Spirit of Fiesta Winners Announced
Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum announced Spirit of Fiesta (Photo: Fritz Olenberger/Old Spanish Days)
Source: Old Spanish Days
A Santa Barbara tradition continued [Saturday] as Old Spanish Days announced the two dancers who will lead its performances this year -- the 2018 Spirit and Junior Spirit of Fiesta
Before a packed, boisterous crowd at La Cumbre Jr. High School, 17-year-old home school student Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum was crowned the 2018 Spirit as a panel of judges selected her over a total of 11 Spirit contestants.
"I'm excited and honored to represent this Fiesta and help celebrate traditions and our community," said Jesalyn. “I can’t wait for it to start.”
Meanwhile, 10-year-old home school student Georgey Taupin won the title of Junior Spirit of Fiesta beating out a total of 9 Junior Spirit participants at today's Auditions.
She also danced Flamengo and her style was Alegrias.
"I can’t believe it,” Georgey said. "I am so happy I get to participate in Fiesta with Jesalyn — she is such an amazing girl.”
Both of today's winners represent local dance studios — Jesalyn the Linda Vega Dance Studio and Georgey the Zermeno Dance Academy.
Traditionally, the Spirit leads El Desfile Histórico while the Junior Spirit leads the Children's Parade. Together they will perform at dozens of events from now until Fiesta this summer.
2018 La Presidenta Denise Sanford announced both winners to thunderous applause.
Fiesta this year - the 94th edition of Santa Barbara's Z Spanish Days - runs from August 1-5, 2018
April 10, 2018: Spirit of Fiesta Auditions on Saturday