photo:Spirit and Junior Spirit Spirit and Junior Spirit, 2016

Spirit and Junior Spirit

Spirit and Junior Spirit 2016

The Spirit and Junior Spirit of Fiesta represent the charm and beauty of the culture of Old Spanish Days.

Santa Barbara has many local dance schools that instruct students in the multi-cultural dances of Spain, Mexico, and early California. Young performers dedicate countless hours preparing for this annual event and for an honor to represent Old Spanish Days as the “Spirit of Fiesta” and the “Junior Spirit of Fiesta.” The Spirit of Fiesta leads the annual parade in a traditional white dress and embodies the gaiety and vitality of Santa Barbara's annual summer festival. She has come to be the visual representation of Fiesta, a goodwill ambassador to local residents and visitors alike.


2016 Spirit of Fiesta - Alexis Simentales

Alexis won the title of Spirit of Fiesta by competing among 11 other dancers. Outside of being a full-time student at Santa Barbara City College, Alexis works at Hillside House and volunteers her time at both Cottage Hospital and the Public Health Department. She hopes to one day serve in the health field and give back to her community. As a Native of Santa Barbara, Alexis is honored to be this year’s Spirit of Fiesta and has been dreaming of carrying on her family tradition. She looks forward to being a role model for our beautiful community as 2016 Spirit of Fiesta! Congratulations to Alexis!

2016 Junior Spirit of Fiesta- Sarah Naretto

Sarah was chosen among 10 other performers to represent our community as the 2016 Junior Spirit of Fiesta. She is currently in 5th grade at La Patera School. When Sarah is not dancing flamenco, she enjoys school, time with friends, art, playing piano, and making movies.  Her favorite subject in school is computers. She also participates in community service through many Girl Scouts activities. Sarah is looking forward to being a role model to others like the previous Junior Spirits have been for her and is proud to represent Old Spanish Days. Congratulations to Sarah!

photos by Fritz Olenberger

2016 Spirit of Fiesta and Junior Spirit of Fiesta Auditions