Fiesta Days Youth Golf Tournament Open to Boys and Girls 5-18 years of age
and Michelle made a monetary donation to this event while volunteering
their time. Rick was in charge of the Putting Contest and Michelle
assisted with check-in.
Vacaville Fiesta Days
Vacaville residents seem to get in
the mood for pageants and festivals once spring rolls around. For the past 101
years, they have turned out for many different spring and summer celebrations.
Vacaville Pageant Day on April 30, 1916 was a grand production, “a poetic idea
successfully carried out by the united efforts of the community,” noted The
Reporter in its edition of May 5, 1916.
Main Street was draped with flags
and 1,500 lined the street to watch the parade of 300 pageant participants pass
from High School Hill down to Main. The pageant depicted the history of
California and Vacaville.
Chief Solano led the parade followed
by American Indians native to the Vacaville area. Next followed the Spanish
with descendants of the city’s founding families, the Vaca’s and the Pena’s. A
chorus sang “La Paloma.” Next came the Fansciscan fathers, the gold rush
miners, cowboys, farmers, the Japanese and Chinese, Gypsies and singing
schoolchildren. Bringing up the rear were decorated automobiles – still a new
sight in 1916.
Wells Fargo Co. lent an old ’49er
stagecoach, just as it does now in the Fiesta Days Parade.
But when spring rolled around the
next year, there was no Vacaville Pageant Day II. Not a word about it in the
local paper. Although the newspaper would print about Dixon and their May Fair
and the Solano County Fair. Vacaville wanted it’s own fair.
So what did we do?
We created Fiesta Days in July 1957.
We called it Western Fiesta, the week was more akin to a cowboy roundup and
rodeo. There was plenty of square dancing and the rodeo ran for two days.
Everybody seemed to be involved. Most of our events were started that year:
Parade, Queen Contest and the Jail and Beard-growing Contest. The parade was on
Saturday. It’s route began at West and Merchant streets, heading up to Main
street and turning west to Buck Avenue. The parade was run by the Fire
A big barbecue was held in Andrew’s
Park. It was on Sunday that the first Whiskerino Contest was held. It seems
that all the men in town were challenged to grow a beard. A jail was set up to
incarcerate any man who hadn’t grown a beard. Even the town’s distinguished
Judge S.M. Dobbins was made a “jailbird.”
The City Council members dressed up
in long black coats with top hats and Lincoln-style beards for their meeting
during Fiesta week. All five men took part in the parade in costume and riding
donkeys. Western Fiesta became Fiesta Days and the community’s Spanish and
Mexican heritage has been given more attention over the years. Events changed
and committee members disagreed, battled, quit and rejoined, but somehow,
Fiesta Days has endured for 50 years.