Whether purple or periwinkle, plenty of passersby wanted the eye-catching vintage roadster parked at Friday’s Cruise Nite.

Cruise Nite was the place to be on the first Friday of July

July 12, 2013
Santa Paula News

Cruise Nite was the place to be for hundreds of people who felt like visiting the historic Downtown where the weather was mild and the rods hot on the first Friday of July. Johnny (Procter) & The Love Handles were set up outside the South Paseo offering a rock ‘n’ roll backdrop perfect for an evening of admiring pre-1975 classic cars, dining at various restaurants offering Cruise Nite specials, yoghurt from Fria, and some shopping at unique venues.

Retired Police Chief Walt Adair and his wife Linda were chatting with Santa Paula’s new Police Chief Steve McLean while Vice Mayor Rick Cook was offering to give passersby the shirt off his back - or rather sell them one just like it, a T-shirt sporting the Wendell Dowling drawing of the monthly Cruise Nite car featured.

Santa Paula Economic Development Advisory Committee Chairperson Connie Tushla was enjoying not only the overall Cruise Nite atmosphere, but also the number of locals and out-of-town visitors who filled Main Street admiring the cars parked from 10th to 7th streets. Noting the foot traffic and numbers of people going in and out of restaurants and shops, Tushla said, “I feel we could have one (Cruise Nite) a week, get that feeling of energy” in the historic Downtown. 

“It’s all happy,” replied SPPD Reserve Sgt. Dave Curran when asked how the event was going. “We’ve got Reserves, Explorers and Citizens Patrol out,” fun evening duty welcomed by all volunteers.

For 15 years on the first Friday of the Month, April through October, Cruise Nite has brought people from throughout Southern California to Santa Paula - both those displaying their sweet rides as well as those who flock to the downtown to enjoy the automotive eye candy. “I don’t know what that is or if it’s purple or periwinkle,” said a woman as she walked past a distinctively painted vintage roadster, “but I sure want it.”

Each month during the season Cruise Nite features a rainbow-colored display of vintage vehicles, lively restaurants and livelier music that bring an easy evening of fun for the whole family. Cruise Nite, jointly sponsored by the Santa Paula Police Officers Association and the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce is coordinated by Dave Anderson and Henry Aguilar, retired SPPD officers. 

The next Cruise Nite will be held August 2. Official Cruise Nite hours start when Main Street is closed, from about 5 p.m. to dark.

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