Under the gloom, the Mesa Spring Fest fun went on.

Saturday’s weather was all-day gloom but not enough to dampen the Mesa’s high spirit for welcoming and celebrating spring!

Fog and clouds blanketing this coastal neighborhood are all too familiar, but they keep the area cool and its residents even cooler. And at the 3rd Annual Mesa Spring Fest spearheaded by the Mesa Business Association (MBA) on May 12, the gloom was certainly there. It was typically Mesa!

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

There was an early morning bike ride this year to highlight 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 the Earth Day Wreath Contest, which promotes the worldwide eco-observance.

Former Santa Barbara mayor and long-time Mesa resident Marty Blum, and Stan Martinez, store director of award-winning green-advocate Mesa Albertson’s – 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 much to offer for Mother’s day. Many enjoyed the visual offerings as well as the promos from Mesa businesses.

And while the shops had to temporarily stop (and for some it meant closing time) due to a power outage, the event, which ran on solar power, courtesy of California Solar Electric, went merrily on.

There was fabulous music from boybands – Stolen Thunder, 50 Below, and Technical Technical Difficulties – and songs for children by Spencer the Gardener, and Grandpa Guy. Dances from McKinley Elementary School’s Cinco de Mayo group, plus Monroe Elementary School’s Drill Team, added to the family fun. There was also face-painting for the kids, and a bounce house, courtesy of Mike Richardson Realtors.

Add, to all that, fantastic vocals by Emily Wryn; Agile Strums (a duo of talented dads), and then Witches’ Play, which rocked the place with funk, hip hop, reggae rock and all upbeat rhythm.

DJ Dover emceed with guests KTYD/KLITE radio personalities Lin Aubuchon and Bill Pesso. Mayor Helene Schneider honored the event with her presence.

On the side, Mesa leaders gathered signature from neighbors to persuade City Council to take over Cliff Drive a.k.a. SR 225, now on the scheduled special session on May 21.

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

Our Mesa Neighborhood also hosts a forum on Measure Y on May 29, 7-9 p.m., at its Village Hall in Holy Cross Parish.

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.


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