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Fiesta Kick Off!
updated: May 15, 2014, 12:02 PM

By the Dedicated Staff of edhat.com

Fiesta has officially kicked off with the new El Presidente, Dennis Rickard. It is the 90th-year celebration of Old Spanish Days Fiesta with the theme "Celebra tu Historia" or Honor Your History. Speaking of history, Dennis is the great, great grandson of Don Jose De La Guerra y Noriega, the last Comandante of the Santa Barbara Presidio; the grandson of James B. Rickard an original founder of Old Spanish Days and the son of 1948 and 1949 El Presidente, John T. Rickard.

The annual La Primavera will take place this Sunday, May 18, at the historic El Paseo Restaurant, 5 p.m. El Presidente will be there to unveil the 2014 poster and pin. La Primavera takes its name from a one-time pageant in the spring of 1920 that celebrated the heritage of Santa Barbara. The modern day La Primavera event dates from 1972 when 500 people came to a fund-raising steak dinner at the Earl Warren Show grounds. Primavera embodies the spirit of the old Spanish days of the 1820's to 1860's when people welcomed travelers into their homes and celebrated their arrival by holding parties (fiestas) in their honor.

Today it symbolizes renewal of friendships and builds excitement for Fiesta Week beginning July 30, 2014. Fiesta itself had its beginnings in 1924, when a group of prominent business people decided to take some of the elements of the La Primavera pageant, i.e. colorful costumes, singing and Spanish and Mexican dances and create what we know now as Santa Barbara's Old Spanish Days-Fiesta.

Read the full El Presidente Proclamation at OldSpanishDays-Fiesta.org and learn more about La Primavera at www.sbfiesta.org

2014 El Presidente Dennis Rickard

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