Fiesta supporter named Grand Marshal of the 2020 Fiesta Caravan Parade
Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara organizers announced on Wednesday that long-time supporter and friend of Fiesta, Father Larry Gosselin, has been named the new Grand Marshal of the Reimagined 2020 Fiesta Caravan Parade.
Featuring classic cars and decorated vehicles, the caravan parade is set to take place on Aug. 7, and will go through Santa Barbara and Montecito neighborhoods.
The El Presidente or La Presidenta of Fiesta has chosen a Grand Marshal of El Desfile Historico Parade (The Historic Parade) every year since the 1930s.
“I chose Father Larry as the Grand Marshal because of his positive attitude and the way he always strives to unite us in love and friendship — something we need now more than ever,” El Presidente Erik Davis said in a statement. “Anyone who knows Father Larry knows of his kindness, joyfulness and dedication to serving all people in the Santa Barbara community.”
A native of Washington State, Father Gosselin is a Franciscan priest of the Province of Saint Barbara. Since 2013, he has been serving at the Santa Barbara Mission and has emceed the official opening of Fiesta, La Fiesta Pequena, for the past nine years on the mission’s steps.
“This is a privileged honor that I accept with a very humble heart, but with immense gratitude and appreciation,” Father Gosselin said in a statement. “It’s an honor that I never could have imagined that I would be given, with all the highest respect, esteem, and admiration I have always held for the community of Santa Barbara.”
A nonprofit dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage and traditions, Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is putting safety first during this year’s Fiesta 2020. Due to COVID-19, many signature events will be held virtually or in ways to follow social distancing guidelines.
This year’s theme for Fiesta 2020 is “Vamos a Bailar!” That means “Let’s Dance!”
“It is my great hope and sincere aspiration, in being asked to serve as Grand Marshal of the Fiesta Parade, that I might be able to tap into the great inspiration of the late and great Fr. Virgil, with all that he brought and left to this community, and to bring some of his spirit into our celebration and call of unity for all people,” Father Larry said in a statement.
More information about Fiesta 2020 can be found by visiting www.sbfiesta.org.