Fiesta Finale’s “Una Noche de Gala”
The eighth annual Fiesta Finale takes place once again in the Sunken Gardens outside Santa Barbara County Courthouse. This event has been a favorite of ours since its inception, and it has been heartening to watch its popularity grow. Fiesta Finale is the final public event of Old Spanish Days Fiesta week, and takes place on Sunday, August 5. The first year, one could count the small number of attendees on blankets on the grass behind the courthouse; they had heard of the event through the grapevine, or perhaps had a family member performing on the makeshift stage. As the years progressed, however, the multitudes have grown; it is now, it seems, one of the most popular free outdoor events to occur during Old Spanish Days.
Before and leading up to Fiesta Finale is a fundraiser that helps pay for the event and, more importantly, helps fund the Profant Foundation scholarships given to writers and artists in pursuit of a career in the arts. The $200 per person “Una Noche de Gala” features an auction (a ride on the Goodyear airship is one of this year’s special offerings; another is an original James Paul Brown painting), a promenade in the courthouse loggia, with most attendees resplendent in their Fiesta finery, a catered and elegant dinner, and front row seats for the outdoor performances.
Those performances include Latin legend Dr. Bobby Rodriguez, the Santa Barbara debut of pianist Rudolf Budginas, Flamenco dancer Timo Nunez (now performing with Los Angeles Opera), exhibition ballroom dancing from Santa Barbara Dance Center, choreography by Francisco Martinez DanceTheatre, “Bolero” by State Street Ballet dancers, and the Cabreras break out the historic Brosik masks for a dance spectacular.
Among those joining Marie Profant in honoring local supporters of the arts via the Michelangelo Award will be Third District Supervisor Brooks Firestone.
The Gala begins at 5 pm; the outdoor performances at 8 pm. If you plan to stay through to the end, be sure to bring something warm; it’s guaranteed to get downright chilly. Those coming strictly for the outdoor show should bring their own lawn chairs and/or blankets. Most tourists will have departed, and the lawn will be filled with friends and neighbors, Santa Barbarinos all. For more information and/or tickets to the gala, please call the Arlington Box Office at 805-963-4408. The Profant Foundation for the Arts is also a 501 (c) 3 organization.