Brooks Firestone Named Fiesta Parade Grand Marshal

Brooks Firestone Named Fiesta Parade Grand Marshal title=
Brooks Firestone Named Fiesta Parade Grand Marshal
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Photos: Fritz Olenberger, courtesy of Old Spanish Days

Source: Old Spanish Days Fiesta

One of the iconic figures in our local community has been selected by La Presidenta Denise Sanford to serve as the 2018 Fiesta Parade Grand Marshal. Before a packed press conference at the Western Carriage and Western Art Museum, Brooks Firestone was introduced along with his wife, Kate.

“I am just honored and excited to be chosen as the Fiesta Grand Marshal,” said Mr. Firestone who has participated in Fiesta as an outrider dating back nearly 40 years. “I have enjoyed the many Fiesta events over the years, and it has been special being an outrider. I am really looking forward to serving as Fiesta’s Grand Marshal.”

A local vintner, family patriarch and former California State Assemblyman (35th District) and Santa Barbara County Supervisor (3rd District), Mr. Firestone was also named an honorary Charro – a Mexican cowboy – some 45 years ago. “I am happy that I can still fit in the same outfit,” he quipped.

After living in our community for many decades, Mr. Firestone has a keen appreciation for Fiesta and what the annual summer festival organized by Old Spanish Days means to the greater community and to local tourism.

“As communities all over the world celebrate their heritage and history, to be a small part of our celebration here, of the culture and heritage of Santa Barbara, is very meaningful to me,” Mr. Firestone said. “It is truly a celebration of our cultural heritage and it’s a lot of fun!”

In addition to serving as Parade Grand Marshal, La Presidenta Sanford has invited the Firestones to many of the upcoming Fiesta events, including Fiesta Pequeña which kicks off the opening day of Fiesta Wednesday, August 1 on the steps of Old Mission Santa Barbara.

The historical parade, El Désfile Historico, begins at 12 noon on Friday, August 3 and runs from Castillo Street and Cabrillo Boulevard along the waterfront before making a turn up State Street, and continuing all the way to Micheltorena Street.


Old Spanish Days Fiesta is celebrating 94 years in our community! This tradition fosters a unique spirit among locals and tourists who participate and celebrate the famed Rancho period (1824-1864). The important annual coming together encourages community cooperation, collaboration and growth. It has remained a pivotal, iconic community festival. It continues to support other local nonprofits. 

 
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Flicka Jul 26, 2018 01:55 PM
Brooks Firestone Named Fiesta Parade Grand Marshal

What we call the "romantic rancho era" was when Mexico ruled California. That doesn't mean the owners weren't Spanish. The Spanish here became "Mexican" when New Spain became Mexico. In fact, Spanish or Mexican, most preferred to be Californios.

SBZZ Jul 26, 2018 08:49 AM
Brooks Firestone Named Fiesta Parade Grand Marshal

Factotum - Yep, prior to Mexican rule, which began in the early 1820s. If those were pre-tequila days, pobrecitos! Land was granted to individuals by the Spanish crown, but without title. The true land grants with title occurred under Mexican rule - hence Mexican land grants.

Factotum Jul 25, 2018 04:41 PM
Brooks Firestone Named Fiesta Parade Grand Marshal

Old Spanish Day has nothing to do with Mexico. It celebrates the days of the large Spanish land grant rancheros that preceded the more urbanized 20th Century development of this area.

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