Santa Paula Times

Cruise Nite! Friday kicks off the 6th season of popular Main Street event

March 31, 2004
Santa Paula News

Cruise Nite is back with Friday kicking off the first event of the sixth season of enjoying classic cars, live musical entertainment by JAM and family fun on Main Street.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesCruise Nite is back with Friday kicking off the first event of the sixth season of enjoying classic cars, live musical entertainment by JAM and family fun on Main Street.According to Santa Paula Police Senior Officer Henry Aguilar, a Cruise Nite co-founder, the first Friday monthly event is going to be even bigger this year with parking provided for classic car owners from 8th Street all the way to 10th Street.“The City Council members would come out for Cruise Nite and see cars turned away,” due to the lack of show-off parking, said Aguilar.Recognizing that Cruise Nite has evolved into a tourist-friendly event, the council “decided to assist to bring even more people to the city. We’re getting a little more help from the city with them putting the signs up and putting out the barricades, make it easier for us since we’re expanding to 10th Street. It’s just a bigger area of responsibility.”City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz “recognized that Cruise Nite is getting bigger, we’re seeing more and more different vehicles. He was very helpful, he can see that this event brings people to Santa Paula and shows off Santa Paula. That’s what Cruise Nite does.”Cruise Nite also stimulates the local economy: “Chili Hut and Vince’s are on board as are all the other restaurants along Main, 10th and Mill streets,” as well as other merchants who plan on expanding their business hours to accommodate Cruise Nite visitors.
Aguilar would like to “see a Farmers Market there by the Depot during Cruise Nite, give the people someplace else to go,” during the 6 to 9 p.m. event.The premiere Cruise Nite will feature music by JAM, the creation of Jesus Angel Mora, who wanted an outlet for the songs he captured and wrote with the assistance of a bedside tape recorder via his dreams. In addition to guitar and harmonica, he also handles lead vocals for JAM. His brother Eli, who like Jesus began his musical career in Santa Paula schools, also handles guitar and vocals; JAM also includes bassist Glenn Nyhan and drummer Doug Canfield.Also to be featured Friday will be the special Wendell Dowling-designed T-shirt featuring the 1950s circa pickup truck of the late David Solis, a Cruise Nite supporter and participant.“David would park in front of where Cauch’s used to be, that was the spot he picked,” along with family and friends showing off their pre-1975 classic vehicles. “David passed away last year and we decided to do his pickup on a T-shirt in memory of him and as thanks for his supporting our program.”Port-a-San’s Monica Halko “guaranteed we’ll have facilities,” former SPPD Sgt. Dave Anderson, also a Cruise Nite co-founder, is still helping the event tremendously, as is the Chamber of Commerce and SPPD Officer Eddie Vasquez, who does the T-shirt silk-screening from Dowling’s artwork, said Aguilar. Citizens Patrol and SPPD Reserves are also committed Cruise Nite volunteers.Cruise Nite ground rules are that displayed vehicles must be pre-1975 “only. . .and no motorcycles unless we plan a special event” when it is possible that post-1975 vehicles can share in Cruise Nite glory.Cruise Nite will be held the first Friday of the month through October, “baring bad weather we’ll be out there. This year we’ll have one in July” as the 4th holiday falls on a Sunday, said Aguilar.