Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 3:32 pm | Fair 67º


Spirits Run High Ahead of Old Spanish Days Fiesta

El Presidente Michael Dominguez says only minor changes are planned for this year's festival

Dancing, fresh-cooked Spanish and Mexican-American food, intricate costumes and confetti-filled cascarones will again be in abundance in Santa Barbara this summer during the annual celebration known as Old Spanish Days Fiesta. In fact, on Wednesday, El Presidente Michael Dominguez held a news conference and said the festival — a tradition for 86 years — will remain largely the same, with only some minor changes.

Dominguez said he chose this year’s theme, “A Gathering of Friends,” because he has found that the one constant during his many years of Fiesta experience has been sharing good times with friends. On Wednesday, he reflected on those experiences, including the friendships he made with the people who supported him.

Honorary El Presidente Bill Janka is a longtime friend of Dominguez. The two met in first grade and said they have shared many Fiestas together. Dominguez described Janka as “an easy choice” for the role. The honorary vice president is Hernando Prado, and Arnold Ayala, Dominguez’s cousin, will serve as honorary parade grand marshal.

Dominguez also chose this year’s poster — a painting from the 1930s by Theodore Van Cina of a Fiesta celebration in front of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1000 Anacapa St. Use of the artwork, which currently hangs in the courthouse, was made possible by a donation from the Santa Barbara Courthouse Legacy Foundation. Two posters will be offered this year — the main poster with a red matte, and a limited edition poster with a blue matte, of which only 300 copies will be for sale.

Erika Martin del Campo was crowned the 2010 Spirit of Fiesta, and 10-year-old Tatum Ortega Vestal was crowned 2010 Junior Spirit of Fiesta. They earned their honors after competing against 22 other young women.

Del Campo, a 20-year-old student at Claremont McKenna College in Pomona, said she hopes to “accentuate her community’s diverse cultures, traditions and heritage” through her role as Spirit. She is a National Honor Society member and is studying international relations, Spanish and gender studies. Vestal, a fifth-grader at Marymount of Santa Barbara, said she enjoys science and sports. As Junior Spirit, she said she hopes to share her passion for dance with the community.

Highlighted Events

The newest element to the lineup of dancing, partying and fun will be Borders Benefit Days, on July 17-18, with performances by local dancers at the Goleta and downtown Borders stores at 7000 Marketplace Drive and 900 State St., respectively. Discount coupons for the stores will be available online and handed out on location, with a percentage of net proceeds going to Old Spanish Days through a national program to support nonprofit organizations.

This year there are two Fiesta posters, including a limited edition poster with a blue border.
This year there are two Fiesta posters, including a limited edition poster with a blue border.

For those who want to get into the spirit of Fiesta with appropriate attire, the annual Old Spanish Days Costume Sale will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 10 at the Carriage and Western Art Museum, 129 Castillo St.

Fiesta Ranchera, which will open the Fiesta season, is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 15 at the historic Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Road. The event will feature sample appetizers from local restaurants, award-winning wineries and bars on site, performances by the 2010 Spirit of Fiesta, Junior Spirit and Tony Ybarra, and dancing under the stars with Area 51.

“I look forward to kicking off the Fiesta season in Goleta,” Dominguez said. “Fiesta Ranchera was a fabulous rockin’ party and is sure to be one of Goleta’s signature events for years to come.”

Favorites from previous years include Hollister Brewing Co. as the exclusive beer sponsor, Cold Stone Creamery with new summer flavors, Country Meat Market & Catering Co. with homemade sausage and pasta, Crushcakes Cupcakery with mini cupcakes and Woody’s BBQ providing its famous mini pulled-pork sandwiches.

New this year will be Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood, Pastavino and Beachside. Arthur Earl Winery and Carina Cellars will be on hand to compliment the no-host bar, offering beer, wine and two signature drinks — the top-shelf Fiesta Margarita and Stow House Hard Lemonade.

“Once again, Old Spanish Days looks forward to bringing the 86-year-old tradition of Fiesta to Goleta at the historic Stow House,” said Rhona Henderson, Old Spanish Days director and Fiesta Ranchera event chairwoman. “Grab your cowboy boots and come on out for a fun evening of great food, good wine and dancing under the stars.”

The official 2010 Old Spanish Days Fiesta poster — in red.
The official 2010 Old Spanish Days Fiesta poster — in red.

Tickets are available for $45 at local Albertsons stores or for $65 at the door, or click here to purchase tickets online.

The Flower Girl Annual Garden Party will be from 10 a.m. to noon July 31 at the Courthouse Sunken Garden. The event is free and sponsored by the Diapola Foundation.

The Recepción del Presidente, an evening of live music and a feast at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, will be Aug. 1. Click here to purchase tickets online. Fiesta attire is encouraged.

Multiple events are planned throughout the day on Wednesday, Aug. 4:

» Free, guided tours of the courthouse will start every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning in the mural room at 1100 Anacapa St. Catch MTD lines 2, 3, 6, 11, 14, 20, 21x, 22 and the crosstown shuttle. MTD stop: Anacapa and Anapamu streets.

» El Mercado de La Guerra and El Mercado Del Norte will be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. El Mercado Del Norte at Mackenzie Park, at State and De la Vina streets, will feature food, souvenirs, carnival rides, live entertainment and the new Fiesta Crazy Horse Cantina, with beer, margaritas and live entertainment in the evening. El Mercado de la Guerra, in De la Guerra Plaza across from City Hall, will feature a colorful Mexican market, Spanish and Mexican-American foods, crafts, souvenirs and live entertainment.

For El Mercado de La Guerra, catch MTD lines 2, 6, 11, 14, 22. MTD stop: Anacapa and Carrillo streets. For MTD lines 20, 21x and the crosstown shuttle, the stop will be at Anacapa and De la Guerra streets. The Downtown Waterfront Electric Shuttle will stop at State and De la Guerra street. For El Mercado Del Norte, catch MTD lines 3 and 11. MTD stop: State and Las Positas streets.

» La Fiesta Pequena, or “The Little Fiesta,” will officially open Old Spanish Days on the steps of the historic Santa Barbara Mission, 2201 Laguna St., at 8 p.m. Aug. 4. Fiesta’s traditional songs and dances will be featured, including the tunes of the Californios, Flamenco, Spanish classical and Mexican folklórico dances, along with food from local vendors available for purchase. Catch MTD’s line 22 and ride to the show. Buses will be there waiting to take you back after the show. MTD Stop: Santa Barbara Mission.

The La Misa del Presidente, El Presidente’s Mass at the mission, will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, followed by a garden reception. The year 1936 marked the sesquicentennial of the founding of the mission, and a Solemn High Mass was sung on the first day of Fiesta at the mission. The public of all faiths was invited to attend in historic costume. Today, La Misa del Presidente is held on the second morning of Fiesta and remains open to those of all faiths.

The Celebración de los Dignatarios will be from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Santa Barbara Zoo, 500 Niños Drive, with appetizers and wine. Be ready to have fun dancing to the Soul City Survivors. The cost is $85 in advance and $100 at the gate. Click here for more information about purchasing tickets.

Beginning at 8 p.m. Aug. 5, Las Noches de Ronda (Nights of Gaiety) will be held at the Courthouse Sunken Garden. Event coordinators describe it as “a splendid variety show of music, singing, fiery Flamenco from Spain (and) vivid Folklórico dances from many regions of Mexico.” Las Noches de Ronda will be held nightly Aug. 5-7. Catch MTD lines 2, 3, 6, 11, 14, 20, 21x, 22 and the Crosstown Shuttle. MTD Stop: Anacapa and Anapamu streets.

The El Desfile Historico Parade, at noon Friday, Aug. 6, is one of the largest equestrian parades in the United States. This year’s theme is “Postcards from the Past.” Dominguez will show off his newly polished horseback-riding skills as El Presidente, as he has been taking lessons to prepare for the event. The parade will start at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard, continue east along the beach to State Street, then up State to Sola Street. The parade is free, or click here for more information about purchasing reserved seating.

The 80th Annual El Desfile De Los Niños, the children’s parade organized by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, and is free. Young people, their families and other parade participants will be adorned in traditional costumes and celebrate the rich culture of the area. The parade will proceed along State Street, from Victoria to Ortega streets. Call 805.897.1982 for information and applications.

The Fiesta Arts and Crafts Show, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8, is a statewide gathering of talented artisans and crafters who will have an assortment of paintings, carvings, pottery and other handcrafted wares. The free event will be located on Cabrillo Boulevard, west of Stearns Wharf.

These and other events will take place during Fiesta. Click here for a complete listing and other information. Fiesta also will be promoted through social media Web sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Stock Horse Show & Rodeo

Also during Fiesta will be the Stock Horse Show & Rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real. It is one of the original events of Fiesta. There will be a Fiesta Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Division event at 7:45 p.m. Aug. 5 that will showcase 40 of the top bull riders in the country.

Tickets for the event are $65 and $80 for box seats and $45 for admission seating, and can be purchased at Jedlicka’s, 2605 De la Vina St., by calling 805.687.0747, or click here to order online.

A Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8. Rodeo tickets for Friday and Saturday are $25 and $20 for box seats, with general admission $15 for adults and $10 for children age 11 or younger. Tickets can be purchased at Jedlicka’s, by calling 805.687.0747, or click here to order online.

Free events are offered to the public during the day and feature some of the best tri-county horsemen, ladies and children. The events will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

This year’s honorary vaquero is Jan Davis of San Luis Obispo County. The tradition is to rotate each year among Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Max Watkins founded the honors program in 1969, with Vincente Ortega serving as the first honorary vaquero.

New events this year include Junior Girls and Boys Goat Tying on Friday.

Click here for more information about the Stock Horse Show & Rodeo.

Noozhawk intern Lindsey Weintraub will be a sophomore at the University of San Diego in the fall. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.