Sunday, August 16, 2009

maybe not again for awhile

i think it's kind of like christmas.
most everyone loves it, we look forward to it all year long, and there is always something to say to someone in coming or going...
"viva la fiesta!"

the atmosphere, the spirit, the vibe of the town is so celebratory. the buzz is everywhere, even days beforehand. parks and venues all around town prepare for the part they will play in the five day party. businesses downtown post signs in their windows the weeks beforehand giving notice that they will close by noon that friday for the parade. and the people i celebrate with, they get ready by making sure they have at least one fun colorful outfit to wear out during the week, they pull cash out so they can buy churros to their hearts' content, and they coordinate with friends as to just where they will meet up to watch the parade, catch the flamenco dancing, or enjoy the nighttime craziness.

fiesta is one of the best times of year in santa barbara.

this year was one of the most incredible ones yet. each fiesta stands out for particular moments... last year had highlights like overlooking the carnival lights while enjoying churros on a hillside with my mom, the year before that was most memorable for the free mat kearney concert under the stars that turned into a spontaneous dance party once a dj got on the stage afterwards, with all the twenty-somethings who'd come for the concert prancing around the dancefloor in goofy ways that would not be seen in indochine.

this year will be marked by the collision of so many dozens of friends from all over on thursday night at dargans and saturday night at blush. friends from way back, friends from now, all reunited serendipitously on this weekend of all sb weekends. i will also most certainly remember how we ended up watching the parade next to the most amazing family of goodtimers ever, who'd drawn circles in the street to take bets on where the horses would do their business, who had a keg out in broad daylight, and who cheerfully ran to buy trays and trays of confetti eggs to battle with the children who were pelting them from an office window above with the same. and when the day comes that i am away from santa barbara on this first weekend in august, like i haven't been in 7 years, i will remember how when you look around during those five days, as i most noticed this year, you see spontaneous dance parties to mariachi bands, strangers cracking eggs over other strangers and everyone laughing, boyfriends and girlfriends sharing their churros with each other as they sway to the cover bands that play in the plaza, every girl with a flower in their hair, and the dancefloors everywhere so packed while thousands line the streets, all there because of a desire to be a part of that VIVA spirit.

i'm not sure, but fiesta might have been so good to me this year because it knows i may not be around for it again next time...

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