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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 9:54 pm | Fair 55º


Las Noches de Ronda Showcases Beautiful Dances, Community Traditions, and Spirits of Fiesta

Spectacular Nights of Gaiety captivate Old Spanish Days audiences at Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden


Adrianna Munoz has been dancing since she was 4 years old, and every year she looks forward to dancing at Las Noches de Ronda during Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

“I am so thankful for dance and for the opportunity to be able to show Santa Barbara some of the traditional types of dances that reflect our city’s culture,” the now-teenager said.

“I love hearing the crowd when I am up on stage, and I enjoy seeing their faces light up after each performance.”

Each day before the spectacular evening dances at the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse, hundreds of locals use lawn chairs and blankets to stake out their territory on the Sunken Garden grass.

Las Noches de Ronda, which translates to “Nights of Gaiety,” means being in a state of cheerfulness and joy, and that’s exactly what the nightly shows exuded.

The performances featured many different songs and dances, from Mexican folklórico to traditional flamenco.

“This is the people’s fiesta,” said Marc Martinez and Donna Egeberg, who depict soldiers from El Presidio de Santa Bárbara. “It feels amazing to represent Santa Barbara and perform for our Fiesta family.

“We love Las Noches de Ronda because it has the most animated costumes and the best performers.”

The boistrous crowd watched at rapt attention as more than 200 different performers took the stage to entertain with the Spirit of Fiesta, 17-year-old Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum.

Each performance showcased something different, but every act included harmonious sounds and movements that engulfed Santa Barbara’s rich traditions.

“I have been coming since I was a little kid, and each year I get so excited for the performances because I love watching the dancing and seeing all of the costumes,” said Cielle Hanrahan, an audience member at Las Noches de Ronda.

The performers practice each song and dance religiously in the weeks leading up to Fiesta. Local dance studios, such as Linda Vega Dance Studio, add their own routines.

“Las Noches de Ronda brings unity to the families and the community along with magnificent Spirits,” said Sarah Coleman, an attendee at Las Noches de Ronda. “Viva La Fiesta!”

Noozhawk intern Sheridan Taphorn can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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