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Church Party Draws Large Fiesta Crowd

SANTA BARBARA — Fiesta festivities continued on Saturday and thousands of people went to the party at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.The event isn’t on the Old Spanish Days map and list of attractions, but it’s a party that draws a crowd every year. Just like all the many fiesta events, people listen to the music and watch the dancers take stage; but what draws the crowd is the food. “Tamales, posole, birrias, sopes, gorditas, churros, all kinds of stuff,” said volunteer Anthony Rodriguez.All the food is made from scratch. Rafaela Canseco has been cooking at the event for more than two decades. As she continues, her family, just like many of the parishioners help out. “People come to enjoy themselves, the food, because we make it with a lot of love. I don’t use no cans. Everything is fresh!” she said with a laugh. One of the most popular dishes is the tamales. “You know what, they’re delicious!” said Michael Carbajal. People line up in front of the tamale booth to get a chance to take a bite. Once they get to the front of the line, they are greeted by 13-year-old Carbajal.”I get the tickets, wrap the tamales, give them to people with a big smile. They love them!” he said. All the proceeds benefit the church. They were able to construct a larger building because of it. Last year after food costs, around $100,000 was raised. “That’s why we do it, to keep the doors open for our church, to bring our community closer together and work as a family of God,” said Canseco. Year after year during fiesta Friday though Sunday, the community keeps coming back for more. “It’s great! I always look for this part of the year all the time. Viva la fiesta! There it is,” said Rey Martinez.

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