Santa Cruz Celebration: Mariachis, Mole, and Mojigangas

Music, flavor, and the beloved giant puppets make for Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Park.

THAT LAST SATURDAY OF SUMMER: The ol' chestnut "time is money" can sound cold to the ears, but there's a kernel of truth there. Actually, strike that: There's an entire cob of kernels, and if we really took stock of our days, we'd see that some have a higher currency than others, at least to our own hearts. And one day of the year we'd all probably agree has an inordinate amount of natural sweetness is that final summer Saturday, the one that arrives around the third week in September. Yep, the mornings feel autumnal, but the equinox is still a few days off. What to do with that precious 24 hours, or the 16 hours you're awake? Going outside and lunging-up on fresh air seems key. So does live music. So does really good, taste bud-awakening food. And so does some merry whimsy, to remind us that the passing of the equinoxes and the coming of seasons means time itself goes and we should laugh more. (Those inspirational posters have it right on that front.) The Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks have a rather grand plan for the second year in a row: Mole & Mariachi Festival. In short? Eat a bunch of different moles, dance to mariachi music, and marvel at mojigangas, those gargantuan, oh-so-festive puppets.

WHERE AND WHEN? At Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park on Saturday, Sept. 20. You get in free, and the listening/enjoying of Mariachi Gilroy and Mariachi Sonora is gratis. The sampling of the rich chocolate-y spicy goes-well-on-pork-and-everything sauces? Tasting kits are ten bucks. And the trolley running from downtown Santa Cruz? That's totally free, too. There are other happenings at the park, but trust that they fall under the creative, art-nice, last-day-of-summer, get-up-and-shake-it umbrella. That's a rather nice umbrella to be under, too. Really, what do you intend to do the last Saturday of summer? We only get so many, which, honest and true, is a positive thing. We think about how we can best enjoy each one.

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