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Fiesta's badge: Pin one on!

Photo credit: Rafael Maldonado


hen she started work on this year’s fiesta pin, graphic artist Maren Lamb looked to music and children as the inspiration for her design.

“The whole image that I had in my head was the parade,” she said. Lamb finally settled on a silhouette of a man playing a horn, a little boy holding a tambourine, and a little girl shaking maracas.

“What we wanted to come up with was something to include the children,” she said.

The design continues a break in tradition from previous years that began in 1995. When the pins were first introduced more than 50 years ago, they consisted of a miniature hat — a felt bolero or straw sombrero — with a ribbon and the year ofthe fiesta, according to Fiesta’s El Presidente Michael Danley.

But two years ago, Fiesta organizers introduced the celebration’s first metal pin, Danley said. That year and last, the pins portrayed a dancing couple, a traditional symbol of Fiesta.

This year’s pins reflect this particular Fiesta theme, “Para los Niños.” The depiction of the trumpet player and the two children is unique in that previous years’ designs were not specific to a particular year’s theme.

George Thurlow, publisher of the Santa Barbara Independent and co-chair of the Fiesta Souvenir Badge Committee, recruited Lamb for the design because he admired her work — she is his paper’s production manager. Lamb submitted her design proposal in February and Fiesta organizers approved.

For the first time this yeare, the pins will be widely sold by nonprofit groups to help them raise money. While pins are normally sold for $5, nonprofits will be able to buy them at a reduced rate and sell them, keeping the money they make on the sales.

Nonprofit groups already run the Fiesta booths at the mercados to revenue, and selling badges will give them a new opportunity to earn money, according to Steve Engels, co-chair of the badge committee.

“This is another way that the nonprofit groups can raise funds for their organizations from Old Spanish Days,” he said.

Badges can be purchased now through nonprofits or anyone affiliated with Fiesta. They are also available from the Zona Seca office, 119 N. Milpas Street, (805) 963-8961; Visitor Bureau, 12 E. Carrillo Street, 966-9222; or Chamber of Commerce, 1114 State Street 965-3023. For more information call the Old Spanish Days Headquarters: (805) 962-8101.

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