Sweet Summertime at the Mission Adobe

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks announce the return of their summer series at the Mission Adobe.

by Allison Titus

May 2, 2014—Where can you find local music, fine art, cultural events and outdoor movies this summer? Look no further than the Mission Adobe. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks recently announced the return of their summer series of events at the Mission, and the lineup is promising, to say the least. This seven-event series boasts three First Friday music and art events, an art debut by celebrated graphic artist Michael Schwab, three outdoor movie screenings and the second annual Mole and Mariachi festival. Experience the magic of the cool adobe walls in the summer combined with fun for the whole family.

The festival kicks off Friday, May 2 with First Friday at the Mission. This inaugural summer event will feature Summer Rhee-Pizano's whimsical Day of The Dead-inspired folk art combined with the lilting ukulele tunes of Michelle Kiba, the "Ukulele Lady of Santa Cruz." Bask in the warm summer evening while enjoying the colorful artwork and melodic ukulele harmonies in the shadow of the oldest building in Santa Cruz.

On Friday, June 6, San Francisco-based graphic artist Michael Schwab will be unveiling new work at the second First Friday at the Mission Adobe. This evening he unveils two new posters commissioned by the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks for the Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park and the Castro Adobe. The Tailgaters will perform their eclectic mix of harmonious acoustic jam with guitar, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica and bass.

On Saturday, June 21, enjoy the summer night with a screening of Pirates of the Caribbean at the Mission Adobe. Costumes are highly encouraged, so bring out the eyepatches and earrings and hop on your peg leg for an evening of warm entertainment at the Mission.

On Saturday, July 19, the second Movies @ The Mission will celebrate Santa Cruz surf legend Jay Moriarty with a showing of Chasing Mavericks. Bring a little change for a snack from the Snack Shack and revel in the sport that has enchanted the minds and hearts of Santa Cruz locals for decades.

On Friday, Aug. 1, artist Erika Perloff will bring in the series' last First Friday at the Mission Adobe with a beautiful display of her landscape artwork. Enjoy the dreamlike, familiar quality of her pastels and acrylics while listening to the Mystic Truebadoors strum away on the courtyard patio.

The last Movies @ The Mission night, Saturday, Aug. 16, will feature the thrilling Jurassic Park: The Lost World. Lose yourself in the world of velociraptors and pterodactyls gone wrong, but don't forget to bring some money for snacks from the Snack Shack and a blanket to sit on.

All of this delightful summertime fun will come to a close with the second annual Mole and Mariachi Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 10am to 4pm. Dancers twirl to the music of mariachi bands while chefs from all over Santa Cruz County vie for the honor of best mole—the intensely flavorful, often hot and sometimes sweet sauce native to Oaxaca. Tasting kits ($10 in 2013, price in 2014 TBA) come with chips, napkins and rights to sample as much mole as you can handle. Beer, wine, ice cream and other treats round out the culinary offerings, while demonstrations, games and music keep festivalgoers of all ages entertained. If last year's inaugural Mole and Mariachi Festival is any indication, this will be a big, lively celebration of California culture.

All First Friday Music & Art events run 5-8pm, with music at 6pm. For Movies at the Mission Adobe, doors open at 7pm and films start at sunset.

Bring life, love and laughter to the old Mission Adobe this summer and join the ranks of families who have made merry within its walls for the better part of two centuries. This old building has overlooked Santa Cruz for nearly 200 years, and the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks are devoted to keeping it available for the community to use. The Summer Series at the Mission Adobe brings together the past, present and future in an irresistible combination of events for any and all ages.