A swinging time at the California Auto Museum
Visitors had a rollicking good time Sunday at the second annual Sacramento Swing Time.
The event at the California Auto Museum featured swing music from nine bands, and offered something for every musical taste, said Fun Monkey Entertainment’s Shonda Honkanen, event co-founder. “We have a whole roster of wonderful music from blues, to jazz, western swing and rockabilly music,” she said. “There’s a lot to listen to and a lot to dance to.”
Entertainment also came in the form of unusual vendors, including Heavenly Gate Tattoos doing on-site inking and a booth selling rockabilly clothing.
The fun continued outside with free swing dance lessons, a hula dancing performance and a car show featuring hot rods and classic cars.
The Pinup Angels showed their support for U.S. troops with a flag signed by men and women in uniform. “We are a troop-support charity and we send care packages to the troops overseas,” said Kitty Baby, founder and manager of the group. Donations are solicited from visitors to car shows and other events, and pinup prints of the girls in swimsuits and tight outfits, reminiscent of the old Betty Page days, are given in exchange. “Our boys and girls just love it,” she said. “We send a lot of pictures to them of what we’re doing at our events, but we also send them pinup prints in the care packages.”
Last year, the swinging celebration drew about 300 people, Honkanen said. “It just keeps growing and it gets better and better. We’ve doubled the entertainment, we’ve definitely doubled the amount of vendors and the people,” she said.
Karen McClaflin, director of the museum, said the facility’s proximity to the Jazz Jubilee in Old Sacramento helps. “The timing and the location was deliberate, so that people who attended the Jazz Festival who wanted to come down for the swing music could,” she said. “They could walk if they wanted to and come on down and hear it.”
While the money raised helps Fun Monkey Entertainment put on more swinging events, the company also is glad to support the California Auto Museum, Honkanen said. “I just think it’s important for Sacramento to support your museum, support your local live bands, support local art.”
Such support clearly is welcome. “They’re doing it as a fund raiser for them, but as the venue, it also becomes a fund raiser for us,” McClaflin said. “Because we get people through the door then going to the bar, buying ice cream or buying stuff in our gift shop.”