Anthony Borgatello will be presiding over this year’s Fiesta as El Presidente, acting as the figurehead for Old Spanish Days and the symbolic leader of the festival. Borgatello has deep roots in Santa Barbara that go back more than 70 years to when his grandfather founded MarBorg Industries.
Borgatello currently is the head of MarBorg’s Liquid Waste Division, and is eager to give back to the community with which he has always had strong ties. “The Santa Barbara community has been very good to my family and to me,” Borgatello said. “I wanted to find an organization where I could give back to the community.”
Borgatello has worked with Old Spanish Days since 2001, when he got his start with the organization as an associate director. Since then, he has been working his way up the Fiesta food chain, serving as last year’s vice president and now presiding over the festivities as El Presidente.
Although this year’s Fiesta is said to be a smaller event than previous years because of the poor shape of the economy, Borgatello believes that Fiesta is too important for the community to neglect the tradition. “We give the opportunity for other [Santa Barbara] nonprofits to hold their biggest fundraisers of the year,” Borgatello said. Borgatello added that Fiesta is not just for locals, but also a wonderful opportunity to showcase the beautiful Santa Barbara community.