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Dizdar Park at Camarillo

Submitted by John on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 20:57.

Camarillo Dizdar Park
Photographed May 7, 2006Click for larger view. (Pardon my bad photography)

Dizdar Park is one of 28 parks governed by Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District. Dizdar Park is located at 20 S. Glenn Drive, Corner of Ventura Boulevard & Glenn Drive. It's a small park located between St. Mary Magdalene Church and Camarillo Chamber of Commerce.

It is a Mexican culture for ranch owners to build churches as they first settle in the new land. That's exactly what Adolfo Camarillo did. Adolfo Camarillo brought people from Mexico City (Mexico) to build St. Mary Magdalene Church (Chapel, currently at 2532 Ventura Boulevard). It is common for Mexican culture to have a cemetery next to the church. Before Dizdar Park, there was Pleasant Valley Cemetery (also known as Camarillo Cemetery). Cemetery was owned by Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. About 70 bodies were buried there. Henry Lewis was buried there, but I am not sure if he is THE Henry Lewis, father of Joseph Lewis, or somebody with the same name. Lewis Road was named after them.

camarillo camarillo park camarillo parks

As the city grew, the cemetery needed to be relocated. Also the place was being neglected. A Yugoslavian immigrant named Mike Dizdar donated money and started a movement to replace cemetery with a park. Most bodies were relocated to Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Camarillo. Number of bodies were reclaimed by the family and relocated elsewhere. Some local kids were paid to land the hands as well. The park was finally ready around 1945 and they celebrated Adolfo Camarillo.

Dizdar Park now has a statue of Adolfo Camarillo sitting on the horse and is a main stage for Camarillo Fiesta and Street Fair we hold every July. Statue of Don Adolfo Camarillo is in Dizdar Park since 2000.

dizdar park

As of February of 2007, this area is a part of city's beautification project "Ventura Boulevard Streetscape Redevelopment Phase III". It's scheduled to be completed by June of 2007, just in time for Camarillo Fiesta and Street Fair

PS. They used to turn on Christmas lights on the big tree at Dizdar Park. For last two Christmas seasons (2005 & 2006), they didn't turn on the lights. They never took the lights down. Old lights are still handing all over the tree.

camarillo development park construction park construction
Construction images photographed Feb 13, 2007

Photographs of Christmas trees were taken December 2003 and July 2006

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