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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 7:37 pm | Fair 57º


Historic Painting Inspired 2017 Fiesta Poster

Unity Through Community is theme of this year's Old Spanish Days

An original painting, Gathering for Fiesta, by artist Nicholas S. Firfires was impetus for this year’s poster.
An original painting, Gathering for Fiesta, by artist Nicholas S. Firfires was impetus for this year’s poster. (Old Spanish Days)

At a La Primavera celebration transformed into an Evening in Spain, this year’s Fiesta La Presidente Rhonda Ledson Henderson unveiled the 2017 Fiesta poster and pin before local dignitaries, community leaders and supporters of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

To illustrate by this year’s Fiesta theme, Unity Through Community, Henderson chose an original artwork — Gathering for Fiesta — by Nicholas S. Firfires (1919-90) as the focal point of this year’s Fiesta poster.

Working with artistic director Jon Patrick Hyde, Henderson spent months looking through local historical archives, museum collections and other sources to find the inspirational image for the 2017 poster.

The historic painting that was chosen has been in a private collection with John and Lauren Mullins, friends of the artist, save for one showing at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum during a Firfires exhibit.

“When I saw this lovely piece of art, it truly was the image of Unity Through Community,” Henderson said. “I am incredibly thankful to John and Lauren for sharing it with our community as a part of our official Fiesta poster.”

For the 2017 Fiesta pin, Henderson chose an elegant rose as the centerpiece, surrounded by a red border.

“Roses are such important elements of our Fiestas, as ladies both young and old frequently add a rose to their hair to round out their Fiesta outfits," Henderson said.

"And to me, the rose is also a special way to honor our Fiesta Flower Girls, the official ambassadors of Old Spanish Days Fiesta, a fabulous program I had the privilege of chairing for many years,” she said.

The unveiling of the annual Fiesta poster and pin was the highlight of a La Primavera evening that included a flamenco show choreographed and directed by local artists Linda Vega and Daniela Zermeño.

The program, that exemplified the 2017 Fiesta theme, featured nine past Spirits and representations from five local flamenco studios.

There were performances as well by this year’s Spirit of Fiesta, Norma Escárcega, and Junior Spirit Eve Flores.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta is one of the country’s largest regional festivals, and has been an important historic and economic element of the Santa Barbara community since 1924.

A complete listing of 2017 Fiesta events can be found on the official Old Spanish Days web site oldspanishdays-fiesta.org.

For additional information, contact the OSD office, 962-8101.

— David Bolton for Old Spanish Days.


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