Isla Vista may have Halloween and Santa Barbara may have Fiesta, but this spring, Goleta will finally have a celebration of its own.
On June 4, Goleta will take a feather out of Santa Barbara’s hat and throw its first annual Fiesta Ranchera. The celebration, designed to honor the Spanish heritage of Goleta, is scheduled to have a wide array of activities as well as traditional food samplers and live music. Old Spanish Days organizing group member Jennifer Jimmerson said local eateries have already pledged to service the event.
“Fiesta Ranchera is a celebration of community,” Jimmerson said. “Wineries, breweries and local restaurants will be on site with an emphasis on Goleta.”
Old Spanish Days President Tim Taylor said he hopes the fledgling event will develop into a long-standing tradition and help to cultivate community pride among all residents.
“My theme for this year, ‘Viva La Comunidad,’ celebrates our people and all the ways in which they participate to make this community such a special place,” Taylor said.
Fiesta Ranchera is sponsored by the Old Spanish Days organization based in Santa Barbara. The organization is a nonprofit group seeking to encourage community involvement and maintain the Spanish heritage prevalent in the Santa Barbara area. Taylor said the event, which will feature attendees such as Goleta Mayor Michael Bennett, the Goleta City Council and other notable public service workers and dignitaries, is for all ages.
According to Jimmerson, the roots of the name “Old Spanish Days” refers to the sense of unity and altruism venerated long ago – something she hopes the festival itself will promote.
“Old Spanish Days’ mission is to preserve and carry on the tradition of what old Spanish days means in the community,” Jimmerson said. “That is, the hospitality and community shown in the days when people would welcome weary travelers into their home or ranch and celebrate their company with a fiesta.”
The event will be a pre-party of sorts for Santa Barbara’s weeklong fiesta festival, which takes place downtown from July 30 to August 3. The 84-year-old celebration comes with a wide selection of community events that will increase in frequency, as the festival week grows closer. Community events can be seen on the Old Spanish Days organization’s Web site, along with specific dates and more information about the organization’s purpose.
Tickets for Fiesta Ranchera are available at the Arlington Theater and cost $55. Events will take place at the Rancho La Patera and Stow House grounds at 305 N. Los Carneros in Goleta. The celebration is scheduled to begin on June 4 around 5 p.m.