Moonlight at the Ranch IV: ‘The Roaring 20’s!’ highlighted for Council

September 15, 2010
Santa Paula City Council

Moonlight at the Ranch IV: “The Roaring 20’s!” will be more than flappers and gangsters, the City Council learned at a recent meeting that highlighted Ventura County’s signature celebration.


“I’m back,” Santa Paula Police Chief Steve MacKinnon, chairman of the September 18 Moonlight at the Ranch, told the council. “Another year has flashed by,” and now it’s almost time for Moonlight IV, which, as others before it, will be held at historic Limoneira Ranch.

MacKinnon said that although the theme of Moonlight IV is the legendary Roaring 20’s, the decade was “not just mobsters and flappers.... We’ll offer some education, too,” on the era, highlighted through displays and exhibits that center on events and notable characters.

The Roaring 20’s was also famous for its fashions, and MacKinnon said each year’s unique event draws a rising number of guests who wear costumes. But in keeping with the 1920’s “Anything Goes!” era, Moonlight attendees are welcome to wear whatever they are most comfortable in.

Forty-six restaurants, a majority of Ventura County’s finest eateries, will be offering tastings. And MacKinnon said this year’s lineup of cuisine has been joined by restaurants “from as far away as Santa Barbara.”

The event not only benefits the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation and Chamber of Commerce, but also highlights Santa Paula as the place to come to celebrate. “It’s showing off Santa Paula” as, MacKinnon said, Moonlight attracts many guests from outside the area.

“There’s a lot of secrets, a lot of surprises, a lot of activities” in the tradition of Moonlight that will delight guests. And the Honorary Chairman of the September 18 Moonlight is acclaimed actor and Academy Award-winning director Kevin Costner, who played famed G-Man Eliot Ness in “The Untouchables.”

“We’ve talked to Kevin a number of times; he hasn’t promised he’ll be there, he has a couple of other engagements,” but MacKinnon said it is “looking better and better and we’re hopeful he’ll be able to at least make an appearance. “Obviously,” Costner is a strong supporter of public safety, and “he wants to help out the police and fire foundation... Moonlight is our main fundraising event, as well as offering support for the Chamber of Commerce. We’re really looking forward to it and it’s going to be perfect weather” for the fourth annual Moonlight celebration.

“I’ve gone to the last few Moonlight” celebrations, events Mayor Jim Tovias said have proven to be “phenomenal.... It’s a signature event for Santa Paula and hopefully we’ll see everybody there.”

MacKinnon urged that Moonlight tickets be purchased now: “If you wait too long, well, we’re pretty confident it will be sold out,” as were all previous Moonlight celebrations.

Tickets, only $60 each, can be charged (MC/VISA) by phone at (805) 525-1890 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There may be a limited number of tickets at the door; walkups are $75 each. Tickets are also available at the Chamber of Commerce (corner of 10th and Santa Barbara streets in the historic Depot), the Santa Paula Times (944 E. Main St.) and the California Welcome Center in Oxnard.

For more information, visit or visit the Moonlight at the Ranch Facebook page. Videos of past celebrations are online on YouTube; enter Moonlight at the Ranch in the YouTube search engine to see clips from past events.

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