Santa Paula Times

Cars lined Main Street during Cruise Night last week. The next Cruise Night on Main Street will be May 6th. Photo by Brian D. Wilson

Cruise Night draws crowd

April 08, 2005
Cruise Nite roars into Santa Paula for 8th season of good times
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesCruise Nite roared into Santa Paula Friday night, filling Main Street with what could be a record number of classic cars and the usual good time. “It went really well, there were a lot of cars; I imagine” more than 100 vehicles that stretched from 8th to 10th Streets, said SPPD Sr. Officer Henry Aguilar.The only glitch was that the kickoff for the 8th Annual Cruise Nite season – held the first Friday of the month through October – lacked a live band, after an abrupt cancellation due to an illness. “It couldn’t be helped and we couldn’t get anybody on such short notice” for musical entertainment, noted Sr. Ofc. Aguilar.Hundreds of people – Santa Paulans and visitors – spent the evening walking, “checking out all the cars and a lot of new cars…Cruise Nite is growing a lot more.” As is the participation of merchants and restaurants in the downtown area that held special Cruise Nite hours.“This is our eighth year and everybody’s on board with us again as far as helping out,” including Port-A-San, a supporter since the first event, that supplies the rest stops for the Cruise Nite visitors. “They’ve been our partner for the whole eight years and haven’t balked one bit” in supporting Cruise Nite.Founded by the Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Paula Police Officers Association, Cruise Nite has grown each year and at times invites motorcycle clubs to participate. Each car on display during Cruise Nite is a pre-1975 classic, and includes everything from pickup trucks to sporty convertibles. Owners, who participate from throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties, keep their vehicles in top shape, including paint jobs that on Friday dazzled in the sun and then under the streetlights as night fell.
Cruise Nite is a family affair, where visitors can enjoy the cars, stroll historic Main Street and even buy a special Cruise Nite T-shirt. Each month a different displayed car is featured, drawn by artist Wendell Dowling.Sr. Ofc. Aguilar would like more bands to play at Cruise Nite, “Bands that play oldies to volunteer their time…it makes Cruise Nite better to have music. The regular bands that play for us are great, and I heard that there’s a group of local teachers with a band. We’d love to hear from them!” Bands should contact Dave Anderson at 524-1266 about playing at Cruise Nite, he added.The city has gone out of its way to ensure Cruise Nite success and growth: “We make sure there are no alcoholic beverages consumed, and we’re going to do something about having more trash receptacles at the event.” All in all, added Sr. Ofc. Aguilar, “everything seems to be pretty good…Cruise Nite is really growing.”