SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Santa Barbara's very first Spirit of Fiesta, Lia Parker, died from natural causes over the weekend. She was 88.
Parker was the Spirit of Fiesta for three years in a row, from 1949 to 1951, and was honored as the El Desfile Histórico Grand Marshal in 2014.
"Hearts and prayers of Old Spanish Days extend to the family of Lia Parker," said la Presidente Maria Cabrera. "She was an outstanding and much-respected member of our Fiesta family. As first Spirit, she will forever hold a special place in our community's history."
Parker died peacefully in her home at the Garden Court senior complex in Santa Barbara where she has lived for the past few years.