Cruise Nite: Mother Nature delays rain to smile on coolest car show in VC

April 12, 2017
Santa Paula News

Although the overcast skies cut down slightly on rain wary participants and the crowd was a little lighter, the 19th season of Santa Paula’s famed Cruise Nite premiered to a grateful crowd.

Parked at the curbs of East Main between 7th and 10th streets were hundreds of sweet — and in some cases unique — pre-1975 cars. People were strolling while enjoying the live rock ‘n’ roll of Johnny & The Love Handles, stopping to pick up a custom Cruise Nite T-shirt or stopping at a restaurant to further enjoy the vibe of the historic Downtown.

“It’s like a reunion!” said Santa Paulan Sally Cook, whose friends had saved her a seat at their patio table at a local eatery so they wouldn’t miss a moment of the show. 

Their dune buggy was nowhere in sight as Connie and Lynn Breedlove were busy taking photos including of a “Time Machine” displayed in the back of a vintage pickup. But, around the corner Linda Wilkinson had her own dune buggy on display far from the sand, beaches and deserts favored by enthusiasts. 

Santa Paula Police Commander Ish Cordero was manning the T-shirt booth with his grandson Alijah who was modeling the April version of the topper sporting a Cruise Nite displayed car, a 1957 Chevy Nomad station wagon created by Vic Rodriguez of R Promotions. 

Cruise Nite, sponsored by the Santa Paula Police Officers Association and the Chamber of Commerce, “Is going really well— no rain for us,” said Cordero of the weather condition that discourages owners from displaying their vehicles, only wet when they are lovingly washed.

Dave Anderson and Henry Aguilar retired SPPD Sergeants and the Cruise Nite coordinators since the event started, were both on hand.

Does Aguilar ever think about stepping back from Cruise Nite organization? 

“Never,” he noted.

The phone had started ringing off the hook at the Chamber of Commerce and SPPD offices well in advance of Cruise Nite, Ventura County’s original and longest running car show held April through October.

Things are always happening at Cruise Nite where many downtown restaurant offers specials and additional in-house entertainment and friends meet friends — and make new friends — as they stroll the Downtown.

“Cruise Nite,” said Cordero, “has something for everybody,” whether out for date night or a family outing.

And photographers and videographers: Cruise Nite is also a hit on cyberspace with pros and amateurs flocking to the event to take pictures or film video for immediate Internet posting, visual invitations for others to come on down and visit Santa Paula.

Cruise Nite has also gained a reputation for attracting fabulous retro-gals that dress up, make sure their hair-do is a perfect replica of styles from long ago and check their bright red lipstick at least twice before posing against a backdrop of vintage cars. 

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