It isn’t just nostalgia that attracts people to old cars. It’s an American tradition; and in a local sense, it’s also an Oxnard tradition. Some 20-odd car clubs exist in Oxnard alone. It’s fitting, then, that Oxnard Cruise Night will be launched this summer on the second Friday night of each month.
“There was a member of the community, Manual Herrera,” said Abel Magaña, executive director for the Oxnard Downtown Improvement District. “He has been connected with Los Viejitos Car Club. He participated in the Oxnard Multicultural Festival and did a peace cruise last October. The Oxnard Police Department also did one. So it’s a car culture thing, just by popular demand.”
Herrera runs a Facebook group page called Citizens for a Better Oxnard.
“I recently retired, and I’ve been involved in the community for many, many years,” said Herrera. “Through my Facebook Page, I was able to get this going because the city officials all know me.”
An avid car enthusiast, Herrera found that he had to attend cruise nights elsewhere in the county. So he and his friend Eddie Cabral finally convinced the city and its downtown merchants that a local cruise night on a Friday would be ideal. “People have worked all week, they’re looking for something to do on a Friday night,” he stated.
Herrera and Cabral joined with Gary Blum, site superintendent of Heritage Square. Other enthusiastic partners included Chief Scott Whitney from the Oxnard Police Department, DRAGG (Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti), the Murphy Auto Museum and many of the merchants on A Street.
The first Oxnard Cruise Night will take place this Friday, June 8, starting at 4 p.m. on A Street between Third and Sixth streets. Food and music will be provided by downtown restaurants, and Heritage Square will also feature its regular summer concerts.
“My main pitch was that everything happens at The Collection,” Herrera said. “And now it’s time to bring things back to downtown Oxnard.”
Oxnard Cruise Night takes place 4-8 p.m. on every second Friday of the month through August in downtown Oxnard. For route, schedule and more information, call Manuel Herrera at 983-6377, Eddie Cabral at 207-4365 or visit downtownoxnard.org/cruise .