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Alumni Spotlight: Hattie Feazelle 

Hattie Feazelle, the “Queen of Fiesta’s” entire life revolved around horses. Born in Santa Barbara at Cottage Hospital on March 27, 1911 she was nine years old when she rode in La Primavera Parade. When she was eleven she got her own horse, Chevita and rode in the first Spanish Days Fiesta parade in 1924. She graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1930 and attended Santa Barbara Teachers College. Feazelle married her husband, Jack Feazelle, they were together for 52 years before he died in 1987. They built a house at the top of La Cumberland Road with plenty of pastureland for horses. The Feazelles had two children, John and Teresita who also rode horses in the group, “The Sage Hens”. 

 Feazelle’s claim to fame was her annual presence in the Fiesta parade. Feazelle even won the title “Queen of Fiesta.” In 1983 Old Spanish Days Fiesta honored her as Grand Marshal of El Desfile Historico. In 1999, for Fiesta’s seventy-fifth anniversary, she was honored again as Grand Marshal. Feazelle was known for her lively spirit and quick wit, on her 100th birthday she said, “If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” At the age of 100 she served as Grand Marshal again for Fiesta 2011. That year marked the 87th parade she has been in. The last three years, she rode in a carriage rather than on a horse, but continued her tradition of happily engaging the crowd, cheering “Viva La Fiesta” as she had done for the previous 87 years. 

Feazelle passed away on September 11, 2011. She died surrounded by a loving family. Dennis Richard, Chairman of the Fiesta Parade said, “She was an iconic figure. If people did not know her by name they would still want to know if the ‘lady in the blue dress’ in the parade. In fact, she was the only parade participant that people specifically looked for and would regularly ask about. Our fiesta parade won’t be the same without her.”

Photos courtesy of the SBHS Alumni Association


  • Lorraine Hernandez

    Lorraine Hernandez is a freshman at Santa Barbara High School and a writer for The Forge. She hopes to write creative and inspiring articles. Outside of The Forge, Lorraine likes to draw.

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