This Memorial Day weekend an Italian tradition, I Madonnari, has been celebrated with a festival in front of the beautiful “queen of the missions” in Santa Barbara.
Read about this tradition, how it was revived and, if you can’t be here this year, enjoy some photos of this fun and festive event…
For four days, the Mission plaza is transformed and a centuries old tradition is perpetuated…
Squares of various sizes are sponsored by local businesses and individuals and, over the course of the long weekend, 150 talented artists of all ages dedicate themselves to transforming their art into large scale images using pastels on pavement.
Over the course of the days, we can enjoy watching them bring their designs to life, literally before our very eyes.
Read about how I Madonnari, the tradition of Italian street painting, was almost lost and how, 30 years ago, the first revival in the Western Hemisphere came about.
Of course, if it’s an Italian festival, there must be food, right? Of course! And this year, I volunteered to help out at the Santa Barbara chapter of UNICO booth. Started in 1922, UNICO is the largest Italian service organization in the U.S.
UNICO in Italian means “one” or “only” but it also stands for Unity Neighborliness Integrity Charity and Opportunity.
We had so much fun serving up delicious Italian sausage sandwiches and enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. And, all for a good cause, the Children’s Creative Project (a non-profit arts education program that serves 50,000 children in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties).
For more photos about this event and what I’m up to, please visit my Facebook page!