In the high tourist season, getting down to the City of Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf is hard enough and once at the Wharf entrance you may find yourself staring straight at the rear end of bumper-to-bumper traffic, inching its way along, drivers’ and passengers’ eyes wide for that coveted empty parking space. It’s the nature of the symbiotic relationship between tourists and locals. You’ll find it in any travel destination–tourists are the ying to locals’ yang. Travel and tourism is the lifeblood of the Santa Cruz economy and we’re glad to share our little slice of heaven with the rest of you from Memorial Day to Labor Day and whenever else you’d like to drop in throughout the year.
But the best-kept secret about Santa Cruz is that our summer typically lasts right up until Halloween so there can be no better time to venture out and enjoy what there is to do right in our own backyard including the Wharf. Come on Santa Cruzans, lets do it!
This coming year is extra special because it’s the 100th Anniversary of the Wharf. Over the course of the next year, the City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Department is celebrating that milestone and it’s all kicking off this Saturday, October 12th. The two-hour long event includes food from Wharf restaurants, wine from Vino Primo (also a Wharf merchant), and an opportunity not only to hear and see Wharf history but to be part of it as well. Local historian Geoffrey Dunn will be leading an interactive discussion and hopes to build on the story by crowd-sourcing photos, stories, film, and memorabilia related to the history of the Wharf. Dunn is excited by the possibilities, telling Lisa McGinnis at the City, “At the Chinatown Pop Up last week, some people brought photos that had never been seen before, including a collection of color slides from the late 1930s of the last Santa Cruz Chinatown. Wow! I’m betting we get some of those this weekend.”
If you have photos to share with us, we’d love them to have them become part of our archive and maybe it will become part of a permanent display on the important role the Wharf has played in the history of our community. And it’s a great opportunity for locals to reconnect with the Wharf and share the love. We hope to see you all there.