Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 2:02 am | Fair 57º


Local News

Gloom Can’t Dampen Community Spirit for 3rd Annual Mesa Spring Fest

Bands, signups, dancing, arts and crafts, and even a wreath contest brighten the May Gray at the daylong festival

Saturday may have been gloomy all day but it wasn’t enough to dampen the Mesa high spirit to welcome spring and celebrate!

Fog and clouds blanketing this coastal Santa Barbara neighborhood is an all-too-familiar thing. It keeps the area cool and its residents even cooler.

And at the Third Annual Mesa Spring Fest spearheaded by the Mesa Business Association on May 12, the gloom was certainly there. It was typically Mesa!

Event planning was headed by MBA president Debra Babai and Hillary Dulien, Art on the Mesa coordinator and the event chairwoman.

There was an early morning bike ride this year to highlight the Mesa’s green advocacy, and with help from Santa Barbara Middle School’s Bike Monkeys and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, neighbors and visitors were encouraged to bike to the event.

Santa Barbara Bank &Trust-Mesa branch, celebrating its 25th year in the area, won this year’s Earth Day Wreath contest, which promotes the worldwide eco-observance.

Former Mayor Marty Blum, a longtime Mesa resident, and Stan Martinez, store director of award-winning green-advocate Mesa Albertsons, the prize donor, gave the award to the bank’s new manager, Daniel Estrada, and his senior teller, Jessica Gonzalez, who designed the wreath.

Art and crafts vendors had many wares to offer for Mother’s Day. Many enjoyed the visual offerings as well as the promotions from Mesa businesses.

And while nearby shops had to temporarily stop (and for some it meant closing time) as a result of a power outage, the Mesa Spring Fest went merrily on its way, thanks to solar power courtesy of California Solar Electric.

There was fabulous music from boy bands — Stolen Thunder, 50 Below and Technical Difficulties — and songs for children by Spencer the Gardener and Grandpa Guy.

Dancers from McKinley School’s Cinco de Mayo group plus Monroe School’s Drill Team added to the family fun, along with the bounce house, courtesy of Mike Richardson Realtors, and face painting for the kids. Add to that Emily Wryn’s fantastic vocals as well as Agile Strum’s, a duo of talented dads. Then Witches’ Play rocked the place with funk, hip hop, reggae rock and all upbeat rhythm.

DJ Dover emceed with guest radio personalities Lin Aubuchon of KTYD and Bill Pesso of K-LITE. Mayor Helene Schneider honored the event with her presence.

On the side, Mesa leaders gathered signature from neighbors to persuade the City Council to take over Cliff Drive, officially Highway 225, which is scheduled for a May 21 special session.

There was also a registry for the upcoming summer events and group projects that include Art on the Mesa summer series for talented Mesa youth and crafts artists; Mesa Bazaar, the annual coordinated yard sale; and the end-of summer get-together, A Day at La Mesa Park, as well as civic involvement in the Mesa’s Historical Society with its Mesa Rats Group and the Mesa Mouse Club; the Gateway project by the M-CUBB (Mesa CleanUp & Beautification Brigade); and a survey of the flora and fauna in Mesa parks by M-PVO (the Mesa Parks Volunteers Organization).

Our Mesa Neighborhood will also be hosting a Measure Y forum from 7 to 9 p.m. May 29 at the Village Hall in Holy Cross Catholic Church, 1740 Cliff Drive.

The sun finally played a bit of peek-a-boo just before the event wound up at 6 p.m. with everyone feeling the strong spirit of community among the Mesa neighbors.

Click here for more information on Our Mesa Neighborhood, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Alice SanAndres-Calleja is a Santa Barbara resident and editor/publisher of The Mesa Paper.

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