The fifth annual Fiesta Ranchera opened the Fiesta season last Thursday at the historic Rancho La Patera & Stow House on Los Carneros Road in Goleta. Attended by more than 800 guests, the popular event was co-hosted by Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara and the Goleta Valley Historical Society.
Board members and volunteers from each group joined together to present the weeknight full of festivities, live music by two performance groups, dancing, and offerings of beer, wine and food by local restaurants and purveyors.
“Old Spanish Days brings the 88-year old tradition of Fiesta to Goleta for the fifth year,” said Ricardo Castellanos, 2012 Old Spanish Days el presidente. “The setting for this party fits with this year’s theme, ‘Viva La Familia’ (long live the family). The historic Stow family home is a well-preserved symbol of family and history in our community.”
Event committee members included Castellanos, as well as co-chairs Barbara Klein and Christy Janka, Dacia Harwood and Nancy Callahan. Anne Petersen is president of the Goleta Valley Historical Society.
Some longtime Santa Barbara residents confessed that this was the first time they had visited Stow House. Bill Yule, a 43-year resident, said, “This is such a treasure and a perfect place to have an event under these big trees. I can’t believe I haven’t been here before!”
The beautiful gardens and lawn offered a lovely ambiance for sampling food from local restaurants and tasting wines from local wineries. Guitarist Tony Ybarra performed on the outdoor stage followed by 2012 Spirit Sabrina Ibarra and Junior Spirits of Fiesta Sadee Broida and Jesalyn McCollum. After guests sampled the wines, beer and the tequila bar, they were ready dance to the sounds of the Area 51 band.
All varieties of Fiesta costume were observed, from Goleta City Councilman Mike Bennett’s long, black Western coat and cowboy hat to ladies’ colorful flamenco dresses accessorized with shawls, flowers and parasols.
Food purveyors included Bacara Resort & Spa (represented by Kathleen Cochran), Anna’s Bakery, California Wood Fired Catering, Country Meat Market, Marmalade Café, The Nugget, Pepe’s, Rincon Events, the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge No. 613, Silvergreens, Trader Joe’s, Woodstock’s Pizza and Woody’s BBQ.
Others were Blush Restaurant & Lounge, Catering Connection, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Arthur Earl Wines, Alexander & Wayne, Carina Cellars and Consilience Winery. Event sponsors Tres Agaves offered the chance to taste tequilas from around the world at its “Tequila Tasting Bar,” and exclusive beer sponsor Hollister Brewing Co. provided a taste of its beers and ales.
The presenting sponsor was Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf, CPAs (Deanne McGrew), and the gold sponsor was Cox Communications (Sara Clark). Sponsors also included Bella Vista Designs (Trevor Zellet), Catering Connection, EventsRents, Impulse (Dave Clark and Greg Wilson), Hollister Brewing Co., LBPS Events (Lani Ballinoff), MarBorg Industries (the Borgatello family), Venoco Inc., Rockin’ Double RC Ranch (Robin Cederlof), Accrued Benefit Administrators, Radius Investments and Wilson Printing.
The Goleta Valley Historical Society is the steward of the Rancho La Patera and Stow House museums. It preserves, interprets and fosters research of the history of the Goleta Valley and the Stow family. Its purpose is to share the treasured landmark from the golden era of California ranching and provide a unique and historic gathering place for the community. Rancho La Patera hosts tours and educational programs as well as various public events, such as the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration and Music at the Ranch free concert series.
Old Spanish Days Fiesta is an 88-year Santa Barbara tradition that fosters a unique spirit among locals and tourists who participate. It celebrates the Rancho period (1820-69). The festival encourages community cooperation, collaboration and growth.
Old Spanish Days will be held Aug. 1-5. For more information, call 805.962.8101.