Dilly Dally Car Rally: Unique, competitive SP tour to end with Clocktower dinner dance!

August 18, 2010
Santa Paula News

It’s going to be a Dilly Dally Car Rally, a unique competitive tour of Santa Paula businesses, cultural attractions and landmarks, capped by a gala Rock Around the Clocktower dinner dance.

A joint effort of Odd Fellows Lodge #314, Soroptimist International of Santa Paula and the Chamber of Commerce, the August 28 Dilly Dally Car Rally will turn participants’ vehicles into magic carpet rides of fun and discovery.

The rally will start at 1 p.m. at the historic Depot (corner of 10th and Santa Barbara streets), with the 6 p.m. dinner dance and awards ceremony held at the Odd Fellows Lodge, where people will “Rock Around the Clock” to the music of the Cruise Knights to help raise funding needed to restore the landmark timepiece’s tower.

The entry cost for each rally car is only $60, and includes two tickets to the 6 p.m. dinner dance plus two drink tickets and a pair of raffle tickets for great prizes. And everybody is invited to attend the dinner dance for only $10 each, an admission that includes a drink and raffle ticket. Dilly Dally Car Rally participants will receive a “goody bag” that merchants and landmarks will fill for you.

Donna Stewart, owner of the boutique hotel the Santa Paula Inn, conceived the unique twist for the Dilly Dally Car Rally. “It’s going to be a grand event and any car qualifies for entry,” said Stewart. “If it runs it can win!”

There will be cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners at the rally, which organizers stress is not a race for the fastest completion of the route but rather matching a predetermined time for same. And, promised Stewart, “You will be shocked and amazed where this ‘scavenger hunt’ type rally will take you! And any car can join the rally, drivers of any age with any size group are encouraged to join in the fun!”

Stewart’s co-chairs are Barbara Kroon of the Chamber and Past Odd Fellows Noble Grand Carlos Juarez. The trio has been holding regular meetings with committee members finalizing plans for the city’s first scavenger hunt, and contacting car clubs to generate entries.

The rally, said Stewart, “is perfect for Santa Paula because of its size.... It’s a unique place” for a unique event that garnered its name because “People can dilly-dally at businesses, our museums and other cultural landmarks... there’s no rush because the winning time is pre-determined,” and the cars closest to same are the ranked winners.

Kroon said entries would be cautioned, “If you race and rush you’re not going to win,” as participants will be encouraged to dilly-dally at each mapped stop where they will receive a clue to their next stop.

For quite a while, said Stewart, the Downtown Merchants Association and Chamber have been encouraging tourism, and the rally is ready made to delight Santa Paulans and visitors alike.

The Chamber’s portion of proceeds will fund space at Oxnard’s California Welcome Center for brochures and other promotional material highlighting Santa Paula. Soroptimist will use their proceeds for the professional women’s organization’s scholarship fund. “Everybody will win” and, noted Stewart, “the Odd Fellows will get some money for their Clocktower renovation.”

Kroon said Odd Fellows is donating the use of their historic lodge for the Rock Around the Clock celebration, the Cruise Knights are donating their talents, and Domino’s is sponsoring the dinner.

Each Dilly Dally Car Rally participant will be given a “passport book that gives them the first clue to their first stop... their passport will be stamped and then they’ll be off to their next stop” with a clue to guide them. While at the stop, whether business or landmark, car rally participants will have a chance to take their time, ask questions and get free goodies.

Said Kroon, “It’s great exposure for businesses, where they’ll receive a coupon or a sample and give people a reason to come back.”

It’s up to businesses to create their own special car rally promotion and “meet people face to face,” give them something “to remember our businesses for,” said Stewart. “It’s just a win-win for everybody: for the drivers who get freebies, for the businesses and cultural attractions, and for our community overall, which will be visited by new people who will appreciate all Santa Paula has to offer.”

The rally is estimated to last about three hours, ending at approximately 4 p.m. “That gives people two hours or so before the dinner dance to explore our downtown, get a bite to eat or shop... maybe go to the airport,” noted Stewart. “So many places they can see and so much they can do.”

For more information or entry forms, visit the Dilly Dally Car Rally page on Facebook or contact Stewart at (805) 901-0338.


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