Monday, November 30 , 2015, 1:53 pm | Fair 64º

Erin Graffy Talks History of Old Spanish Days at Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society

Author and historian Erin Graffy de Garcia has written extensively on regional culture and history.
Author and historian Erin Graffy de Garcia has written extensively on regional culture and history.  (Elite Henenson / Noozhawk file photo)

By Glenn Avolio for the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society |

The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society holds its monthly general meeting from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 18, at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, 21 E. Constance Ave.

This month’s speaker, local historian and Santa Barbara native Erin Graffy de Garcia will speak on the history and origins of the Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days Fiesta, a Southern California tradition since 1924, including Ranchero, Spanish and Mexican influences.

Graffy grew up in Santa Barbara and is a fascinating speaker. She is the author, editor and publisher of more than 50 books, monographs, publications and articles on regional history. Her work frequently appears in Noozhawk, the Montecito Journal, Santa Barbara Magazine, Santa Barbara Independent and the Santa Barbara News-Press, among other publications.

​She has written extensively on regional culture and is the author of the local bestseller, How to Santa Barbara: The Insider’s Exposé and How to Santa Barbara: The Advanced Course. As a social commentator on the unique Santa Barbara scene, she has been quoted worldwide. She was tapped to review the Southern California Quarterly for the California Historical Society, and for 10 years she was the editor for La Gazeta, the publication of the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library where she is currently trustee. She serves as historian for Old Spanish Days Fiesta, and has written and lectured extensively on the subject.

Special interest groups meet at 9:30 a.m. for Beginning Genealogy, Writers’ Support Group, German Ancestry, Italian Genealogy and Computer Genealogy and 9 a.m. for JewishGen. The featured program starts at 10:30 a.m.

Come join us. You do not need to be a member to enjoy this wonderful presentation.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Genealogical Society. Click here for a calendar of genealogical events.

— Glenn Avolio is the public relations chairman of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.

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