SP's 4th of July an Independence Day hit with Air Fest, art sale & fireworks

July 08, 2000
Santa Paula News
Santa Paula Airport welcomed thousands of celebrants who knew that the place to be on the 4th of July was the second annual holiday Air Fest, held Tuesday at the “Antique Airplane Capital of the World.” And for those with a taste for original art, the Santa Paula Society of the Arts “Art in the Park” sale was again a once a year opportunity to buy fine art at bargain basement prices. The day-long Air Fest featured plenty of good food, booths where visitors could buy anything from aviation-related items to carved stone knickknacks to airport festival and fest tee-shirts. The event featured a beer garden, steam train rides, petting zoo, pony rides, airplane tours, Santa Paula Fire Department Jaws of Life rescue demonstrations and hours of entertainment overseen by event moderator Greg Andrews.“It's going great,” said Cheryl Fairbanks of the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsored the “Air Fest” with the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula, notably Judy Phelps.Sally Phelps said business was flying high at the Aviation Museum's booth where everything aviation was offered.Parachuters fascinated the crowd as they came down over the runway, including one very special visitor: Santa Claus! “Merry Christmas!” Santa greeted people as he moved though the happy Fest-goers with his parachute.Antique and military planes staged thrilling flyovers the airport to the delight of the crowd and rides in a real airplane were being offered for only $15. For those who prefer the ground a Flight Simulator was just the ticket to mock aviation fun.Parking was offered in several locations throughout the city and the old-fashioned trolley carried Air Fest attendees right up to all the fun.
Hot dogs, tri-tip sandwiches, Mexican dishes and cotton candy were crowd favorites, who ate their way through the Air Fest set up throughout the perimeter of the world-famous airport.Art lovers made sure they stopped off at the second Santa Paula Society of the Arts “Art in the Park” sale held at Depot Park. Like last year, “People were buying the paintings before we even had them hung,” said noted artist Madeline Ricards. Each original painting was $25 except those works that were not framed and bargain basement priced at $20. . .but not to worry as frames were also available for separate purchase. All proceeds of the art sale fund society art scholarships and paintings are donated by artists.At 9 p.m. the place to be was Harding Park where bombs bursting in air - a.k.a. fireworks - drew cheers as they lit up the sky all over the city. Many viewing parties were held at hillside homes but among the many beauties of Santa Paula is that the fireworks show, also sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, is visible over most of the city.Special 4th of July donation cans were put out on counters of area businesses for donations to help pay for the cost of the spectacular fireworks display.

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