La Primavera 2018

By Lynda Millner   |   June 14, 2018
La Presidenta Denise Sanford with husband Kirby at the Primavera fete

La Primavera means “spring” in Spanish, and in Santa Barbara it means the beginning of Old Spanish Days (OSD). There’s always a Fiesta party to unveil the poster and pin that will be the symbol of this year’s celebration. Fiesteros gathered at the Carriage & Western Art Museum in costumes for margaritas, wine, food, and song.

La Presidenta Denise Sanford introducing the 2018 OSD’s poster at La Primavera soirée

La Presidenta Denise Sanford unveiled this year’s beautiful official Fiesta poster and pin to much applause. Denise said, “I first saw the image I selected for my poster in 2008. 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.” The original image for the poster was found at Sullivan-Goss and OSD board member Debbie Oquist helped with the design, while Steve Lipman at Pincrafters assisted with the pin design.

For the pin, Denise wanted to use the courthouse because it’s a favorite building of hers. She remembers seeing the dancers of all ages on the Sunken Garden stage, so why not put the poster dancers and the courthouse together on the pin?

The poster artist Jesus Enrique Emilio de la Helguera Espinoza was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. He spent his childhood in Mexico City and then moved to Cordoba, Veracruz. His family fled the Mexican Revolution to Spain, eventually to Madrid. He spent much time in the famous Del Prado Museum and by age 14 was in an Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes. He married and raised two children. Because of the Spanish Civil War, he moved back to Veracruz. He became famous (the Norman Rockwell of Mexico), and his work could be found on many things from calendars to cigar boxes.

Both the Junior Spirit of Fiesta Georgey Taupin and the Spirit of Fiesta Jesalyn Contreras McCollum danced for us. There was also a special performance by Grupo de Danza Folklorica Quetzalcoatl. The presenting sponsor was COX represented by Kirsten McLaughlin. Tom Bateman ran the live auction, much of which was signed posters with the big prize being a VIP throughout Fiesta, including a ride in the parade.

The theme this year is to celebrate traditions, so I hope you will raise a glass to yours. Viva la Fiesta!

Old Spanish Days board members David Bolton and first vice president Barbara Carroll with Gonzalo Sermiento
Saint Barbara Anne Petersen (center) flanked by past Fiesta Presidentes Josiah Jenkins, Joanne Furnari, Rogers Aceves, Herb Barthels, Rhonda Henderson, and Ricardo Castellanos at the Primavera party

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