Santa Paula Times

Moonlight at the Ranch VII! ‘Disco Fever!’ Dance-Off will shake-shake-shake you

August 28, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

Everyone knew Disco was a hit - and hit hard - when Mike Brady, the perennial button-down Dad on television’s “The Brady Bunch” had his hair styled into an elaborate Fro worn with pride atop a paisley shirt. 

And that Fro might be yours at the September 21 Moonlight at the Ranch VII: “Disco Fever!” where you’ll “burn, baby, burn!” in the fast lane of the pulsing music that defined the 1970s. Moonlighters are already marking their calendar with a fluorescent pen, polishing their mirrored ball and breaking out glittery platform shoes to get ready to shake their groove thing at Moonlight at the Ranch VII: “Disco Fever!” 

Moonlight’s “Disco Fever!” celebration will start with “munchies” and no host beverages at 5:30 p.m., where you’ll get your groove on at Limoneira “Do the Hustle” Park. At 6:15 p.m. there will be an exciting “Disco Dance-Off” where contestants will take to a special dance floor to shake-shake-shake and show their smoothest moves that will be judged by audience applause.

At 7 p.m. you’ll boogie down to the Courtyard in front of company headquarters for a Studio 54 club experience, where all the movers and shake-shake-shakers of the Disco Era partied down. There you’ll find delicious dishes and delectable desserts from dozens of restaurants, bakeries, caterers and local foodie favorites. Your taste buds will thank you!!

The boogie will start to roll at 8 p.m. with Men on the Moon, who promise plenty of fabulous disco tunes where you’ll burn, baby, burn and be singing, “I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct!” Silent Auctions and Raffles will round out the evening of living it up Disco style!

You’ll love the nightlife, you’ll want to boogie with a disco high at this annual party, Ventura County’s signature celebration. Each year Moonlight at the Ranch benefits the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are only $60 each. 

Said Fire Chief Rick Araiza, Moonlight chair, “We’re excited about our seventh Moonlight celebration” and its salute to the music, characters and culture that defined the era. “Everyone loves disco music” that “burned up” the airwaves with its strong danceable beat.

Araiza noted the 1970s “were as a multi-faceted time,” from the dancing beat at Disco clubs and the changing worldwide political atmosphere to television shows that still retained an aura of great innocence even as “Saturday Night Live!” punctured American culture. “Jaws” was a film hit and the “Star Wars” craze was born (“May the Force be with you” remains a popular catchphrase) during a time that, to some, Disco clubs were the only places that mattered. 

It’s hard to gauge but possible that without “Saturday Night Fever” and John Travolta’s portrayal of the love hungry dancer - and the iconic image of the actor in the white suit striking a dramatic dance floor pose - Disco would not have been the phenomenon it became. 

Said Araiza, “Everyone loved that film, the songs, the dancing and especially Travolta... you could almost say he’s the father of the Disco era! And we can’t wait for our ‘Disco Dance-Off’ contest... we expect to see a lot of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ white suits in that one!”

The film’s soundtrack was dominated by the Bee Gees and propelled the English singing group to worldwide fame. But there were others whose beat was equally loved: ABBA, Donna “The Queen of Disco” Summer, KC & the Sunshine Band, The Trammps, Gloria Gaynor, Alicia Bridges and The Village People were just a few who helped define the music that defined the era.

“Moonlight,” said Araiza, “is like no other event.... No matter what our theme, people have a great time they will never ever forget!”

Many attendees will be rocking Disco-themed attire or costumes and/or accessories that reflect the theme or cultural and/or real characters of the era (Johnny Moreno? Star Wars character? Richard Nixon? Jan Brady? Margaret Thatcher? Shark?) but come as you are most comfortable, funky or not.

Be sure to visit the Moonlight at the Ranch Facebook page (and Like us!) for updates and fun trivia related to the Disco scene. And visit for more information, online ticket ordering and to enjoy photos and videos from past Moonlight events.

Tickets - only $60 each! - are available in Santa Paula at the Santa Paula Times (120 Davis St., 805-525-1890), Chamber of Commerce (200 N. 10th St., 805-525-5561) and The Best of VC Marketplace (926 Railroad Ave., inside the historic Agricultural Museum, 805-312-1845) or in downtown Ventura at The Jerold Thomas Salon, 77 S. California Street. Charge by phone (MC/Visa) by calling 805-525-1890; you can also ask about reserved tables (for those purchasing eight tickets at once) so all your Moonlight friends will have group seating, but hurry - tables are going fast! 

The famed Limoneira Ranch is located at 1141 Cummings Rd. in historic Santa Paula, California.