City Employee Robert Howard installs the new Christmas banners in the downtown area. The new banners were purchased by the City of Santa Paula, Downtown Merchants Association, and the Centennial Celebration committee. Photo by Don Johnson

New Christmas Banners in Downtown

November 21, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesIt’s a natural that Santa Claus would find Santa Paula the place to be this holiday season, and Jim Garfield told the City Council that’s exactly what is being planned.Garfield, a former Mayor, said at the Nov. 10th meeting that a major marketing campaign would center on the Man with All the Toys.“The Santa Paula Downtown Merchants Association came up with an idea to promote Santa Paula during the holidays by changing it to the City of Santa Claus,” said Garfield.The funding for the promotional effort was garnered from the remnants of the Centennial Celebration account, the Santa Paula Times, City of Santa Paula and Garfield’s Cal-West Real Estate.Sixty-six Christmas themed banners featuring Santa – with Paula crossed out and Claus substituted – were decorate the downtown business district.“We’ll be the City of Santa Claus with a poinsettia theme,” decorating Main Street, Railroad Corridor/Depot and Mill Street.“We know and understand that banners alone won’t do it,” and a series of activities and events are also being planned, said Garfield.
The annual Optimist Club Christmas Parade and Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group’s Light Up A Life, both held Nov. 29th, will not only kick off the holiday season but the downtown holiday marketing effort that will last through December.“Hopefully, we’ll be tying it in with the Chamber of Commerce New Year’s Eve party,” said Garfield.Participating downtown merchants will expand business hours starting Dec. 4th and Santa Paula/Santa Claus pins and ornaments are already on sale.Activities will include special visits from Santa to Main Street, special sales and drawings for gift baskets, a chance to take mural tours, and a snowstorm: “This year we’re going to have 35 tons of snow,” more than triple last year’s faux storm, said Garfield.The marketing effort will also include wide advertising throughout Ventura County, he noted.Garfield presented each council member with a special Santa Paula/Santa Claus ornament and noted that this year’s holiday effort is a “modest beginning” of what is planned to become an expanded annual event.

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