson said she’s looking forward to another festive summer.

“I am excited to see Old Town Market return this week," she said. "After months of organizing, it’s rewarding to see everything come together.”

A year after getting canceled for the first time in 43 years, the Lompoc Valley Kennel Club’s dog shows are set to return to Ryon Park this summer for what organizers are hoping is a rebirth for one of the Lompoc Valley’s longest running events. The shows are scheduled to return to the park over four days from Thursday, July 25, through Sunday, July 28. The event will retain a lot of the same aspects as past years, but the 2019 edition will also usher in several new features aimed at increasing participation.

Each week of the series will carry a different theme, but every event will include live entertainment, food and information booths, a farmers market, a bounce house, vendors and free activities for kids.

The Family Dog Show will be the main attraction for Week One.

People interested in participating in the dog show are encouraged to sign up at the Chamber’s booth between 5 and 6 p.m. Friday. The competition is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Prizes will be awarded to the winner of each of the show’s categories, a list that includes best trick, best dressed, owner/dog lookalike, and tallest and shortest dog. All dogs are required to be on a leash.

Other themes for the series throughout the summer include:

  • July 12 — Visual and Performing Arts Night, with Lompoc High School Alumni Association Car Cruise;
  • July 19 — Agriculture Night, with hay rides;
  • July 26 — Celebrate Lompoc Night, with wine tasting;
  • Aug. 2 — Military Appreciation Night;
  • Aug. 9 — Public Safety Night, with Lompoc Police Department Car Cruise; and
  • Aug. 16 — Healthy Lompoc Night.

While this year’s Old Town Market will proceed as usual, Wilson acknowledged that the future of the popular series is uncertain.

The Lompoc Chamber was one of the victims of the city of Lompoc’s recent budget cuts, as it is not slated to receive support funding from the city over the 2019-21 budget cycle. Wilson said that this year’s Old Town Market “will remain unchanged and we will continue to host an amazing summer of family-filled Fridays on South H Street,” but that next year and beyond are the “topic of many budget-related discussions of late.”

“We are restructuring and are vividly aware of how important this event is to the people of Lompoc and we would be deeply saddened to see it become an event for the history books,” she said. “The Chamber is focused on continuing to serve its members first, with city contract-based services being scrutinized and potentially eliminated in the coming year.”

For more information on Old Town Market, visit Lompoc.com or call the Lompoc Chamber office at 805-736-4567.

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Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.



Willis Jacobson covers news and other issues, primarily those that affect the Lompoc Valley and Vandenberg Air Force Base, for Lee Central Coast News. He is a graduate of The University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications.