Posted February 21, 2019
Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara announced today that the official theme for the 95th annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta will be “Spirit of Community.” Each year, the Presidente of Fiesta chooses a theme that will set the tone for the coming year.
La Presidenta Barbara Carroll, who has been a Fiesta volunteer since 1986 and has served on the board of directors since 2006, was inspired by the way the Santa Barbara community comes together to appreciate our shared history and culture and participate in the annual celebration.Read more »
Posted February 20, 2019
The heart and soul of any community are the people who give back to make it a better place. So many people in our city give of themselves to make Old Spanish Days Fiesta happen each year. It is this participation that I believe makes Fiesta the best of all of Santa Barbara’s amazing festivals, and it is why we are celebrating our 95th year.
Every year thousands partake in our annual celebration by giving the gift of their time to volunteer…. Whether you work behind the scenes at an event, spread joy as a Flower Girl, perform as a dancer or musician, ride in the parade, compete in the rodeo, or enjoy it all as a spectator, you bring the community – our community – to life.
The varied events of Old Spanish Days Fiesta showcase the warmth, generosity, vivacity and sense of fun we as a community have to offer. The numerous celebrations organized by our dedicated board of directors each year would not be possible without the enthusiastic participation of thousands of volunteers. This gift to the community provides an opportunity to remember and rejoice in our shared history and culture.Read more »
Posted October 19, 2018
Old Spanish Days Announces 2019 Leadership Team for 95th Fiesta. La Presidenta Barbara Carroll to lead historic organization
SANTA BARBARA, CA – October 18, 2018 – Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is pleased to announce the leadership team for Fiesta 2019. The elected team includes: La Presidenta Barbara Carroll; El Primer Vice Presidente Erik Davis; La Segunda Vice Presidenta Stephanie Petlow; El Secretario David Bolton; El Teserero Alex Castellanos; Division Chief of Celebrations Michelle Bischoff; Division Chief of Dance & Entertainment Andrea Caplan; Division Chief of External Relations Angelique Davis; Division Chief of Marketplaces Angela Miller-Bevan; and Division Chief of Pageantry Will Powers.
“I’m truly honored to represent Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara,” said La Presidenta Barbara Carroll, “I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, and Fiesta has been a huge part of my life since I was a small child. Some of my earliest memories are of the Fiesta parade.” “I love helping put on Fiesta every year for the community, and I have enjoyed participating ever since I was a Flower Girl.”
Now in its 95thyear, Fiesta is unique among festivals in that it is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by only one full-time staff member. The Board of Directors annually elects an El Presidente or La Presidenta who presides over the Board and serves as the general manager of the organization. The Primer Vice Presidente is responsible for the operations of the entire organization and the Segundo Vice Presidente is responsible for raising the funds that allow the historical festival to continue. The Division Chiefs oversee all of the volunteer committees that support 19 official Old Spanish Days events and activities in 14 venues city-wide.
In 2019 the event will take place in various locations around the city starting July 31st through August 4th. First held in 1924, Fiesta celebrates a period of romance and hospitality through pageantry, dance, music, costume, and cuisine.
Photo caption: Front row: Will Powers, Erik Davis, David Bolton, Alex Castellanos. Back row: Andrea Caplan, Stephanie Petlow, Barbara Carroll, Angelique Davis, Michelle Bischoff. Not pictured, Angela Miller-Bevan.
Division Chief, External Relations
Posted August 15, 2018
I want to thank the Santa Barbara community, sponsors, collaborative partners, City and County of Santa Barbara and Old Mission Santa Barbara for participating and supporting our successful 94th year of celebrating our tradition of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
In coming together to celebrate our traditions we’ve strengthened our community and paid tribute to the history of our beautiful city. I wanted our community to “Celebrate Traditions” of their families and heritage this year; and for our city’s visitors to truly see what Fiesta represents. Traditions are the very foundation by which individuals and families construct their identities, thus creating the bonds of community.Read more »
Posted May 21, 2018
During a spectacular Fiesta kick off event, 2018 La Presidenta Denise Sanford unveiled this year’s official Fiesta Poster and Pin before a large crowd at La Primavera.
The Poster and Pin, featuring a magnificent work La Bamba by Mexican painter Jesús Helguera (May 28, 1910 – December 5, 1971), will be distributed to countless community members and tourists as a keepsake of Fiesta 2018. Helguera’s images are as well known in Mexico as Norman Rockwell’s are in America.
“I first saw the image I selected for my poster in 2008,” said La Presidenta Sanford. “I was immediately drawn to it because it looked happy, and was very traditional to me. I thought if I ever became La Presidenta I would want that as my poster."
In terms of the Fiesta Pin, La Presidenta Sanford added: “For the Pin design I knew I wanted to use the courthouse as that building has always been a favorite of mine since coming to Santa Barbara. Since being on the board and particularly when I was Division Chief of Dance and Entertainment, seeing all the dancers of all ages dancing on the Courthouse Sunken Garden stage I knew it would be special. I also knew I wanted dancers as it would all come together. I love when things are consistent so what better way to bring consistency than to have the image of the dancers from the poster on the PIN. “Read more »
Posted April 20, 2018
Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum Earns 2018 Spirit of Fiesta Title, Georgey Taupin Named 2018 Junior Spirit
A Santa Barbara tradition continued Saturday, April 14th as a boisterous crowd of nearly 600 people packed the auditorium of La Cumbre Junior High School for the Spirit of Fiesta Auditions. The crowd was treated to astounding performances by the 11 finalists for the Spirit of Fiesta and the nine finalists for the Junior Spirit of Fiesta.Read more »
Posted March 05, 2018
“Celebrate Traditions” “Celebra Nuestras Tradiciones”
In searching for the inspiration for this year’s theme I spent a lot of time contemplating the special connection that Old Spanish Days Fiesta has with our community. The mission of Old Spanish Days is to celebrate and perpetuate the rich history of our beautiful city and its traditions; which born from necessity grew into a way of life which makes Santa Barbara distinctively unique among all of California’s coastal cities.Read more »
Posted February 21, 2018
La Presidenta Denise Sanford Makes It Official at SB Courthouse Sunken Garden
Surrounded by members of the extended Fiesta Family, 2018 Old Spanish Days La Presidenta Denise Sanford unveiled this year’s Fiesta theme – Celebrate Traditions – words that will set the tone for this summer’s celebrations.
“When I thought about selecting a theme for Fiesta I knew that I had to select something that wasn’t only unique and meaningful to Fiesta but to me,” said La Presidenta Sanford. “I felt if I selected something that was also as meaningful to me it would be easier for me to talk about it and make it genuine and special without having it sound forced.
Read more »
Posted October 13, 2017
The organizing group for Santa Barbara’s weeklong Fiesta has named its leadership and executive team for the 94th edition of one of this country’s largest regional festivals. Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara has selected its Executive Committee, including the eighth Fiesta La Presidente to lead the organization, as well as five Division Chiefs who will oversee a variety of events from Celebrations to Pageantry and from Dance and Entertainment to Mercados and External Relations.
The 2018 Old Spanish Days Executive Committee will include La Presidente Denise Sanford, who joined the OSD Board in 2002, La Primera Vice Presidente Barbara Carroll, El Segundo Vice Presidente Erik Davis, La Secretaria Stephanie Petlow, and La Tesorera Angela Miller-Bevan.Read more »
Posted October 13, 2017
A big thank you to our community for participating in a very successful Old Spanish Days Fiesta. To serve as La Presidente for our 93rd annual celebration was a truly humbling experience that I will never forget.
I began this year honoring our beloved Father Virgil Cordano O.F.M. His signature reminder of “Unity through Community” served as our theme for this memorable year, but also as a call to all of us to celebrate and recognize our extraordinary community and the incredible unity that comes from this tradition.Read more »
Posted May 20, 2017
Much Kept Secret Highlights First Official OSD Fiesta Party of the Year
On a perfect spring evening and at a lively La Primavera celebration transformed into an “Evening in Spain”, this year’s Fiesta La Presidente Rhonda Ledson Henderson unveiled the 2017 Fiesta Poster and Pin before a throng of local dignitaries, community leaders and supporters of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
To illustrate by this year’s Fiesta theme, Unity through Community, La Presidente Henderson chose an original artwork by Nicholas S. Firfires (1919-1990), “Gathering for Fiesta”, as the focal highlight of this year’s Fiesta Poster. Working with artistic director Jon Patrick Hyde, La Presidente Henderson spent months looking through local historical archives, museum collections and other sources to find the “inspirational” image for this year’s poster.
Read more »
Posted April 14, 2017
For 93 years, since the first “Old Spanish Days” in 1924, Fiesta has been a celebration of the rich history that makes Santa Barbara such a special place. Annually, the experiences shared during Fiesta serves as a uniting force in our community.
Throughout the years, there has been the respectful recognition and steadfast reverence of the traditions born of its origins. The traditions of civility and dignity harken back to a time when life was difficult and often uncertain. Joy was found in the simplest of things.Read more »
Posted February 08, 2017
La Presidente Rhonda Henderson Makes It Official in Mission Sacred Garden
Surrounded by local community and civic Leaders, and with the sacred garden of Old Mission Santa Barbara serving as a historic backdrop, 2017 Old Spanish Days La Presidente Rhonda Ledson Henderson unveiled this year’s Fiesta theme – Unity through Community. In Spanish, Unidos en Comunidad.
“Each year, the Presidente for Old Spanish Days has the privilege of selecting a theme for the coming year, and for me, Fiesta has always meant one thing – COMMUNITY!,” said La Presidente Henderson in making the much-anticipated announcement. “The Fiesta family is large and it extends well past our Board – our over 3,500 volunteers, our sponsors, the Mission, our City and County, our first responders, the dance studios, our collaborative non-profits, the artists, and the over 30 non- profits that stage their fundraisers around Fiesta.”
Read more »
Posted November 01, 2016
The organizing group for Santa Barbara’s weeklong Fiesta has named its leadership team for the 93rd edition of one of this country’s largest regional festivals. Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara has selected its Executive Committee, including the seventh Fiesta La Presidente to lead the organization, as well as five Division Chiefs who will oversee a variety of events from Celebrations to Pageantry and from Dance and Entertainment to Mercados and External Relations.
The 2017 Old Spanish Days Executive Committee will include La Presidente Rhonda Ledson Henderson, who joined the OSD Board in 2006, La Primera Vice Presidente Denise Sanford, La Segunda Vice Presidente Barbara Carroll, La Secretaria Michelle Bischoff, and La Tesorera Angela Miller-Bevan.Read more »
Posted November 01, 2016
What a great Fiesta 2016! It was a great privilege and honor to serve as this year’s El Presidente. I am truly appreciative of Santa Barbara’s involvement and appreciation of Fiesta.
I began this year by inviting everyone to learn how the sea influenced early Santa Barbara, and by asking everyone to join in celebrating the generosity, lifestyle, hospitality and friendliness of the spirit of old Santa Barbara through Fiesta.Read more »
Posted July 20, 2016
The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is proud to introduce a new installation titled Project Fiesta! Building A Complete History of Old Spanish Days, which focuses on the important roles Fiesta has played in the Santa Barbara community. Fall in love with Fiesta as memories of the festival come to life with personal stories, vintage posters, restored costumes, historical photographs, and artifacts that connect our community and celebrate our traditions.Read more »
Posted July 19, 2016
By Sarah Scarminach, Reprinted from Noozhawk News
The environmentalist who created the Ocean Futures Society will lead the parade for this year's celebrations, which have the theme of "The Coastal Frontier." A gloomy morning turned into a beautiful Tuesday afternoon as Jean-Michel Cousteau stood aboard the Double Dolphin and accepted his position as grand marshal for this year’s Historical Fiesta Parade.
The short cruise, put on by Fiesta El Presidente, JC Gordon, began in the Santa Barbara Harbor and ended just off Leadbetter Beach before the ship returned back to port.
Read more »
Posted June 18, 2016
Fiesta Ranchera is now Goleta’s biggest event of the year. For the first time, Fiesta Ranchera incorporated an all-inclusive format with over 20 restaurants, wineries and breweries to sample from.
The event is a 50/50 fundraiser for Old Spanish Days and the Goleta Valley Historical Society at a location steeped in California history.Read more »
Posted June 14, 2016
[excerpted from noozhawk.com] Local leaders in business and technology gather to recognize individuals and companies who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to ensuring the economic vitality of the South Coast of Santa Barbara County. Proceeds benefit the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara’s South Coast Business & Technology Awards Fund, which grants scholarships to local students studying business and technology-related subjects at local schools.Read more »
Posted June 13, 2016
The ninth annual Fiesta Ranchera will open Fiesta’s summer season June 16 starting at 5 p.m. at the historic Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Road in Goleta.
The beautiful gardens of Rancho La Patera & Stow House offer the perfect ambiance for a sampling of food from local restaurants and wines from local award-winning wineries as well as craft beer and signature drinks.Read more »
Posted May 16, 2016
(REPRINT FROM NEWS-PRESS MAY 15, 2016)
El Presidente J.C. Gordon wanted this year's La Primavera to be special for his year as the head of Old Spanish Days.
In past years, the official kickoff and major fundraiser to Fiesta has taken place downtown, but on this Saturday evening, hundreds of people dined and danced under the stars and next to the ocean at Rancho Dos Pueblos. The isolated ranch and even more isolated beach was the perfect location for this year's theme: Santa Barbara - The Coastal Frontier.
Read more »
Posted April 19, 2016
By Gail Arnold, Noozhawk Contributing Writer | @NoozhawkNews | (Reprint from Noozhawk.com)
About 450 enthusiastic community members turned out for the Spirit of Fiesta Auditions on Saturday afternoon at La Cumbre Junior High School on Santa Barbara’s Westside.
The crowd was treated to incredible performances by the 12 finalists for the Spirit of Fiesta and the 11 finalists for the Junior Spirit of Fiesta.
Alexis Simentales was named the 2016 Spirit of Fiesta and Sarah Naretto the Junior Spirit. The runners-up were Alexia Olivares and Reese Danhauer, respectively.Read more »
Posted April 05, 2016
It is with my great pleasure to extend to you, residents and visitors of Santa Barbara, a gracious “Bienvenidos a Todos!” This marks the 92nd year our community will celebrate our seaside town’s multicultural history and traditions.
Santa Barbara’s geographical environment played a central role in the establishment of the isolated Presidio de Santa Barbara. From the times of Santa Barbara’s earliest inhabitants, the Chumash, to the Spanish explorers and on through the Mexican-American Rancho Periods, the significance of the sea has shaped and influenced our American Riviera.Read more »