At La Primavera on May 25, about 300 avid Fiesta supporters kicked off Old Spanish Days – Fiesta 2019. Held at the Carriage and Western Art Museum, the event featured the unveiling of the official poster and pin, dances by the Spirit of Fiesta and Junior Spirit of Fiesta, and an exuberant ambience.
During the reception hour, guests clad in Fiesta and Western attire mingled inside the Carriage Museum and on its scenic grounds lined with Western carriages while enjoying entertainment that included Jackson Gillies, who recently performed on American Idol.
Guests were then seated for dinner, welcomed by emcee Michael Dominguez, the 2010 El Presidente, and heard a prayer by Honorary Director Father Larry Gosselin, OFM. Guests were then treated to beautiful Flamenco dance performances by Junior Spirit of Fiesta Paloma Valenzuela and by the Spirit of Fiesta, Sophia Cordero.
La Presidenta Barbara Carroll unveiled the 2019 official poster and pin. She explained that she chose images Fiesta attendees could readily recognize and connect with. The poster, designed by Santa Barbara artist Victor Sigismondi, features a classic parade scene and the pin features a dancing couple depicted in many past posters. Carroll shared that she hopes both images “resonate as quintessentially Fiesta and stir happy memories.” Dru Stewart led an auction and then King Bee took to the stage and the dancing began.
A Santa Barbara native, Carroll grew up enjoying Fiesta. She is a former flower girl, a Fiesta volunteer since 1986, and an Old Spanish Days boardmember since 2006. As her theme, she chose “Spirit of Community” because of the way the community comes together in appreciation of our history and culture. According to Carroll, her theme “reflects the spirit of the people who work hard, enjoy life, good food, music, song and dance. Fiesta brings us all together and truly manifests the spirit of our community.”
Carroll is the granddaughter of Bob Carroll, who started RJ Carroll & Sons Plumbing in 1931. She is a civil litigation attorney at Clinkenbeard, Ramsey, Spackman & Clark and is on the board of the S.B. County Bar Foundation.
Spirit Sophia Cordero has been dancing and participating in Fiesta since the age of two and was chosen the 2013 Junior Spirit Runner Up. She was also the 2017 Santa Barbara Teen Dance Star. She is in 11th grade at Santa Barbara High School, where she is an AP Honors student, ASB Vice President, and on Varsity Cheer. She dances at Zermeño Dance Academy.
Junior Spirit Paloma Valenzuela also has been dancing and participating in Fiesta since age 2. She is in 4th grade at Foothill Elementary and studies dance at Zermeño Dance Academy.
La Primavera is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Old Spanish Days, with ticket sales and proceeds from the live auction supporting the myriad public events the organization will bring to the community July 31 to August 4. The next official Fiesta event is Fiesta Ranchera on June 20 at Rancho la Patera & Stow House in Goleta. Fiesta is now in its 95th year.
The Rancho Period that Fiesta celebrates was a period of prosperity under Mexican and American rule during which people resided on ranches with cattle-raising being the main industry. The people are known for their beauty, friendliness, hospitality, civility of manners, and love for fiestas. Music, dance, and song were integral parts of their life. For more info about Old Spanish Days, go to sbfiesta.org.
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