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Fiesta fundraisers help performers cover costs

Fiesta fundraisers help cover costs for Old Spanish Days dancers

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Old Spanish Days events are free, but performers and their parents cover plenty of costs.

The parents of female dancers said they pay about $350 per custom-made dress for Fiesta performances, and that does not include the material.

The shoes cost about $300 a pair.

Junior Spirit Savannah Hoover, 9, thought she lost her white shoes and borrowed her dance instructor Daniela Zermeño's shoes (yes, they wear the same size) until she tracked them down at a friend's home.

2021 Spirit Ysabella Yturralde, 16, wore out a pair and had to buy new shoes.

Flamenco attire for male performers can cost even more.

The dancers also pay for countless lessons at dance studios all over the region.

And that means they spend on gas, too.

Cork and Fork 805 host Drew Wakefield held a fundraiser at Joe's Cafe recently and decided to hold another outside the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum this Friday. Seating starts at 11 a.m. while the show starts around noon.

Wakefield said the Spirit and Junior Spirit will perform five dances. He hopes it will inspire people to donate to their art form.

"They don't expect a dime from anybody and when you see how happy they are just to go and dance. I just want to be a blessing and I'm trying to encourage all my friends in the greater Santa Barbara area to be a blessing as well and sew that financial seed into our Spirit and Jr. Spirit"

Old Spanish Days begin August 4 with Fiesta Pequeña at the Old Mission Santa Barbara.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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