In 1993, I had the honor of representing the city of Santa Fe and the oldest community event, the Santa Fe Fiesta, as her Queen. Since 1927, one lady is selected for her knowledge of the historical event, present herself well, and speak in both English and Spanish.
A few weeks ago, I was approached by our local newspaper to discuss the role and how it changed me personally. After the interview, I realized that I had no way of getting in contact with my fellow former queens. The last time we came together was in 2000, when we were given beautiful medallions commemorating our reign. It was time for us to gather again.
For the next few weeks I put out the word by chatting with leads, scouring Facebook, searches of names online and through obituaries to find as many former Fiesta Queens as I could. During that time, I was also contacting prospective restaurants to host the gathering. There have been eighty two women over the years whom have held the title. In the end, I had sixty five accounted for, and thirty two ended up attending the luncheon.
The Merienda de las Reinas was held at the La Fonda on the Plaza, which has been a mainstay for those involved in the Fiesta. In 1981 I was a train bearer for Donita Sena, the queen that year. We went to the La Fonda for lunch and the Fiesta Council had some rooms set aside for the royalty to rest in. It was quite fitting that it be the backdrop for our luncheon. They were also quite accommodating in allowing us to use the Santa Fe Room for our photos.
It was so wonderful to have the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful women. Their growth and service to the community did not end when they turned over the crown. They are educators, volunteers, entrepreneurs, civil servants, parents, grandparents, elected officials and spokeswomen. ¡Que viva las Reinas!