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Fiesta La Presidenta Joanne Funari Invites Community to ‘Celebrate Santa Barbara’

The theme of this year's event, Aug. 3-7, will honor the city's police officers and firefighters, specifically their efforts during wildfires

A little bit of Fiesta spirit was channeled Wednesday as La Presidenta Joanne Funari talked about the festivities to come.

La Presidenta Joanne Funari
La Presidenta Joanne Funari

Old Spanish Days, Aug. 3-7 this year, will celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Mission with the traditional dancing, mercados and street parades.

Funari, founder and president of Business First Bank, talked with the media Wednesday at the Carriage and Western Art Museum about plans for this year’s event.

“Celebrate Santa Barbara” is this year’s Fiesta theme, “inspired by the resilience, camaraderie and strength of our community,” she said.

For that reason, Funari said that this year’s Fiesta would honor Santa Barbara law enforcement and firefighters. The spirit of the community after the wildfires that hit the South Coast several years ago “was pretty phenomenal,” she said. “We need to honor them.”

Funari also announced that Old Spanish Days has received three grants, enabling it to roll out a fourth-grade curriculum in local schools covering Santa Barbara and Spanish history.

This year’s honorary Old Spanish Days directors are Mike and Aleisa Pfau and Dr. Michael Behrman. Honorary Grand Marshal Hattie Feazelle, who just turned 100 years old, will also be working the festival this year.

Click here for a complete list of pre-Fiesta events.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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