“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.
Tradition is defined as the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs from one generation to another. Traditions are the very foundation by which individuals and families construct their identities, thus creating the bonds of community. Tradition is a unifying force for as new people are introduced to a community’s traditions, these traditions are adopted, bridging differences and building pathways of understanding.
Celebration is a powerful word which means to give thanks, pay tribute, keep, observe, and commemorate. To celebrate our community’s traditions is to honor its history. The celebratory history of our beautiful city dates back to its earliest days. In coming together to celebrate our traditions we strengthen our community and we pay tribute the history of our beautiful city.
More than ever our city and community needs strength for we have suffered immeasurable loss and tragedy this year. And whereas celebration is always difficult when we have lost so much in our community; we do so with reverent respect so we can remember and celebrate all we’ve lost and the strength we have shown as we rebuild.
Old Spanish Days Fiesta has become an integral part of our community for it touches the lives of countless Santa Barbarians and visitors from around the world each year. Fiesta is a framework by which the old begets the new; new traditions are born from celebrating the old traditions. Fiesta has become a source for sharing joy, happiness, and love of our community as we celebrate a 94-year-old tradition of honoring our past as we make the steady march into our future.
This spoke deeply to me for the celebration of our traditions has been the predominant source of joy and fulfillment that I’ve experienced through my service to Old Spanish Days Fiesta. I see so many different personal and family traditions each year as I move from event to event. I see people from all walks of life finding their favorite spot to witness Fiesta Pequena, Noches de Ronda, Tardes de Ronda, and the Competencia De Los Vaqueros. I see families who have been participating in the Children’s Parade for generations. There are those who make the cascarones, and the restaurants who provide the eggs, the non-profits that participate at the Mercados, and Our Lady of Guadalupe’s annual Fiesta event. There are countless individuals, families, and organizations which come together with a single purpose: celebrating traditions old and new. These things are what Fiesta is really about. These are the things that matter the most to those who, year after year, take time out of their busy lives to participate in Fiesta’s many events.
Please come join us and help us Celebrate Traditions during this year’s Fiesta, I hope to see you all there!
Viva la Fiesta!
La Presidenta 2018