El Presidente Thank you 2020

Posted Aug 10, 2020

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to personally thank all the amazing sponsors, volunteers, collaborative partners and the entire Santa Barbara community for helping to bring forward Fiesta joy during this challenging year.

My theme this year was “¡Vamos a Bailar!”, in English, “Let’s Dance!”. And as my good friend and Parade Grand Marshal Father Larry Gosselin so eloquently quoted during La Misa Del Presidente, “when you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance”.  And we did!  Because of the generosity, encouragement and support of our wonderful community we were able to bring forward dance, music and history in ways never seen before and in ways that took our magnificent festival beyond the Santa Barbara region.

El Presidente Thank you 2020 El Presidente 2020 Erik Davis

To those who purchased posters and pins from all around the country and who participated in our first-ever online auction thank you! We are grateful for those who tuned in from all around the world and who made our live-streamed Fiesta Music and Dance Fridays possible. The televised showcase of La Fiesta Pequeña was a magical evening made possible by partners like KEYT, our generous sponsors and the City and County of Santa Barbara.

A very special thank you, from the bottom of my heart to the 2020 Spirit of Fiesta Alena Velasco and the 2020 Junior Spirit of Fiesta Alexandra Nocker. These two talented young artists, supported by their families and the entire dance community, brought charm and delight to our community when we needed it the most. And to Saint Barbara 2020 Teresa Kuskey Nowak and the Native Daughters of the Golden West Reina de Mar Parlor 126, thank you for choosing to dance with us this year.  And to my honorary Presidentes and Presidentas, your support throughout my Fiesta journey means so much.

And what a wonderful community we have here in Santa Barbara. So many offered your support from letters and cards to decorating your homes and businesses with colored lights, flags and bunting. Thank you to Downtown Santa Barbara and to the Home Improvement Center who made Operation Light Up Your Fiesta Spirit a hit!  And to our established community partners and new ones like the Grace Fisher Foundation, thank you! And a big shout out to our media partners who ran stories and photos of our 2020 Reimagined Fiesta.

Thank you to Los Niños de las Flores, Las Senoritas and their supportive families. Thanks also to the Fiesta Friday musicians and the entire dance community.  

To the Board of Directors who supported the decision to bring forward joy and hope however it looked, thank you. We pulled off something amazing and a Fiesta that will never be forgotten. My deepest love and gratitude to my wife Angelique who not only served as Division Chief of External Relations and La Primera Dama, but who helped me stay positive and creative every step of the way.

As I wrote in my Proclamación del Presidente, “the rhythm of life in Santa Barbara is measured from one Fiesta to another: Families gather together, making memories, forming traditions, sharing the pride we all feel in our community.” I hope you continue to hold Fiesta in your heart and thank you for joining us in the dance of Old Spanish Days.

Viva la Fiesta, Erik

Erik Davis
El Presidente 2020
Old Spanish Days Fiesta