photo:Spirit and Junior Spirit 2018 Spirit of Fiesta - Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum and Junior Spirit of Fiesta - Georgey Taupin

Spirit and Junior Spirit

Spirit and Junior Spirit 2018

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.

2018 Spirit of Fiesta - Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum

Jesalyn won the title of Spirit of Fiesta by competing among 10 other dancers. She is a student at Valley Christian that takes great pride in her academics and works hard to maintain over a 4.0 GPA. She hopes to attend the University of New Mexixo. Her greatest passion is teaching flamenco and hopes to keep our Santa Barbara traditions alive by teaching this art form to generations after her. She was honored to be chosen as the 2011 Junior Spirit runner-up and the 2012 Junior Spirit. Since 2012, she has continued to pursue her love of flamenco around the world, attending master classes in Los Angeles, at the University of New Mexico, and in Spain.  She is honored to be chosen the 2018 Spirit of Fiesta. Congratulations to Jesalyn! 

2018 Junior Spirit of Fiesta- Georgey Taupin

Georgey was chosen among 8 other performers to represent our community as the 2018 Junior Spirit of Fiesta. She is currently in 4th grade home school student. Georgey loves history and Latin, studying the piano and flamenco. She has been a member of her American Heritage Girls troop since 2013. She volunteers wiht her troop and enjoys working with veterans and the elderly. When she older, she would like to be a set designer for kids' TV shows. Georgey feels that it is an amazing honor to be chosen to carry on the Old Spanish Days tradition as Junior Spirit of Fiesta and is blessed to be a role model to kids of all ages. She encourages them to believe that you can do anything when you work hard and chase your dreams.  Congratulations to Georgey!

photos by Fritz Olenberger