Archive » June 9, 2011
OLD SANTA YNEZ DAY TO SHINE ON SATURDAY
By Jeremy Foster, Staff Writer
Hundreds of people were expected to converge in downtown Santa Ynez on Saturday to celebrate the rich history of the rustic town. The 49th annual Old Santa Ynez Day celebration sponsored by the Elks Lodge 2640 and Rio Vista Chevrolet will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with clothing, antiques, bounce houses, as well as arts and crafts booths. Commemorative hats and T-shirts will also be available. There will also be a “tortilla toss” and watermelon-eating contests. Music begins at 10 a.m by a local elementary school band, followed by the T-Bone Wranglers at 1 p.m. Those who want to avoid a trip to the “Old Santa Ynez Day jail” must purchase a $1 badge, offered at businesses throughout the Valley.
The parade will start at the intersection of Sagunto Street and Meadowvale Road at 11 a.m. and circle through Edison and Madera streets before moving north to Manzana Street. It will include a cash-prize drawing for the entrants. Last year there were about 50. Those who would like to be a part of the parade can pre-register (information below) or show up around 10 a.m. and bring biographical information for the announcers.
All proceeds benefit Elks charities and local Valley schools. Weather is expected to be sunny, in contrast to last year’s cold and rainy climate.
“We’re celebrating our small town roots – cowboys and farmers,” said Mike Carricaburu, event organizer. “Graduation is over. The Elks Rodeo is over. It’s an end-of-the-year celebration to kick off summer.”
Originally called Tortilla Days, the free event was started by the Los Amigos De Santa Ynez on June 22, 1962. The celebration was renamed in June 1976 and continues to be one of the Valley’s time-honored staples.
Carricaburu attended the first celebration when he was two. His uncle, John, was the first parade announcer. He recalled the event’s early days with a laugh.
“We used to do a street dance until midnight,” he said. “We’d run eight longhorn steers, but we lost two that ended up in Santa Ynez Park. Then it became a little more low-key, so we wouldn’t have to worry about the insurance ramifications.”
Roughly 100 vendors will be on hand. Some donations will go toward local schools.
This year’s Grand Marshals for the parade are Helmut and Doris Holzheu, founders of El Rancho Market.
The couple emigrated from Germany to Santa Barbara in 1954 and moved 12 years later to Solvang. They were childhood friends and attended kindergarten at the age of 3.
In Germany, Helmut worked as a journeyman butcher and sausage maker. Doris bought and sold textiles.
“The Holzheu family have become special people in a special place,” Carricaburu said. “They have done a lot of fundraising and have given to our local schools and charities. They donated land for the YMCA and employ 60 or so at the market. They have done – and are doing – a tremendous service for the Santa Ynez Valley.”
After moving to Solvang in 1966, the couple – with the financial help of a former customer – bought a business located at 2886 Mission Drive from bankruptcy court. They cleaned it up to the store it’s known as today. Their son, Alfred, is now the owner of the market.
Karen Jones and her family will host their annual Old Santa Ynez Day Concert at noon in front of the 111-year-old Jones House, located next door to Johnson’s Corner on the historic Old Stagecoach Route. The hootenanny includes a line-up featuring Jonathan McEuen, a multi-instrumentalist who in 2005 achieved a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “Something Like a Broken Heart.”
Joining McEuen will be B Willing James and “fiddle phenom” Paul Cartwright, who will also be playing with another Old Santa Ynez Day favorite band, Tandemoro. Local musician Omar Velasco will also perform.
Rounding out the roster will be top musicians from as near as Santa Barbara to as far away as New York City. They include Omar Velasco, Earl Arnold, Orlando Napier and Howlin’ Woods, songwriter Ian Jones, acclaimed folk artist Phil Cody, who will play with the Fallen Stars and Matt Bradford, a luthier of Santa Monica, and the Utah-based group formerly known as ER, Eyes Lips Eyes.
The old Jones House is at 1120 Edison St. in uptown Santa Ynez. Music starts at noon immediately after the Old Day parade. Jones describes the free concert as an “annual pilgrimage for musicians.”
For more information, contact Karen Jones at email@example.com. Another event will be held at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and feature a spaghetti Western dinner and dance. Gates open at 5 p.m. and cost $20 for adults ($15 for museum members), $5 for children 5 to 12, and free for those under 5. For more information, visit santaynezmuseum.org or call 688-7889. Pre-registration for the parade is available. Applications are available at www.syvelks.com.