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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 10:01 pm | Fair 36º


Las Noches de Ronda Puts Traditional Spin on Fiesta

Spectators take in an evening of singing and dancing at the Courthouse Sunken Garden

Thousands laid out blankets and chairs Thursday night at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden to witness music, singing and dancing during Old Spanish Days Fiesta’s Las Noches de Ronda.

The free entertainment featured music and dancing unique to Santa Barbara’s Fiesta celebration.

“I would come back every year because it offers something unique,” said Santa Barbara resident Jennifer Bragg, who moved from Los Angeles two years ago. “I’m from L.A., there’s nothing like this for free (there).”

As the sky darkened, Spirit of the Fiesta Erica Martin Del Campo, dressed in all white, lit up the stage outside the courthouse with a vibrant flamenco dance.

Tessa Groff snapped photos as the dancer moved across the stage. Groff, who now lives in Sweden, was a resident of Santa Barbara for 20 years. She said she comes back each summer for Fiesta because she has a passion for dance.

“I like to to see the flamenco dancers, mariachi band and the gypsy, soulful music,” Groff said. “I enjoy any excellent dancing with people who have a love of dance.”

Performances featured dances from flamenco to ballet folklorico, performed by dancers of all ages.

“I like seeing all the little girls dance and the preparation that goes into it,” said second-time Fiesta-goer Abby Sten, who described the atmosphere as fun, family-oriented and low-key.

Fiesta continues Friday with Compentencia de los Vaqueros at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, and the Fiesta parade, which will begin its march along State Street at noon. Click here for the parade lineup.

Click here for more information of Fiesta events.

Noozhawk intern Alex Kacik is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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