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With Fiesta Fast Approaching, Old Spanish Days Fans Try Colorful Costumes On for Size

Popular annual sale offers celebrants a chance to get in the Fiesta spirit with apparel, accessories and a dash of flamboyance

2010 Spirit of Fiesta Erika Martin del Campo shows off a dress for sale at Saturday’s Fiesta Costume Sale. Click to view larger
2010 Spirit of Fiesta Erika Martin del Campo shows off a dress for sale at Saturday’s Fiesta Costume Sale. (Fritz Olenberger / Old Spanish Days photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

In preparation to honor Santa Barbara’s Spanish and Mexican heritage, hundreds of handmade, vintage and contemporary fiesta-style costumes were offered up Saturday during the annual Fiesta Costume Sale. 

The Old Spanish Days committee held the sale next to the Carriage and Western Art Museum near the Santa Barbara waterfront. The free, three-hour event featured more than 20 vendors who set up booths around the perimeter of the property, where they displayed a wide variety of costumes and accessories available to purchase.

“This sale is a chance to get together with locals in a smaller scale gathering before the big tourist activities are held in August,” flamenco dancer and Santa Barbara resident Jann Olsen told Noozhawk. “I love the selection of costumes and the event brings the community together.”
Area dance schools that were cleaning out their costume closets offered some of the apparel on sale. Ballet Folklórico items included brightly colored ruffled skirts trimmed with traditional colored ribbons.

Rows of flowing, vibrant polka dots and floral trajes de flamenca (flamenco outfits) with narrow bodices, decorated with sequins and with wide skirts in sweeping ruches with lace were sold.

“There are outfits for dancing and ones for causal wear,” said Maria Cabrera, an Old Spanish Days board member. “There are many different affordable styles and it is nice watching people try on the clothing.”
A variety of Spanish and Mexican selections of women, men and children's items were for sale. The displays included lace skirts, painted shawls, maracas, hats, shoes, flower hair clips, cotton dresses embroidered with bright floral panels and a selection of handmade embroidery items with intricate lace details.

Popular choices for men were guayaberas, wide brimmed embroidered sombreros, braided bolo neckties and the traditional black pants.
Vibrant outfits have always been a significant part of Old Spanish Days, which is Aug. 3-7 this year.

“The costume sale has been a huge success,” Vice Presidenta Tesorera Barbara Carrol said. “The handmade items with the details are beautiful. People are going to look good this year.”

Members of the Native Daughters of the Golden West set up a sale booth near the entrance of the event. The organization of California-born women is dedicated to the preservation and care of California history and culture.

“We are one of the organizations that tries to hold on to the traditions and outfits,” said Robin Cederlof, a Native Daughters of the Golden West member. 

In addition to clothing and accessories, the Santa Barbara High School wrestling team partnered with the Old Spanish Days committee to offer Fiesta posters, pins and souvenirs available for purchase. The team members worked during the event to earn community service hours and support a fundraiser to buy two new wrestling mats for the school’s facilities.

Click here for more information about Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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