Music, Mole and Mini Fashion Moguls

This year's Summer Series at the Mission Adobe heads in a fashionable new direction.

by Xochitl Rojas-Rocha

April 13, 2015—Remember last year’s Summer Series in the park—the free music, the tasty mole and the family-friendly films that drew everyone around? It’s back again with a new bent toward fashion and a concert featuring a local Americana band. From May 1 to Sept. 19, the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is hosting seven free events in Santa Cruz’s own Mission State Historic Park.

The series starts off with a First Friday event presenting the group “FashionTEENS,” a program that gives Santa Cruz middle- and high-school fashionistas the chance to showcase their creations. Up to 25 students will get to watch their designs parade across the stage May 1 in the Mission State Historic Park.

On Saturday, May 30, a local Americana band, Mylo Jenkins, will host a Music @ the Mission concert. Bring a blanket and snacks to picnic on the lawn during the show (4-7pm). Think Uncle Tupelo and early Ryan Adams; you can check out some Mylo Jenkins right here.

June 5, it’s the adults’ turn to reveal their fashion designs with a show by PIVOT Fashion for First Friday. “This is such a significant part of our arts community, that we’re really excited about hosting this venue,” says Elizabeth Schilling, events coordinator for the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

Next up on Saturday, July 18, the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks invites families to watch the movie Soul Surfer for the kick-off of Movies @ the Mission. The Snack Shack will be open, but don’t forget to bring your own blankets and lawn chairs to keep comfortable and warm throughout the show. The show starts at sunset, so get there a little early to save your spot.

On Friday, Aug. 7, local artists come together to host an outdoors painting event (in French: plein air) called “Plein Air in Action.” With the surrounding historic backdrop as their inspiration, the artists will give audience members an introduction to field sketching and provide them with their own watercolor kits.

Saturday, Aug. 22, the second Movies @ the Mission night features the 1967 Disney movie The Gnome-Mobile, a film about two children trying to help their grandfather and a troupe of tiny gnomes. Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice, the Banks children from Mary Poppins, play the leading role in the film, which was made in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

It all wraps up on Saturday, Sept. 19 with the popular Mole & Mariachi Festival. Tissue paper flower-making, piñatas, mariachi bands and mouth-watering mole — the third annual festival offers it all. And each home chef or business interested in participating should be prepared to make seven gallons of mole! (Friends is already accepting applications for mole contestants.)

So come help breathe life back into the Mission State Historic Park, home to the only adobe building left standing from Mission Santa Cruz. Its welcoming walls, built by Ohlone and Yokut Indians in the 19th century, have a long history—and it’s time to make more.