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Left: Jeanice Lugo (center) in 1950;

Above: daughter, Laura Garcia, '86 Spirit of Fiesta, with her daughter Marissa.

hat wonderful memories are conjured up when I think of my early Fiestas! My mom always dressed us up for the occasion (although you can see by the enclosed photo, I didn't seem too thrilled in my outfit ... ). We took such pride in our beautiful hand-made cascarones ... even though most had more "hole" than shell! I remember always getting scolded for the abundance of confetti trailing down to my bedroom, and on my pillow.

My favorite spot was the placita -- icy raspadas (dripping down the front of my outfit) and my only tacos for the year. (Would you believe there was no Taco Bell back then??) Sooo many people! And all eating! What wonderful aromas!

And of course the parade -- I remember it always seemed so long and the day was so hot. But I loved every minute of it -- especially Leo Carrillo. (I remember wishing "Cisco" would show up one year ... ) And from where we lived, we could look down on the County Bowl and I loved the white horses. What a spectacular sight as they slowly descended down the steep hill, their pathway illuminated by pink lights.

I was a flower girl -- but never a dancer. Those lithe, agile flamenco dancers made me so envious I would cry. Never would I fit into one of those ruffled dresses ... what a ridiculous sight that would be! But I made a pledge that if I ever married and if I ever had daughters they would be involved, and bedecked in the finest costumes I could afford! And my childhood fantasies came true because my daughter was the Spirit of Fiesta in 1986, and her daughter will be also ... maybe ... some day. And Fiesta is still one of my favorite times of the year.

Viva La Fiesta!

Jeanice Lugo

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