Just as Fiesta preparations began to intensify, the ten-day weather forecast was grim – rain, possibly thunderstorms, all three days. In one of the wettest springs in memory, we believed it could happen.
But the OLA Fiesta has always been about faith in God’s providence. It began in 1947 as a means of raising funds for a new church, the very same edifice we are renovating this year. Fiesta 2019 had to make room for the construction site. Although its footprint was reduced, Fiesta exceeded expectations in attendance and income. The weather miraculously cleared, and the crowds came and were not disappointed.
Its success, however, was no surprise. A large and dedicated Fiesta Committee mobilized last year with representatives from the English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Filipino communities. The experienced Fiesta veterans – led by Alicia and Enrique Cerrillos for a second year – were balanced by enthusiastic newcomers. Promotion of the raffle and pre-sales had to accommodate both the temporary patio area and a very late Easter. Staff attention was divided between church construction planning and Fiesta planning.
An improvement was made with online sign-up, and an army of volunteers was mobilized. The carnival rides arrived from a new company based in Oregon, and Fiesta rose from the ground up in a few days – the annual miracle that transforms our campus into an entertainment venue of near-professional caliber.
The community behind-the-scenes made way for the community that celebrates Mothers Day Weekend with old-fashioned fun – a safe, friendly welcome with a multi-cultural vibe. Working Fiesta and enjoying Fiesta were exhausting in a wholesome way. Smiles were found on the faces of the young and the old, mothers of all ages, visitors and parishioners. We all belonged to the OLA family, and the weather was perfect.
Reprinted from bulletin of May 19, 2019