La Primavera

By Lynda Millner   |   June 20, 2019
Fiesta Junior Spirit Paloma Valenzuela, La Presidenta Barbara Carroll, and the Spirit Sophia Cordero at La Primavera

Old Spanish Days 2019 got underway at the Carriage & Western Art Museum with the 95th annual La Primavera event. Historically, “In 1920 the La Primavera Association sought to perpetuate the history of Santa Barbara’s founding years through a spring festival and pageant. More than 300 locals played a part in the La Primavera masque, which traced local history during the Chumash, Spanish, Mexican eras with songs and dance. The spirit behind La Primavera was the impetus for Old Spanish Days Fiesta four years later.” The town was also looking for ways to bring more visitors here and to celebrate the new Lobero Theatre.

The evening began with tiny tacos fresh off the grill and all the margaritas you could want, this followed by a Santa Maria style barbeque.

I love a parade! So does La Presidenta Barbara Carroll. It all began when she became a flower girl and then continued to volunteer for many fiesta jobs. She chose what she loved best – the Fiesta poster is of a parade scene. Local artist Victor Sigismondi who has known Barbara since grade school did it.

In a dress from Spain Julie Ann Brown, Angeleque and Erik Davis, el primere vice president
Tom and Denise Peterson with party chair Dacia Harwood and husband Tom
Parade cowboy togs at the Carriage Museum where La Primavera was held

Welcoming was past El Presidente 2010 Michael Dominguez and Father Larry Gosselin, OFM and honorary director. Stephanie Petlow (La Segunda Vice Presidente) spoke. She’ll be the Presidenta in two years. It wouldn’t be a fiesta without a dance performance from the Spirit Sophia Cordero and the Junior Spirit Paloma Valenzuela, their first of the season. They both have been dancing since age two.

Besides the proverbial silent auction, past El Presidente from 2013 Josiah Jenkins wielded the gavel for the live auction. One favorite item was the VIP Fiesta Party Pass to the Stow House, Hilton waterfront, the Zoo and the Profant Foundation fiesta at El Paseo with reserved seating at La Fiesta Pequena and Noches de Ronda. Wow! Another favorite was to ride in a horse-drawn carriage for four in the El Desfile Historico.

The evening ended with dancing under the stars to King Bee. Viva la Fiesta! This year it will be July 31 to August 4. Get out your ruffles and shawls, boots, and spurs.


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