The Fiesta tradition continues with the sale of Old Spanish Days costumes


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The nearly century-old tradition of Santa Barbara, Fiesta, continued Saturday morning with the sale of Spanish period costumes.

“(The sale) is a way for many of our dancers to clean up their wardrobes and pass on these beautiful costumes to members of our community who want to participate in Fiesta,” said Fiesta President Maria Cabrera.

Colorful costumes hold immeasurable sentimental value for dance moms like Beatriz Flores, who explained, “Part of Fiesta is just exuberant and happy and joyful and yellow has always been her favorite color. So all of these dresses were handmade for her. All in yellow. She designed them. And when she was little, when she was nine years old, she was a junior finalist. And a woman in Spain made her a dress just for her to try on.

Beatriz was thrilled that her daughter’s dresses had found a new home, sharing, “I sold this dress today at 1965 Spirit of Fiesta. Her name is Marta. She is a beautiful and charming lady.

Marta Babson, who expressed her sadness at not yet having the original dress her mother sewed her in 1965, said she was thrilled that Beatriz’s daughter’s dress would fit her.

“I looked at it and I thought, ‘It’s very interesting and very pretty and very small. I think I’m going to try it and I just loved it,’ Babson says.

Marta wasn’t the only Spirit of Fiesta winner to show her support for the fiesta.

Yvonne Robles, 1960 Spirit of Fiesta winner, recounted how her mother encouraged her to attend Fiesta over 60 years ago, saying, “It was an honor and an experience you will never forget.

The tradition continues with this year’s Spirit of Fiesta winner, Tara Mata, who hopes to bring unity and joy to Fiesta this year.

“It’s always about embracing Santa Barbara’s rich history and enjoying the city as it is today,” says Mata.

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