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Musings From Within the Triple Fun Zone
by Rico (rico [at]
Wednesday Jan 2nd, 2008 12:21 PM
Throughout the planning of this year's event, we asked ourselves every time we got together, lest we forget to think big and work to fulfill our dreams: What do we really want to see? What do we want this celebration to look like?

An Open Letter to the Santa Cruz Community
Regarding the Last Night DIY Celebration

Hey, friends,

Wow, that was something. Congratulations. I had a blast. We threw a big-ass party for our whole town. What do you think of that? And we didn't ask for permits or permission. Because we don't need to.

At the end of the night I was thinking: A parade, a street party, Balinese gamelan, fire dancing, burn barrels in the streets, bone-shaking drums, dogs and skaters on the mall, brazen square dancing in the streets, pillow fights, bagpipes, encounters with "authority" in which the people prevailed, fireworks, sparkly lights, music, DIY street barricades, DIY everything, man oh man. What's not to like?


This year, the third year of the Last Night DIY celebration, did you notice the trend of the city starting to claim the party as it's own? It's awesome to feel accepted of course, but it's a double-edged sword. After the first couple years of getting nothing but grief from the cautious city administrators, conservative local media, and uniformed fascists, this year the Senile and the Good Times claimed that the celebration was "quickly becoming a Santa Cruz tradition," and "was a uniquely Santa Cruz event." Hahaha. That cracks me up.

This year, Ed Porter himself "acknowledged the positive contribution Last Night DIY has made on the community." Two years ago, he characterized us in City Council and in the press as common lawbreakers. Oh well. So goes politicians. You watch, within a few years, you'll hear Ryan Coonerty and Mike Rotkin telling the media how they support the celebration and always have. If you don't budge, the system eventually redraws it's circle of acceptability around you. So if you live under empire and you have dreams of living free, you have to keep stepping outside of that circle.

Throughout the planning of this year's event, we asked ourselves every time we got together, lest we forget to think big and work to fulfill our dreams: What do we really want to see? What do we want this celebration to look like? (Personally, mine involved jackhammers removing the pavement and replanting the forest downtown.)

Next year, let's do it again. And this time let's think big. A parade AND a party to last well after midnight. Dozens, no hundreds of performers. Everyone a participant. Let's ask ourselves all year, what do we really want to see? What do we want to make happen? And then, let's do that.

My dream, what would make me completely thrilled, would be to hear about some town in Iowa or Kentucky or somewhere that every year had a bleak and uneventful New Year's deciding to throw their own DIY celebration of their own. No, how about towns and cities all over the country rejecting commodified and passive entertainment in favor of their own do-it-yourself celebrations? So tell your friends in far away places. Be the spark that ignites a powder keg of joy and resourcefulness.

See you in the streets,

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Last Night DIY
(info [at] Wednesday Jan 2nd, 2008 2:53 PM

Press Coverage 2007

January 1, 2008
"DIY Parade Draws Crowd in Santa Cruz"

KION News Now
January 1, 2008
Video - Around minute 2:15 of the broadcast.

Santa Cruz Sentinel VIDEO!
January 1, 2008
Check it out to see all your friends!

Photo by Dan Coyro - Santa Cruz Sentinel

New Year's Eve goes full throttle at Last Night DIY parade
Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 1, 2008
"The drum beat was loud and slightly off tune, and the array of colorful wigs and masks with mismatched costumes made downtown light up like Halloween."

KION News Now 12.31.07
December 31, 2007
Audio only - Listen up around minute 1:43 of the broadcast.

Downtown Santa Cruz braces for New Year's revelers
Santa Cruz Sentinel, December 31, 2007
"Whitney Wilde's sewing machine will get a much-needed break after tonight." (NOTE: no it won't, the sewing machine will still be going - next year is coming fast! giggle giggle)

KSBW TV - December 27, 2007 - 5pm, 6pm and 11pm
Sylvia gave an excellent on-camera interview about the parade with Phil Gomez, but I couldn't find online video of it!

Press Coverage 2006

YouTube video of firedancer - great sound!
"Harper + fire poi = almost catching pants on fire."

Local News: Weird, wild and safe: Santa Cruz New Year's Eve a unique celebration
Santa Cruz Sentinel - January 2, 2007
"A peaceful and jubilant New Year's Eve gave way to a calm New Year's Day, one of the quietest holidays in memory, law enforcement officials said Monday."
Be sure to check out the multi-media presentation for the sights and sounds of the parade. Dan Coyro did a great job of capturing it.

Welcoming 2007
Register Pajaronian - Jan 3, 2007
"Pacific Avenue was filled with musicians, unicyclists, fire jugglers, Santa Clauses on bicycles, a stilt walker and even a fake Dick Cheney Sunday night as hundreds of mostly Santa Cruz residents celebrated the final hours of 2006."

New Years Eve Do-It-Yourself Parade Returns to Pacific Ave
Mid-County Post - Dec 26, 2006
"The eclectic Last Night Santa Cruz parade will return to downtown Santa Cruz again this year, gathering near Saturn Cafe at sunset and marching the length of Pacific Avenue to a final "hoe-down" near the clock tower."

Coast Lines: Parade Group Plans To Skip Permit (PDF)
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec 20, 2006
"Organizers of a New Year's Eve downtown parade have said they will not obtain a permit for the event, which will march up Pacific Avenue from Laurel Street."

About Last Night - Santa Cruz gets ready for another DIY New Year's Eve
Santa Cruz Metro - Dec 27, 2006
"Have you ever jaywalked? Have you ever filed for a permit to jaywalk? Have you ever jaywalked with a friend? Have you ever jaywalked with a few hundred friends?"

The Last Night Santa Cruz DIY Parade (PDF)
CityGuide San Francisco - Dec 12, 2006
"The crowd is the thing here, and whether that involves stilt-walkers, activist groups, performances or bike punks, all are welcome to come and show their stuff."

Unofficial parade set for Santa Cruz on New Year's Eve (PDF)
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec 12, 2006
"The New Year's Eve downtown parade that made its debut last year by a group of community mavericks is set to take stage on Pacific Avenue again."

Letters:  New Years Celebrations (PDF)
Mid-County Post - Jan 24, 2006
"What a beautiful celebration. What an amazing group of people.  Thousands of people came out New Year's Eve to participate in the people's parade that marched raucously up Pacific Avenue and spanned many blocks."

Press Coverage 2005

Undercover Officers Rile New Year's Eve Parade Planners (PDF)
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec 31, 2005
"Two men attended three meetings and did not let on they were police officers, giving false names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses."

Nuz: About Last Night Again (PDF)
Metro Santa Cruz - Dec 21, 2005
"This will be the inaugural Last Night DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Parade, combining two of the most popular pastimes in Santa Cruz: dressing in costume and resisting authority."

Filling the void left by First Night (PDF)
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec 15, 2005
"Whoever shows up at dusk on Pacific Avenue can join in with a parade that will feature many of the elements that locals will remember from the First Night Processional without the tightly controlled visual themes."

Silent First Night: Cities cancel family-friendly New Year's events (PDF)
Wall Street Journal - Dec 10, 2005
"But this New Year's Eve is going to look different: Political activists and street artists are planning a march through town with a "trash orchestra" banging barrels and pans."

Downtown Halloween ruckus raises concerns about New Year's Eve (PDF)
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec 3, 2005
"A splinter group calling themselves Last Night Santa Cruz have planned a 'completely organic' parade to replace the one organized by First Night"

Nuz: About Last Night (PDF)
Metro Santa Cruz - Sep 21, 2005
"various members of the community are organizing LAST NIGHT SANTA CRUZ to fill the void--and they're inviting you and everyone you know to help."

by Just Nell
Wednesday Jan 2nd, 2008 3:04 PM
A handout being given away at the start of the aprade and maybe along the route.
by Becky Johnson
Friday Jan 4th, 2008 6:58 PM
DIY is so celebratory while costing virtually nothing to produce.
DIY participants even followed the parade picking up trash which the City will
not have to pay to have collected. Why is it that only events which cost
money have the City's blessing? In this photo, one of the more electrified participants
waits for the parade to begin.
by h
Monday Jan 7th, 2008 12:27 PM
wes (and your partner)-

i do not honor you as a hero or put you on a pedestal, but i appreciate your tenacity, vision and energy you infuse into the community. thanks for giving of yourself to others and for your commitment to bring joy into the world.
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