Old Spanish Days – Fiesta

Santa Barbara, CA. July 31 - August 4, 2024

2023 Old Spanish Days Board of Directors

Posted Apr 25, 2023

Old Spanish Days (OSD) in Santa Barbara, Inc. is a 50l(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara's history, spirit, culture, heritage, and traditions. The 99-year-old organization is unique among festivals in that it is run entirely by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by only one full-time staff member.

2023 Old Spanish Days Board of Directors
2023 Old Spanish Days Board of Directors gather on Cabrillo Boulevard for Iconic Photo

The Board of Directors represent a broad cross-section of the community and is responsible for planning and producing over a dozen major events during the week of Fiesta, several fundraising events leading up to the week and organizing over 500 other volunteers, participants, and performers.  

In 1924, thirty two letters were sent out to prominent Santa Barbara community members inviting them to serve on the board of directors of the newly-formed “Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara” non-profit organization. Since then, the tradition of volunteer service for the organization has been at the forefront of the community festival.  Led each year by an El Presidente who serves as the CEO, the OSD board works tirelessly behind the scenes, 12 months a year, organizing all aspects of Fiesta for the community to enjoy.  

The board’s fundraising efforts allow Fiesta events to be offered free to the public, and the board’s logistical and operations support provides for great Fiesta events, from dance and entertainment to the Mercados to the equestrian-rich historical parade, El Desfile Historico.

“Our board is dedicated, talented and committed to putting on a safe, fun and memorable Fiesta,” said 2023 El Presidente David Bolton. “Each board member offers a unique skill that, when combined with others, provides the organizational and creative backbone for a successful community Fiesta”

Annually, the organization seeks support from individuals, businesses and foundations and holds fundraisers like the upcoming La Primavera, Fiesta Ranchera, La Recepcion del Presidente and DIGs.  Money raised covers event expenses which primarily consist of insurance coverage, equipment rental, venue costs, city fees, and administration costs.

This year’s board photo was taken on Santa Barbara’s iconic Cabrillo Boulevard, the location of many of the 2023 events like El Desfile Historico (Historical Parade) and the new Mercado de la Playa which will include a carnival, a beer garden, entertainment and vendors.  It is also the scene of the official 2023 Fiesta commemorative poster.  The poster features a beautiful dancing couple at the foot of Stearns Wharf with Santa Barbara’s waterfront in the background. The scene combines the vibrant colors of Fiesta with the stunning coastal view that is enjoyed by countless locals and visitors alike.  

The community is invited to volunteer, donate, attend a fundraiser or buy a poster to support the organization.  Please visit www.sbfiesta.org to find out how you can get involved.

Old Spanish Days 2023 Board of Directors:

Executive Committee

David Bolton, El Presidente
Brian Schwabecher, El Primer Vice Presidente
Fritz Olenberger, El Segundo Vice Presidente
Colin Hayward, El Secretario y El Tesorero

Division Chiefs

Janice Howell, Celebrations
Patricia Oreña, Dance and Entertainment
Angelique Davis, External Relations, Education & History
Andrea Caplan, Marketplaces
Tony Miller, Pageantry

Maria Cabrera, La Presidente Próxima Pasada


Jana Atherton, Michelle Bischoff, Brian Boyle, Sarah Brewer, Angie Cisneros,Chris Gusman, Casie Killgore, Gary MacDonald, Sean Malis, Judith McCaffrey,Thea Palencia, Matt Porter, Melissa Robledo Pulido, Marge Romero, John Stephens, Diana Vandervoort, Isis Wills-Saltzman, Greg Wilson

Past President Directors
Roger Aceves, Scott Burns, Maria Cabrera, Barbara Carroll, Mike Danley, Erik Davis, Joanne Furnari, Christie Gallagher, JC Gordon, Rhonda Henderson, Josiah Jenkins, Mike Mendoza, Stephanie Petlow, Denise Sanford, Tim Taylor, Chip Wullbrandt


Laura Abrignani, Kristina Cabral, Stephanie Coghlan, Elvis Cosio, Chris Cyr, Nina Golding, Malisa Harrison, Tere Jurado, Kate Kubiak, David Moorman, John Morais, Melissa Morelos, Guy Rivera, Brandon Vallin, Jenna Verbryke, Donna Weidl