Santa Barbara Target opens before grand opening on Sunday
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Target rolled out the red carpet for a ribbon cutting and open house for "very important guests" but when shoppers crashed the party, the new store welcomed everyone inside to shop.
So, the open house that was supposed to last from 5-7p.m. went on until 10 p.m.
Customers came out carrying bags full of food, clothing, and other goods.
Some residents said they have been waiting for years to shop at a store in their neighborhood.
Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Maria used to have the closed Targets before this store and another one will be opening in Goleta later this year.
The Santa Barbara Target fills the former Galeria, but it is still considered a small format store.
Store director Allison Lopez said the items and prices may vary, but she insists prices will stay competitive.
There are 91 parking spaces for the new store.
That is a concern to some shoppers who had to drive around a few times to find parking spots.
Lopez said customers can also park at La Cumbre Plaza shopping center nearby.
Target's mascot Bullseye joined Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo for the ribbon cutting.
Once inside guests enjoyed sweet treets such as cotton candy, grilled cheese sandwiches and other snacks.
Skip Stecker, known as the Dancin' DJ" played requests like the Eagles and Ariana Grande as customers and employees danced while looking around.
Murals by artist Jiaqi Wang of Los Angeles give the store a local feel. The murals show the Santa Barbara Mission and the Public Market.
"We are not a full Target so you are not going to be in here for 3 or 4 hours you are going to be able to have the quicker trip to see where everything is," said Lopez.
Santa Barbara City Council member Eric Friedman said he can walk to the store from his home.
The store will have 80 employees and is still hiring.
Brynda Harris is one of them. A co-worker named Mary who used to drive a school bus bragged that Brynda used to work for the Library of Congress.
"I am loving it I am really excited about this So this is my second life," said Harris.
The staff will be getting the hand of it during a soft openings at 7 a.m. for the rest of the week.
The Grand Opening will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday.