2013 Canyon Fiesta

Fiesta is happening Sunday, May 21st, 2017, 11am - 4pm 

A Close-Knit Community Celebrates Its History on Sunday, May 21, 2017

The kids are buzzing with excitement! Everyone's talking about the new activities, games and attractions! Committees are meeting all over the school, and posters and flyers are everywhere! Canyon School families, alumni, neighbors and even local businesses are ready for the fun! The annual Canyon School Fiesta will be held on May 21, 2017 and is as important and relevant to the Santa Monica Canyon community as it was when it began 123 years ago! 

But did you know the history behind this highly anticipated event? Fiesta is part of a rich tradition of celebrating our very special community. Way back in the early days of settlement in the canyon, the land was part of the enormous Mexican land grant known as Rancho Boca de Santa Monica. The school occupied several pastoral acres of land donated to the school by the heirs to the Rancho, the Marquez Family. Fiesta, a charming celebration within the Rancho community, was such an integral part of life here in the Canyon that it is said that a requirement to continue Fiesta was actually stipulated in the land grant! This very forward-thinking requirement has insured that this close-knit community, of which Canyon School has always been the hub, would continue to value and celebrate its uniqueness and foster that special sense of community that we at Canyon School all share and value so much. Fiesta is an important part of why we all feel like a village within the city! Fiesta has gone through several incarnations, from picnics to art shows to carnivals. As times have changed, school district requirements have evolved and as tastes have swayed, Fiesta has become the celebration of family and pure fun that it is today.  

Dancers in the Historical Pageant at the 1935 Fiesta, including young Ernest and Theresa Marquez.

What's New at Fiesta

This year marks the 123rd annual Fiesta and we are happy to say that not only are all the old favorites back, such as the amazing Silent Auction, and carnival games of skill, (updated this year), but several new and exciting games and activities have been added.  The kids are sure to be thrilled with this year's event, so make sure you don't make any other plans for the day!  Whether you are satisfying your need for speed on a huge slide, fighting your way though a huge obstacle course, showing of your skills at 10 fabulous Midway Games, turning in tickets for big prizes, or enjoying amazing food,  all are guaranteed a great time.  Don't forget the other activities, such as hair decorating, tattoos, and tie! And don’t miss a chance to get a pie in the face or soak your opponent in a race to fill a water balloon! And, new this year… a chance to star in your own music video, thanks to the green screen fun at Dance Heads!  Many more items are being added as they are confirmed so keep your eyes peeled for more exciting news as Fiesta draws closer.

The Hubbub About the Grub

But wait! Fiesta is not Fiesta without FOOD!  Whether your tastes run from gourmet carnival fare to ice cream and churros, we have something for you!  Fiesta favorites like fire-roasted corn on the cob and carnitas are destinations on everyone's list. Carnival favorites like hot dogs and pizza will be there in full force.  Looking for something on the healthier side? Fiesta Fruit, where prepared fruits of the season await you, along with the additions of your choice, like lime juice and chili powder, will hit the spot.   Show your mad cooking skills and enter the Chili Cook-Off… or just grab a bowl of chili after the prizes have been awarded! And don’t forget the Cake Decorating Contest, followed by the chance to take home a sweet masterpiece at the Cake Walk!

The Bake Sale booth at the 1967 Fiesta – A familiar sight to us all, it was located in the lunch area.

How Do We Make it All Happen?

Of course, an undertaking of this size is a tremendous effort, and one that must also raise revenue for the school.  A great many Canyon families work very hard for months to make this event a success, for the community and also for the school's financial welfare.  Fiesta is one of the school's biggest fundraisers, with its success showing in the classroom on a daily basis in so many very tangible ways. Opportunities to help make this year's Fiesta a wonderful success range from planning or volunteering during the event, participating full force in all the fun, sponsoring a game or activity, or offering corporate sponsorship.

In order to offset the expense of this great event, we look to you for your support as sponsors of the many activities, games, and booths. When you become a sponsor, your family's name will be prominently displayed on a sign in front of that activity on the day of the Fiesta. If you sponsor a commodity such as game prizes or decorations we will acknowledge your contribution with a colorful sign posted around the lunch area. There will also be a large poster at the entrance thanking all our corporate sponsors. For an up-to-date list of what is available for sponsorship, please see the list posted in the breezeway, or go to and purchase your sponsorship opportunity directly.  You can also find the Sponsorship Form and drop it in the Fiesta Box in the school's front office. You are always welcome to sponsor an entire item, or you can sign up for a share and we will find other families to team up with you. No amount is too small! Let us know how much you’d like to contribute and we will find the perfect sponsorship opportunity for your family.

Traditional Mexican folk dancers wow the crowd at Fiesta 2011, reminding us of the early days of the celebration.

As in previous years, we are also reaching out to our families in an effort to expand our corporate sponsor base. If your company is interested in supporting the school with a monetary contribution we have many ways of providing you with ample exposure to our community. For more information, see the Corporate Sponsorship Package on the Canyon website

To sign-up for volunteer shifts during the event itself, keep a lookout for announcements regarding the Fiesta Volunteer Sign-up Genius.  Information for the Chili Cook-Off and Cake Walk participation, as well as kid favorite d "Bring-A-Thing"  will be announced shortly in the Chronicle.  And don’t miss the chance to sign up for a beautiful professional family portrait at the Five Minute Portrait Studio!

We Can Do Anything When We Work Together

Everyone's participation is the key to Fiesta's success, so please consider making a cake for the Cake Decorating Contest and Cake Walk, cooking up a mean batch of chili for the Chili Cook-Off, volunteering for a shift at a booth or game, and encouraging your kids to make a Bring-A-Thing box, (instructions and boxes coming home soon). The more you participate, the more fun you have!

There are so many ways to participate in the fun and success of Fiesta, let's go ALL IN and make this the most fun and memorable ever for our kids, and the most successful yet for our school's financial standing.  We are a very special community here at Canyon, with a very old soul, (123 YEARS!). Fiesta is our opportunity to celebrate that uniqueness together, strengthen our bond as a community and show how committed we are to a quality education for our children.

Thank you for your support! We'll see you at FIESTA 2017!

For more information about anything related to Fiesta, please contact Beth Price.