SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Removed from its usual setting on the steps of Old Mission Santa Barbara and without the usual festive crowd, La Fiesta Pequeña still brought much-needed spirit on Wednesday night.
Due to the pandemic, the annual event kicking off Old Spanish Days Fiesta had to be moved to the patio at NewsChannel's TV Hill studios, which overlooks Santa Barbara.
The live TV broadcast still brought the event to the community, even with a crowd unable to gather in person to watch this year due to current health guidelines.
Alena Velasco and Alexandra Nocker--the Spirit of Fiesta and Junior Spirit of Fiesta--danced with passion in front of the dramatic backdrop. The TV broadcast revived video from different group dances at the Mission from previous years.
Singer Eduardo Villa provided an operatic beginning to the evening while singer Irma Seguro ended the event with a song.
Even with other annual Fiesta mainstays like the parade on hold this year, El Presidente Erik Davis called Wednesday night "magical."
“Everything’s different, 2020’s different. It’s different for everybody,” he said. “But the spirit of Fiesta is alive and well… Re-imagined, but I can’t imagine re-imagining it any different than this.”
“So thankful for this community,” he added. “And hopefully, this will bring a little joy, a little bit of hope, a little Fiesta spirit.”