With the City of Santa Paula’s recent social media posts promoting a mystery event happening during this evening’s monthly Friday Cruise Night, Santa Paula residents and non-residents alike packed the streets of Downtown Santa Paula. As they strolled through the closed off Main Street to check out restored vintage cars, music suddenly filled the air and people from all over began dancing! Confusion, first, flooded the crowd, until they realized that they were witnessing a flash mob before their very eyes!
Beginning on Main Street, the musicians made their way to Santa Paula’s iconic clock tower where the dancers began their routine. Byron Bucao from the Alias Dance Company and over 30 dancers from Oxnard, California surprised the crowd with their talent despite their young age. Traditional mariachi music provided by Mariachi Reyes, an ensemble group founded by Nanette Reyes, accompanied the traditional Mexican dancers from the local Ballet Folklorico sol de Pacifico to celebrate Santa Paula’s Hispanic heritage. Musicians from Karen Parkhouse and the Barrelhouse Wailers, a jazz and blues-style band reminiscent of Prohibition Era, led the procession back to Main Street near the well-known Rabalais Bistro in Downtown Santa Paula. From there musicians from the Banda Huracan del Pacifico, a traditional Mexican musical troupe played as dancing horses trained and provided by Hacienda Marz danced in front of the Palazzio.
“We organized this surprise event as a celebration of Santa Paula’s unique community and the resilience our residents have shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Santa Paula City Manager Dan Singer. “Not only was this event to highlight all that is special about our community, but the extensive involvement of community groups and members further demonstrates the lengths Santa Paulans will go to positively inspire one another.”
This spectacular surprise was organized by the City of Santa Paula, the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, the owner of the Palazzio Event Studio and local community leader Jose Melgar, who provided valuable support and direction of the event as well as local Real Estate Agent Jenny Aranna, who planned and coordinated with the event organizers and participating groups to ensure the success of the event.
In addition to the incredible organizers of the event, sponsors including the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Paula Downtown Property Business Improvement District (PBID), Jose Melgar, Jenny Arana, Bunnin Chevrolet and Robert Garcia of Garcia’s Funeral Home pitched in to uplift and celebrate the residents of Santa Paula.
Dancers were not the only surprise to those attending today’s Cruise Night—an air show flew over the event followed by hundreds of festive multi-colored balloons that could be seen floating through downtown. Local pilots Pete Mason, Rowena Mason, Sam Mason and Zachary Corr offered to fly planes over Santa Paula’s Main Street as the cherry on top of the City’s uniquely special tribute to the small, lively town.
Those who were unable to join the event or want to relive the excitement can watch it on the City’s Facebook page here or on the City's TikTok account @cityofsantapaula where it was streamed live during all the excitement. #VivaSantaPaula