Although the 2020 Fiesta was “reimagined” and held virtually or on television due to COVID-19, the rich tradition will resume again next year.
Last month, Old Spanish Days announced the results of its recent election of their leadership team for the 2021 event. The executive committee will include: La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow; Primero Vice Presidente Alex Castellanos; Segundo Vice President and current Secretario David Bolton; and La Tesorera Cassie Killgore.
The elected division chiefs will include: Division Chief of Celebrations Janice Howell; Division Chief of Dance and Entertainment Maria Cabrera; and Division Chief of Pageantry Gary MacDonald.
“2020 has certainly made all of us realize the importance of family, friends and our special community of Santa Barbara,” Ms. Petlow said in a news release. “We are thankful for the continued support during this pandemic from our Sponsors, the City of Santa Barbara, the County of Santa Barbara and our community collaborators.
“The entire Board of Directors and Past Presidentes are committed to presenting a safe and wonderful Fiesta 2021 to continue our rich history and tradition.”
Now in its 97th year, what makes Fiesta unique is that it is run by a volunteer board of directors and is supported by only one full-time staff member.
The board annually selects an El Presidente or La Presidenta who presides over the board and serves as the general manager of the organization.
The Primer Vice Presidente is responsible for the operation of the entire organization, while the Segundo Vice Presidente is responsible for raising the funds that allows the historical festival to continue. The Division Chiefs oversee all the volunteer committees that support the official Old Spanish Days events and activities in the venues around the city.
The 2021 event is scheduled for Aug. 4 to 8.
First held in 1924, Fiesta celebrates a period of romance and hospitality through pageantry, dance music, costume and cuisine.
Old Spanish Days is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage and traditions.
For more information, visit www.sbfiesta.org.