Much Kept Secret Highlights First Official OSD Fiesta Party of the Year
SANTA BARBARA – 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.
The historic painting ultimately chosen has been in private collection with John and Lauren Mullins, close friends of the artists, except for one showing at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum during a Firfires exhibit.
“When I saw this lovely piece of art, it truly was the image of Unity through Community,” said La Presidente Henderson. “I am incredibly thankful to John and Lauren for sharing it with our community as a part of our official Fiesta poster.”
For the 2017 Fiesta pin, La Presidente Henderson chose an elegant rose as the center highlight, surrounded by a stunning red border.
“Roses are such important elements of our Fiestas,” she said, “as ladies both young and old frequently add a rose to their hair to round out their Fiesta outfits. And to me the rose is also a special way to honor our Fiesta Flower Girls, the official ambassadors of Old Spanish Days Fiesta, a fabulous program I had the privilege of chairing for many years.”
The much-anticipated unveiling of the annual Fiesta Poster and Pin was the highlight of a special La Primavera evening that also included a spectacular Flamenco Show choreographed and directed by local artists Linda Vega and Daniela Zermeño. ,Featuring nine Past Spirits and representations from five local Flamenco studios, this historical performance truly brought this year’s theme to life.
The evening also included performances by this year’s Spirit of Fiesta, Norma Escárcega, and Junior Spirit Eve Flores.
Old Spanish Days Fiesta is one of the country’s largest regional festivals, and has been an important historic and economic element of the Santa Barbara community since 1924. A complete listing of 2017 Fiesta events can be found on the official Old Spanish Days web site, oldspanishdays-fiesta.org.
Celebrating 93 years of tradition - La Presidente Rhonda Ledson Henderson - Gathering for Fiesta, Nicholas S. Firfires (1919 – 1990) , Oil on canvas – Courtesy John & Lauren Mullins – Designed by Jon Patrick Hyde
This year’s Fiesta theme of “ Unity through Community” is in honor of the late Father Virgil Cordano, O.F.M. (1918 – 2007) – May his spirit and the love hesharedfor our community be remembered always.
Web Development James Breen: seeingis.com
Photos by Fritz Olenberger Photography