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The Unstoppable DIY New Years Eve Parade
Date Saturday December 31
Time 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Details
The DIY Parade will meet at 5pm near the Saturn Cafe parking lot on Pacific Ave and Spruce Street.
Event Type Party/Street Party
Organizer/AuthorDIY Community

Despite City Efforts, Do-It-Yourself Community Celebration Marks Seven Years


On New Year's Eve, as it has for the past seven years, Santa Cruz will again host the Last Night DIY New Years Parade, what has become both a homespun, family-friendly alternative celebration and a controversial embarrassment for the city. The result of seven years of do-it-yourself community organizing, the Last Night DIY Parade, a community-sponsored New Year's Eve celebration will again hit Santa Cruz streets.

The Do-It-Yourself parade invites families, friends, and lovers to come and enjoy a community celebration. Bring your bikes and your costumes, unicycles and musical instruments, drums and banners and noise makers, to bring in the new year in a celebration together.

Every New Years since 2004, the DIY celebration has been peaceful, creative, and fun. Community members carefully handle organization, traffic control, and cleanup. However, because of its lack of official sanction, civic leaders have opposed the celebration from the beginning. This year, police tried to shut down the parade by selectively targeting individuals who participated. In spite of the DIY parade's spotless record, Police used the unrelated violence on May 1st, 2010 to argue that all unpermitted events were potentially dangerous.

"While the police and civic leaders try to frighten us with the specter of downtown violence, we just want to participate in a communal celebration with our neighbors," said Elizabeth Burchfield. "We are tired of being afraid. It's time to organize together."

In 2004, Santa Cruz police were discovered infiltrating the parade planning group. An outcry by community members with the help of the ACLU put in place rules to severely restrict local surveillance operations of community groups.

According to the Last Night DIY website, the parade, from its beginnings in 2004, was not about merely celebrating, "but celebrating what we as a community can do ourselves, without corporate or city-sponsorship. It is a celebration of both our autonomy and the support we offer each other."

As with other years, organization is spontaneous and open. There is no single group of organizers. "Everyone who participates makes it happen," said Burchfield. This year on New Year's Eve, the DIY Parade will meet at 5pm near the Saturn Cafe parking lot on Pacific Ave and Spruce Street. Fliers for the event are online at the website at

Added to the calendar on Tuesday Dec 20th, 2011 11:45 AM
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
I Saw The Same ThingThos EnnsMonday Jan 2nd, 2012 1:04 PM
It's 8:23 PM New Years Eve...RazerRaySaturday Dec 31st, 2011 8:45 PM
For a parade positive perspective from a perenial participant...Robert NorseSaturday Dec 31st, 2011 6:33 AM
Android PlanetoidBob LamonicaFriday Dec 30th, 2011 10:21 AM
U Missed itwilde gurlFriday Dec 30th, 2011 9:25 AM
Unfortunate Coverage by "Alternative" MediaRobert NorseThursday Dec 29th, 2011 9:11 AM
For Those Who Missed the DIY Parade Last Year...Robert NorseSunday Dec 25th, 2011 10:21 PM
I AgreeFrank WhitingSunday Dec 25th, 2011 1:06 PM
DIY BackgroundRobert NorseFriday Dec 23rd, 2011 3:57 AM
Whose streets? OUR streets!Becky JohnsonThursday Dec 22nd, 2011 5:02 AM

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