.How the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Is Surviving Tough Times

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has reshuffled its offerings in hopes of dealing with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

While all of their rides have been shuttered since March, the Boardwalk has recently started holding drive-in movie nights on the corner of Beach and Third streets, near the river.

“We have sold out every date thus far, and have added additional movies to the lineup,” said Karley Pope, director of sales and promotions.

Because of coronavirus precautions, moviegoers must stay in their vehicles before and during the movie unless using the restroom.

The Boardwalk has also started up, for the month of October, “Hoppy Hours,” beer pairings at their Brews at the Beach location. Visitors can buy Bay Area craft beers paired with food prepared by the Boardwalk’s event chef.

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Additionally, the Boardwalk is promoting Halloween at the Boardwalk, where children can trick-or-treat at various open food and retail locations as an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods during the pandemic.

A handful of arcade games, including Skeeball, Pac-Man, Guitar Hero, Injustice, air hockey and crane games, are open for outdoor participation.

On weekends midway games such as Milk Bottles, Ring-a-Bottle and Speed Pitch are in operation.

Pope also said some of the Boardwalk’s food and merchandise vendors are operating throughout the week.

Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz Big Trees Pacific Railroad has continued operating its train between the Boardwalk and Felton’s Roaring Camp. 

Shely Stryker of Felton and her son, Jordan, 7, took the round trip with a stop at the Boardwalk over the weekend.

“We’ve ridden the train before and we love it,” she said. “I just felt it was important to support these local businesses that help keep operations like this up and running.”

For event information and to reserve your spot at the drive-in movies at the Boardwalk, visit: beachboardwalk.com/Events.


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Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.
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