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Welcome to the 80th anniversary of Fiesta, the spirit and celebration of Santa Barbara's Old Spanish Days cultural heritage. For my family, Old Spanish Days Fiesta is a time to reflect back on the romanticism of the early years in Santa Barbara's history.
It is a time to honor the traditions of the ranchos, when neighbors and friends would travel miles to help each other round up the cattle and then celebrate the hard day's work with a fiesta.
For me, the week of Fiesta also brings up romantic images of Santa Barbara: our stunning architecture, bright flowers blooming against white stucco walls while their fragrance scents the night air, guitar players draped in serapes strumming love songs to beautiful senoritas in colorful Spanish dress.
And, Fiesta brings to memory the days of dashing vaqueros and the tradition of the rodeos on the ranchos, when Santa Barbara’s superb horsemen could show off their skills. Cowboys and horses have played a critical role in Santa Barbara's history and it is my pleasure to recognize and celebrate their part in the heart of Fiesta.
My theme this year is "Your friends are our friends; bring 'em along!" I hope you will grab your friends and bring 'em along and enjoy your community's celebration. Relax under the August moon as you watch the opening night festivities at Fiesta Pequeña, sample regional cuisine at our Mercados, revel in the spills and thrills at the Rodeo, enjoy the dancers and singers at Los Noches de Ronda, take the kids to our historical parade, or stroll the beach front at our Arts & Craft show, or Catch the music and dance at historic Plaza Del Mar. Our incredible town will be busting at the seams with fun-filled activities for young and old.
As we celebrate Old Spanish Days Fiesta, we are embracing and remembering our community’s past, its traditions, and our heritage, and I welcome you all to participate in this very special week.
Clay Dickens 2003-2004 El Presidente
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