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To kick off the final week of the Fiesta de las Golondrinas season, nearly 200 locals, fashionably dressed in formal Western attire, gathered at El Adobe de Capistrano on Saturday, March 16, for the Fiesta Association’s annual El Presidente Ball.
The yearly event, which leads up to the 61st Annual Swallows Day Parade on March 23, wound the clocks back to the days of the Old West as guests enjoyed an evening of eating, drinking and dancing under the stars.
“I love the way people are dancing, and everybody’s in such a good mood, and I love the costumes; they are amazing,” said Silvia Mazzeo Pule, the grand marshal for this year’s parade.
The Fiesta Association handed out awards to the best-dressed man and woman. This year’s honors went to Terry Deiser, the owner of San Juan Fine Art Gallery, and Vince Acosta, who donned an late 19th century-style military uniform.
The band Electric Tumbleweeds provided classic Country and Western swing music. Those in attendance also bid on items donated from many local businesses in a silent auction to help the Fiesta Association raise funds for the parade and the other annual events it puts on.
Deborah Spellum, the Fiesta board member in charge of organizing the ball, described the evening as a success, crediting the work of the Fiesta Association volunteers for making her job easier.
As the 2019 Senor San Juan, Tony Leone noted that, this year’s Presidente Ball was a bit more meaningful to him than previous ones he had attended.
“It’s amazing to know there’s (this) many nice people in one place at one time,” he said, adding that this year’s ball was “the best I’ve been to … this one was really lively and fun.”
Nancy Ingham enjoys a drink and a conversation during El Presidente Ball on Saturday, March 16, at El Adobe de Capistrano. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Daniela Martinez, the 2019 Jr. Miss Fiesta, and her grandparents Oscar Martinez and Andrea Vazquez. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Brandon Rodriguez, Jr. Senor San Juan, and Daniela Martinez, Jr. Miss Fiesta, show off their special belt buckles they and their fellow 2019 dignitaries received during El Presidente Ball. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
(From left to right) Helen Gardner, Fiesta Association board member, Terry Deiser, and Jim Eakin, former Fiesta Association president, pose for a photo. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Fiesta Association President Jim Taylor stands beside Terry Deiser and Vince Acosta, El Presidente Ball’s Best Dressed Woman and Man, respectively, for a photo. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
(From left to right) Cynthia Halverson and Deborah Frydman pose for a photo. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Fiesta Association President Jim Taylor gives a presentation during El Presidente Ball on Saturday, March 16, to recognize the volunteers, members and the 2019 dignitaries. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
(From left to right) Debbie DiBernardo, Jim Eakin, former Fiesta Association president, and Donny Whitbeck, a Fiesta board member, huddle for a photo before the official opening of El Presidente Ball. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
After being presented with a special belt buckle to recognize her contributions to the Fiesta Association, ZOOMARS owner Carolyn Franks and Fiesta President Jim Taylor pose for a photo during El Presidente Ball. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Fiesta Association President Jim Taylor and Vince Acosta, who had just been named Best Dressed Man at El Presidente Ball, pose for a photo. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
The Fiesta Association’s 2019 Senor San Juan Tony Leone poses with a special belt buckle he and his fellow dignitaries received during El Presidente Ball. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Brandon Rodriguez, the 2019 Jr. Senor San Juan, and his parents Alejandro Rodriguez and Maricela Nava. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Fiesta Association board members join President Jim Taylor during a presentation at El Presidente Ball. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Before taking a sip of her wine, Renee Stitt shares a laugh with fellow guests of El Presidente Ball. Photo: Shawn Raymundo
Guests enjoy their dinner during El Presidente Ball at Adobe de Capistrano on Saturday, March 16. Photo: Shawn Raymundo