For seventy-five years, the St. John Bosco Church has held an annual Mi Ranchito (my lovely ranch) fiesta on the church grounds. Once again, the parishioners will present to the general public a traditional fiesta ranchera, which is believed to be the most authentic remaining fiesta in the Diocese of San Bernardino.
“I was born 75 years ago,” said Henrietta Ybarra Chavez, Fiesta Chair, “and as a child remember going with my Dad to the church grounds to help men construct wooden-frame booths. They were covered with palms for shade and decorations and sported zarapes, sombreros, and both fresh and paper flowers. “We still retain that special look at our fiesta,” concluded Chavez.
The new parishioners strive to recreate booth decorations as in years past with the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the former church elders who built the church from the ground up with the nearby Santa Ana river rocks. Mexican foods will be featured including pit barbeque, freshly made tacos, taquitos with hand-made guacamole, and tamales. You’ll be sure to quench your thirst with homemade style aquas frescas (fruit waters) and the popular snowcones.
The festivities begin at 12:00 noon with professional mariachi band music by Sonidos de mi Tierra followed by a 1:00 p.m. English mass. Local dignitaries will be recognized and then back-to-back entertainment will begin that includes Spanish dancers, senior Hawaiian dance group, Filipino Choir, and the popular Folklorico Cultural. A second two-hour mariachi band will entertain the audience prior to the 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. live dance band of Larry Tarin and the Flamingos.
“Every year the church’s parishioners dedicate themselves to providing a great fiesta. This year we went an extra mile to celebrate the church’s dedication and 75 years of existence,” said Lupe Perez, life-long resident of the local area.
St. John Bosco Historic Mission is located at 28991 Merris Street, Highland. The general public is invited to attend the Saturday, August 27, 12:00 noon to 11:00 p.m. festivities. There will also be children’s games with prizes, variety of food booths, special parking lot, and a beer garden. For more information call Ms. Chavez at 909/862-5680.
By Angela L. Espinoza de Vargas