Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta title=
Entrance to Project Fiesta Exhibit at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)
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By Bonnie Carroll

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum became a Fiesta night to remember for guests who arrived to enjoy the exquisite Project Fiesta exhibition highlighting the history of Fiesta with video, photos, and rare artists renditions. Entering guests walked through a visual confetti stream to view a stunning historic flower girl display, and dignitario costumes, flamenco dresses along with historic carriages used in past Fiesta parades.

The second gallery is filled with precious Santa Barbara Mission art, a statue of Saint Barbara, historic photos, posters, paintings, and personal belongings of past Fiesta participants. I especially loved a beautiful personal box belonging to Pearl Chase, who was a renowned leader in Santa Barbara. 

The reception in the garden was a gathering of friends and sponsors of Old Spanish Days Fiesta, where delicious small plates and margaritas were savored as guests reminisced about past events and were very happy to be together once again despite the pandemic year. Although the annual Fiesta Parade and the El Mercado De La Guerra were cancelled for health concerns, Old Spanish Days Fiesta El Presidenta 2021 Stephanie Petlow and the board have worked to retain many of the events that the community hold dear which did include the Tablao Flamenco. 

Timo Nunez (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)

The magical Andalucia provided a lively, yet intimate Flamenco show under the stars in the elegant courtyard, where guests sitting at small tables enjoying wine, were skillfully taken from Santa Barbara to Spain by talented musicians and dancers including Manuel Gutierrez, Gerardo Morales, Andres Vadin, Timo Nunez, Maria “LA Chacha” Bermudez, Talia Orgeta Vestal and local dance company, Flamenco Santa Barbara, sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust, investic, Bella Vista Designs, American Rivera Bank, Community First Bank, First Republic Bank and Tour Spain.

It was the most magical evening I’ve ever spent in Santa Barbara. The music and dancing were exceptional and watching some local talent from Flamenco Santa Barbara was inspiring. The dances by 16-year-old 2021 Spirit of Fiesta Ysabella Yturralde and 9-year-old 2021 Junior Spirit of Fiesta Savannah Hoover took everyone in the room on a journey to the very heart of Fiesta. 

Many thanks to Old Spanish Days Fiesta and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum for this amazing evening under the stars to experience the happiness of Fiesta Santa Barbara.  For event information please visit: www.sbfiesta.org for museum Project Fiesta information (free July 14-Aug 28) please visit: www.sbhistorical.org.  Viva La Fiesta!

SBHM Guest at Garden Reception (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)

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RHS Aug 02, 2021 06:47 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

Has no one read the "The Masque of the Red Death"!? What fools would cavort without masks and social distancing just to pretend to be old Santa Barbara? One can only hope that the only fools that suffer from this are those in attendance.

NostraChumash Aug 02, 2021 07:22 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

How far back in history, & the attempted destruction to eradicate all evidence of a People, shall we go?..
The EASY answer is, it makes money..
like the bounty on Native ears & scalpes...it makes money.

a-1628021270 Aug 03, 2021 01:07 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

duke--NO we should not cancel ALL outdoor events going forward. But we should not do frivolous stuff like this while there is an upsurge in COVID-19 Delta infections. (This is not like attending a funeral service for example.) Why can't people do without this sort of icing on their cake until we can see a safer place for all.

dukemunson Aug 03, 2021 01:27 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

107pm - I obviously disagree… and if you walk down state street or visit any park, apparently so does virtually everyone else! Santa Barbara is open and bumping! Is it the fact that it’s “frivolous” that bothers you? Because people are eating in much closer proximity in hundreds of spots in SB county right now then this outside sitting group. Take a gander outside and around… this is happening on smaller (and larger scales) everywhere… why must fiesta suffer because it’s “frivolous”?

sacjon Aug 03, 2021 02:01 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

DUKE - what is more important and thus, more worth the risk - a loved one's funeral or a party? I don't think Fiesta should have been completely shut down, they should have had a plan B since they've known about the virus for almost 2 years now. BUT..... you can't honestly compare a funeral to fiesta. Aside from personal and societal importance, the numbers and activities/behavior of the attendees are in no way similar.

dukemunson Aug 03, 2021 02:20 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

Sac - if the thought is that no gatherings are acceptable because of Covid, what makes a funeral OK? My point was that to a virus it doesn’t matter if you are celebrating a tradition or celebrating a loved one… so it seems illogical (from a worried about Covid perspective) to be ok with one and not the other. I can obviously see being ok with both (or not OK with either) but it doesn’t hold to logic to be split. And are the activities so different? Most funerals have a gathering and food element after…

In essence to answer your question, at this point, shouldn’t we be able to assess our own risks and attend either/both…? Why shame the fiesta attendees (or a funeral attendee).

I’m fully VAXXED and will happily attend a fiesta party this weekend… as I know many others will. There is no shame (nor should there be any implied negativity) to that. So I say cheers to all who attended this perfectly legal and reasonable event.

sacjon Aug 03, 2021 03:06 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

DUKE - I never said we should push life back. Where did you see that? I've been saying all along go out and enjoy life, if you're vaxxed, and wear a mask indoors in crowded places just in case. Don't give up on the joys of life, just be smart and safe! Hey, no one likes wearing a condom either.... it's about the risks. Are they worth it? Nah.

sacjon Aug 03, 2021 03:08 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

DUKE - you missed the point I think. Yeah, the virus doesn't care, but they are 2 totally different situations. 1 is far more riskier than the other. Further, some people may be OK with taking a risk to bury their mother, but not taking the risk to get knocked into and puked on by a drunk tourist. Either way, I think Fiesta should be open with caution, NOT CLOSED. I've been saying that since last summer!

dukemunson Aug 03, 2021 03:52 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

Sac - so then You agree with me…? Both should be open and available to those who feel safe and willing to attend/go…

In essence if you want to go to a wedding… go! And if you want to celebrate and enjoy SB… enjoy it! We need to stop with the incessant fear and perpetual threats of closure. Get vaccinated and you are good to go.

sacjon Aug 03, 2021 04:11 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

DUKE - yes, things should be open again. Fiesta should have had a Plan B in case of a rise in cases. BUT......... I do NOT agree that just because you're vaxxed, you're "good to go." We've seen now that you can still get sick, still transmit and still die, even if you're vaxed. So again.... it is a risk. If masks even help 1%, put them on. Use whatever we can do, aside from closing everything (within reason) to keep us safe. Don't forget, many people who are fully vaxxed are still immunocompromised and can die easily from this. It's still about not being a selfish jerk and just taking the minor steps to keep yourself and others safe.

We've been arguing about this for 1 1/2 years now and I'm freaking tired of it. Some people are just so damn selfish that they'd rather put their families at risk than inconvenience themselves with a mask, some won't even get vaxxed. These people are lost causes. If they get it and die, that's their "choice." Sad thing is, their choice puts others (including yours and my kids and elderly relatives) at risk. That's where I draw the line. Make sense?

dukemunson Aug 03, 2021 04:23 PM
Old Spanish Days Opens with Tablao Museo and Project Fiesta

Sac - I get what your saying… but then you realize we are arguing “degrees”. There are those that say that schools should stay closed and kids activities all canceled this year, as they would help by at least 1%. So the question becomes how many things do you quit and/or compromise for a potential fractional benefit? This will become endemic… we must learn to live with it and not cancel anything and everything and shame people who have done what they needed to do from living life.

So I’m with you… get the vaccine!!! And with that… enjoy life and don’t let someone online shame you for hitting a fiesta event…

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