Friday, May 20, 2016

Festa - Santa Maria

When SPF was asked to be the Junior Queen last May, I had an inkling of what was involved, but certainly not the entire scope. 
 Other than the Festas in Pismo Beach, both as the incoming queen and outgoing queen, the decision regarding other destinations is up to us. 
 Some we decide because of its reputation.
 Some, because they are nearby, and others because they, or their town, hold a special meaning. 
This weekend, the girls will be in Tipton, which is my hubby's hometown and the Festa in which his family has been involved with since immigrating to this country. 
It is important to us.
Last Sunday, we attended Santa Maria's Festa. 
 My Mom grew up there and while she is not Portuguese, I wanted to honor her as well as my grandparents.
The fair, for LPP and one attendant, ended on Saturday, but my Hubby was still involved with the aftermath of activities and would not be able to join us.
I recruited Chris and LPP.
Chris was to be our chauffeur and banner carrier and LPP would be my right hand gal...and sign carrier if she chose to accept.
She did.
The car was loaded up Saturday night with dresses, petticoats, crowns, sashes, shoes, statues, a cape, a sign and a banner. 
It is a process.
Both girls spent the night and were up and raring to go at 4:45am. 
LPP did their hair and I fed them before departing on time just after 5:30am.
With the heat that we have had in the valley, fog and cold can be a concern at the coast.
We could see it peeking through the hills, but it did not last long and the day turned out to be gorgeous.

A quick treat in Pismo before arriving in Santa Maria right on time.

The hall was ready to serve Sopas after the parade.

A small town like Stratford draws something like 12 queens and a small city like Santa the coast...drew us and the queen from San Luis Obispo. 
As always, SPF and her friends acted with class, respect and happiness.
They always do. 

They make me very proud, but as I look back to Sunday, I am filled with pride for these two as well.
Neither one of them signed on for this gig. 
Neither one of them truly wanted to get up on a Sunday before the sun, drive three hours and walk in the streets of Santa Maria.
 But they did.
With grace.
With smiles.
With nary a complaint.
They did it because it meant a lot to me.
They did it because they love their little sister.
They did it because their grandmother means the world to them.
And while both of their great grandparents died before they were born, they did it because of what family means to them.
No matter what.

As we left the Hall, we were escorted by two motorcycle police officers to get us safely through umpteen intersections and followed by a police car so the parade wouldn't be rear ended.
Safety first.

I spent quite a bit of time at my grandparents' home when I was growing up, but had never seen this part of the city. 
I imagined this lovely place in the country all alone until progress encroached onto it's doorstep.

I also imagined this car parked in MY garage. 

Each parade we participate in is different. 
Santa Maria's was long.
 Like a hair over a mile long. 
Each direction.
Meandering through esidential areas as well as industrial. 
People came out of their homes to watch as well as from their cars as we passed.
 I had the feeling they knew not what was happening, but these girls kept a smile on their face and enjoyed each other and the experience.

 Mass took place in a church with beautiful and abundant stained glass, but also had an industrial vibe with big speakers and exposed ducting.
 One of our attendant's moms mentioned that it will be interesting for the girls to visit and experience different churches.
I agree. 
I wonder if they will prefer the old churches or the more modern ones.
 After Mass, Massa Sovada was passed out and devoured.


As is often the case, wind was a challenge on the way back to the hall. 
Between SPF's cape  and Chris' Banner, I thought they might both be flying home rather than driving.
 But, we made it back to the hall without gaining altitude,  changed dresses and enjoyed the sopas. 
In addition to comparing each church, the girls are comparing each Festa's sopas. 
These had a bit of mint in them.
  Interesting and yummy.
After a quick stop by my grandparents' old home to continue my step collection, we made it back to the valley.
Tired, but proud.
Until the next one.
Day after tomorrow.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I really admire not only the tradition being upheld here, but also your fortitude in making all of this happen!