Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 5:47 pm | Fair 68º


La Primavera to Kick Off Santa Barbara’s Fiesta Season

El Presidente Josiah Jenkins will unveil the 2013 poster and pin on Sunday

Kick off the 2013 Old Spanish Days Fiesta season with La Primavera this Sunday.

Be there as El Presidente Josiah Jenkins unveils the 2013 Fiesta poster and pin. Learn about the plans and events for this year’s Fiesta celebration as you enjoy delectable food, a live band and dancing.

“It is my privilege and a great honor to welcome you to celebrate our 89th year of Old Spanish Days Fiesta in Santa Barbara,” Jenkins said. “I invite you to slip on your boots, strap on your spurs and join us for the kick-off event of our most beloved community celebration.”

This annual celebration takes place at the Carriage and Western Art Museum, 129 Castillo St. The cocktail hour, which begins at 5 p.m., will be followed by the unveiling of the 2013 poster and pin, and dinner provided by Specialty Catering. Come enjoy wine by Zaca Mesa Winery and dance the night away to the Steve Woods Band. And, as a special treat, the Spirit of Fiesta and the Junior Spirit of Fiesta will perform their first public dances for attendees.

Make sure to don your Fiesta attire or western duds for the event. Tickets are $85 in advance and can be purchased at the Old Spanish Days office, 129 Castillo St., or call 805.962.8101 to reserve your spot and pay in advance. Tickets will be $100 at the door and seating is limited. All proceeds go to supporting free community events during the week of Fiesta. La Primavera is sponsored by Cox.

La Primavera takes its name from a one-time pageant in the spring of 1920 that celebrated the heritage of Santa Barbara. The modern-day La Primavera event dates from 1972 when 500 people came to a fundraising steak dinner at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Primavera embodies the spirit of the old Spanish days of the 1820s to 1860s when people welcomed travelers into their homes and celebrated their arrival by holding parties (fiestas) in their honor.

Today it symbolizes renewal of friendships and builds excitement for Fiesta Week, beginning July 31. Fiesta itself had its beginnings in 1924, when a group of prominent business people decided to take some of the elements of the La Primavera pageant, i.e. colorful costumes, singing and Spanish and Mexican dances and create what we know now as Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

Other pre-fiesta events include Fiesta Ranchera at Rancho la Patera’s Stow House on June 20, the Flower Girls Garden party on July 27 in the Sunken Gardens of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and the El Recepción del Presidente on July 28 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Fiesta Week has its formal opening on July 31 at Fiesta Pequeña on the steps of the Old Mission. Click here for complete schedule information.

Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage and traditions. This 89-year-old organization produces an annual five-day festival — Fiesta — that is widely regarded as Santa Barbara’s premier festival.

— Erik Davis is the public relations chairman for Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

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