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Kids Kaleidoscope .  .  .

Children Love Fiesta

The Entrance to Project Fiesta

2021 FIESTA OPENS WITH PROJECT FIESTA & TABLAO  MUSEO  by Bonnie  Carroll

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum became a Fiesta night to remember for guests who arrived to enjoy the exquisite Project Fiesta exhibition highlighting the history of Fiesta with video, photos, and rare artists renditions. Entering guests walked through a visual confetti stream to view a stunning historic flower girl display, and dignitario costumes, flamenco dresses along with historic carriages used in past Fiesta parades. The second gallery is filled with precious Santa Barbara Mission art, a statue of Saint Barbara, historic photos, posters, paintings, and personal belongings of past Fiesta participants. I especially loved a beautiful personal box belonging to Pearl Chase, who was a renowned leader in Santa Barbara.

 

The reception in the garden was a gathering of friends and sponsors of Old Spanish Days Fiesta, where delicious small plates and margaritas were savored as guests reminisced about past events and were very happy to be together once again despite the pandemic year. Although the annual Fiesta Parade and the El Mercado De La Guerra were cancelled for health concerns, Old Spanish Days Fiesta El Presidenta 2021 Stephanie Petlow and the board have worked to retain many of the events that the community hold dear which did include the Tablau Flamenco.

 

The magical Andalucia provided a lively, yet intimate Flamenco show under the stars in the elegant courtyard, where guests sitting at small tables enjoying wine, were skillfully taken from Santa Barbara to Spain by talented musicians and dancers including Manuel Gutierrez, Gerardo Morales, Andres Vadin, Timo Nunez, Maria “LA Chacha” Bermudez, Talia Orgeta Vestal and local dance company, Flamenco Santa Barbara, sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, investic, Bella Vista Designs, American Rivera Bank, Community First Bank, First Republic Bank and Tour Spain.

Ysabella Yturralde Spirit of Fiesta 2021 & Savannah Hoover Junior Spirit (Photo: Fritz Olenberg/OSD)

It was the most magical evening I’ve ever spent in Santa Barbara. The music and dancing were exceptional and watching some local talent from Flamenco Santa Barbara was exciting. The dances by 16-year-old 2021 Spirit of Fiesta Ysabella Yturralde and 9-year-old 2021 Junior Spirit of Fiesta Savannah Hoover took everyone in the room on a journey to the very heart of Fiesta.

Many thanks to the Santa Barbara Historical Museum for this amazing evening under the stars to experience the happiness of Fiesta Santa Barbara.  For Fiesta event information please visit: www.sbfiesta.org for museum Project Fiesta information (free July 14-Aug 28) please visit: www.sbhistoricalmuseum.org. Ole’ Viva La Fiesta!

About Old Spanish Days In Santa Barbara

Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage and traditions. This 90+-year-old organization produces an annual five day festival -- Fiesta -- that is widely regarded as Santa Barbara’s premier festival.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta is unique among festivals, both local and national, in that it is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by only one year-round staff member. The Directors and Associate Directors represent a broad cross-section of the community. The Board of Directors annually selects an El Presidente or La Presidenta who not only presides over the Board, but also serves as an ambassador of goodwill to residents and visitors alike. The Presidente has the honor of choosing a theme for his/her year and the design of the annual poster and pin.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta is a beloved Santa Barbara tradition that has continued for nearly 100 years. It fosters a unique spirit among locals as an important coming together which encourages community cooperation, celebration, and growth. The festival has grown due to the overwhelming interest of many different organizations to develop and maintain it as an extension and expression of their place in the community. Visitors are also able to experience this historical spirit of Santa Barbara when they watch and join the city and its residents in Fiesta celebrations.

The annual event provides an education to residents and visitors about the history, customs, and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and early American settlers that comprise the rich cultural heritage of Santa Barbara. Old Spanish Days Fiesta is not only a unique forum for the cultural expression of our spirit and diversity, but also provides a vehicle for the non-profit and community service groups to raise funds for local charities and social service organizations.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta has grown in stature and reputation to become one of the top regional festivals in the United States. The event annually draws thousands of visitors from around the world. Fiesta performers come from around the nation and Mexico to participate. Celebrities of international renown who have participated or performed in Fiesta include Leo Carrillo, Will Rogers, Shirley Temple, Charles Lindberg, William Randolph Hearst, Don Wilson, Paul Whitman, and Delores Del Rio. For event dates and times visit:  http://www.oldspanishdays.org.

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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved