Museum celebrates valley heritage at historic Crossroads Estate

Photo by Patty Wildling Photography Last year's annual Fiesta in the Vines fundraiser included rope tricks by Ramon Becerra and music by Mariachi de los Major.

Fiesta in the Vines supports local history

By Jessica Schley

New Executive Director Brian Stenfors kicked off a fresh chapter for the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum with a groundbreaking event July 28 at the historic Crossroads Estate owned by the Bill Foley Group on Foxen Canyon Road.

More than 200 guests enjoyed an evening of wine tasting, Mexican food, mariachi music by Mariachi de los Major, Flamenco dancing by Zemeno Dance Academy, trick roping by the famed Ramon Becerra, and a lively live auction featuring more than a dozen items from rare wines to getaway experiences.

The evening was wrapped up with an intimate musical performance by the renowned cowboy singer and songwriter Dave Stamey.

A classic buckboard carriage from the museum was displayed at the event. Originally owned by Mattei’s Tavern in 1895, the carriage was used for sight-seeing, to show the hotel’s guests around town. The museum plans to develop a unique display area for this carriage inside its Parks-Janeway Carriage House alongside its many other wagon and carriage displays.

The funds generated by the event will help to revitalize many important aspects of the museum’s mission statement:  “creating a better future for the Santa Ynez Valley by inspiring generations to find wonder and meaning in our past.”

Founded in 1962, the museum preserves the history and artifacts that help to define and distinguish the valley’s unique story and culture. The museum’s new direction with Stenfors at the helm is threefold: to “develop state of the art exhibitions that educate and inform valley residents and visitors, to provide a community center for activities and educational events representing Valley heritage as well as other cultures, and to become a safe and secure repository for the preservation of valley artifacts.”

For more information about the museum and its upcoming events, visit www.santaynezmuseum.org.