Cruise Nite: First event of the 2002 season revs up Friday night

April 12, 2002
Santa Paula News

Hot rods and cool tunes will be featured this Friday when the ever-popular Cruise Nite debuts for its fourth season.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesHot rods and cool tunes will be featured this Friday when the ever-popular Cruise Nite debuts for its fourth season.Over 100 classic cars and trucks will line Main Street between 8th and Mill streets for Cruise Nite, a joint effort of the Santa Paula Police Officers Association and the Chamber of Commerce.Each year Cruise Nite has gotten more popular, said SPPD Sgt. Dave Anderson, a car buff himself.A Cruise Nite favorite is a classic 1955 Mercury reborn as a police cruiser. Owned by SPPD Sgt. Carlos Juarez and retired SPPD officer Wes Easley, the black and white has proven year after year to be a huge draw and crowd pleaser.
The license frame on the car reads, “To Protect and Serve. . .After Coffee and Donuts” and those who look inside the vehicle see a bag of donuts and coffee cups. Juarez and Easley have a scrapbook of the car’s year-long rehabilitation, from bare bones to showroom shine. Hopefully, the barber pole Police sign will also be up, neon shining bright.A dazzling array of cool and classic cars stretch along Main Street for Cruise Nite, which has grown so well-known that often late arriving cars are turned away. Another Cruise Nite special is a friendly, sunglasses-wearing dog sitting behind the wheel of his owner’s car with a big grin that lasts for hours.Merchants also enjoy Cruise Nite with many extending open hours during the 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. event and offering specials tied in to the Cruise Nite crowd. In years past Cruise Nites have featured a barbecue, restaurants that stay open late with Cruise Nite menu specials and the Fillmore & Western Railway chugging into to town to park its special dining car near the Depot.Classic cars displayed during Cruise Nite are from as far away as Lompoc and Los Angeles, and many of the cars’ owners bring along a crowd of friends to enjoy the event. Also, during the event Angela Skeels and the Eastwind Band will be playing

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