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Old Spanish Days countdown begins with parties

By Victoria Sanchez, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter, victoriasanchez@keyt.com
Published On: May 20 2013 07:26:21 PM CDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 02:00:00 AM CDT

Fiesta begins July 31, runs through Aug. 4

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Old Spanish Days officially begins at the end of July but organizers are hitting the ground running as they get ready for the Fiesta event.

Planning for Old Spanish Days is a year-round task. El Presidente Josiah Jenkins is putting his own mark on the festivities, not in their 89th year.

It's the final stretch of fundraising and planning for Fiesta.

"The last three months, May, June, July, it really ramps up," said Jenkins.

"We have constant meetings with the Old Spanish Days board. Things like dealing with the parade and all the activities and getting the mercados ready and all the permits. It's a huge, huge event that obviously takes months of planning ahead of time," said Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.

Months of planning and nearly $1.5 million for the July 31 - Aug. 4 event.

"It's not cheap," said Jenkins.

The first party before Fiesta begins is La Primavera and it brought in $20,000 that goes directly back into Old Spanish Days.

The party is a big revenue-generator but it also is a place where the new El Presidente shows off this year's poster and pin.

"We got a unique piece. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins made the poster this year," said Jenkins at Sunday night's event.

The Fiesta leader kept it all in the family, much to his parents' surprise.

"I was just totally overwhelmed. I just didn't expect him to do that. He didn't tell us anything," said Karen Jenkins.

The 2013 theme is Vaqueros y Vaqueras.

"Hence the poster too, it puts together a cowboy and a cowgirl, be it my parents," said Jenkins with a smile.

With the countdown clock ticking away to the community-wide event, locals will be hearing a popular phrase sooner rather than later.

"Viva la Fiesta," said Jenkins.

"Viva la Fiesta! Ready to go. Start counting how many times you say it," said Schneider.

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, June 20
Fiesta Ranchera

Saturday, July 13
Costume Sale

Saturday, July 20
La Fiesta del Museo

Saturday, July 28
Recepcion Del Presidents

July 31-August 4
Fiesta

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