Santa Teresa Park
Founders Day Fandango 11/18/06

El Grito de la Cultura dancers


Santa Teresa Park

County Parks


On November 18, 2006, Founders Day Fandango was held at the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch in Santa Teresa County Park to commemorate the founding of San Jose. The event was organized by park interpreter Jan Shriner. Steve Crockett and other Trailwatch volunteers helped direct people into the ranch. Mexican food, like tamales and taquitos, was served for lunch. There were several booths. Paul Bernal had pictures and information on the Bernal Family, the founders and owners of Rancho Santa Teresa. He also provided traditional costumes. People were dressed up as Spanish soldiers and settlers. Mike Boulland, Sam Drake, Ed Jackson, and Dot Wilson were there from the Friends of Santa Teresa Park and manned the information tables. Bernal descendent Dorothy Wuss showed pictures and memorabilia of her family. Coyote Crest 4H leaders Holly Davis and Jenel Vincze and the 4H kids staffed their booth, where visitors could plant and take home seeds of heritage flowers and vegetables. 4H also brought out some of the chickens and one of the rabbits for visitors to look at and pet. Interpreter Margeret Styles from the National Park Service had information on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. (Jose Joaquin Bernal, original founder of Rancho Santa Teresa, was a member of the De Anza party.)  The Hispanic Genealogical & Historical Society of Santa Clara County had Hispanic heritage exhibits and books in the barn. West Valley interns Craig Scott and Rick Davis had visitors rope sawhorse cattle and practice branding, including making their own brands. Crafts tables allowed visitors to make corn husk dolls or draw pictures. Mounted Ranger Richard Bender rode his horse, which attracted a lot of attention from the kids. Mary Berger organized rancho-themed bingo games. Other rangers and interpreters were there, as well as the Junior Rangers. Parks director Lisa Killough greeted the visitors at the opening of the day's events. Paul Bernal and others talked about the history of Rancho Santa Teresa and about life in the early years of Mexican settlement. Entertainment was provided by the El Grito de la Cultura dancers and the Calicanto Singers. The young dancers were in traditional dress and performed Mexican folk dances. The singers played music and sang authentic Spanish and Mexican folk songs. They passed out lyric sheets so the audience could sing along. At the end of the day, John Dorrance led a guided tour to Santa Teresa Spring. He talked about the history of the ranch and the families that owned it. It was a busy day with lots of activities and something for everyone.

Here are pictures from the event, in the order they were taken:

(Click on the pictures below to see a 2X larger picture. Hit the "Back" button on your browser to return.)

Entry to the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch

View of the ranch from the Joice Trail

Dot Wilson, Mike Boulland, and Sam Drake setting up the Friends of Santa Teresa Park table, showing it to John Dorrance

Dot Wilson at the Friends of Santa Teresa Park table

Sam Drake, Ed Jackson greet Holly Davis

Frank Martinez IV was dressed as a Spanish soldier, accompanied by his daughter, talking with Phil Valdez

Ed, Sam, and Mike talk to Trailwatch volunteer Steve Crockett

Junior Rangers

Terri Williams greets visitors to the ranch house

Junior Rangers roping cattle

4H member showing off one of the chickens

National Parks interpreter Margeret Styles talks to interpreter Mary Berger near Paul Bernal's booth

The Coyote Crest 4H booth

Intern Rick Davis showing a real branding iron. Intern Craig Scott prepares a rope for cattle roping.

The registration booth

Planting heritage seeds at the 4H booth

Phil Valdez talks to Margaret Styles at the National Park Service's booth on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
Phil is a descendant of the Anza expedition and an expert on the trail.

Visitors could design and draw their own cattle brand

Park interpreter Jan Shriner emcees the entertainment, with the El Grito de la Cultura dancers  waiting in the back

County Parks director Lisa Killough greets the visitors

Paul Bernal talks about the history of the Bernal family

The audience watching the entertainment

Elena Robles introduces her dancers

Frank Martinez IV, with his daughter Laurel, talks about the life of a Spanish soldier

Art Boudreault, dressed as New Almaden mine manager J. B. Randol, came to talk about the history of Almaden Quicksilver.
Mike Boulland shows Paul Bernal the artifacts at the FOSTP booth.

The food booth. The food included tamales, taquitos, and bunuelos

Paul Bernal's booth, where visitors could dress as a Spanish soldier

Mounted ranger Richard Bender with his mount, Cody

Artist Phyllis Carrasco ran the crafts booth, where visitors could design their own cloth pull purses, which are pouches for money or medicine.

4H'er carrying one of the two rabbits that are living in hutches in the barn

Mike and Sam talk to ranger Gina Ellis from Hellyer Park

Visitors eating lunch under the big shade

Mary Berger leading a game of rancho bingo

Bernal descendent and FOSTP member Dorothy Wuss shows family pictures and memorabilia

Rangers roping

John Dorrance showing Paul Bernal the video presentations in the barn

Mike talks to James Olveri, who was an intern at the ranch

Sam greeting visitors at the registration table

Park interpreters Terri Williams and Chris Bullock in the ranch house, preparing for visitors

From Lance Beeson: "The Calicanto Singers performed authentic music of Old California.
The musical director, Lance Beeson, far right, is a descendant of Ana Maria Bernal and her husband Gabriel Moraga.
Gabriel's father was Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga of the Anza expedition, and the leader of the party that founded San Jose and Mission Santa Clara in 1777.
Other musicians are, from right to left, Marilyn Merlino, Angeline LeLeux, Karen Arlen, Aldon Sanders and Ron Cohen."

Visitors get to dance. Calicanto singer Marilyn Merlino instructed participants in the Coyote dance as well as the Varsouviana, popular in old California.

Historical displays in the barn

Spanish soldiers, led by Frank Martinez IV, march to the barn

Junior Ranger branding cattle with an inked stamp.

Greg Bernal-Mendoza Smestad of Los Californianos was dressed as a poblador, or settler.
Greg is the grandson of Velma Bernal and a descendant of several of the founders of San Jose.
He gave a brief talk, translated to Spanish by Veronica Guerrero-Wildanger, about the founders of San Jose.

Kids join in with the dancers

The Calicanto singers, with Ron Cohen on trumpet and Lance Beeson on Guitar, boisterously sing the Mexican-American war song, Clarin de Compana.

Aldon Sanders (seated), a well-known South Bay performer of Hawaiian and Pacific Island music, is also a member of Calicanto.
To his right are Marilyn Merlino, Karen Arlen, and Angeline LeLeux.

Making corn husk dolls

Ed, Jenel Vincze, and Holly at the 4H booth, with Holly's daughter on guitar.

John Dorrance leads visitors on a tour of the ranch.

John in the field near Santa Teresa Spring, talking about the history of Rancho Santa Teresa.
Note the newly-cut trail on the hillside above, closed until June of 2007.

Thanks to Robin Schaut, Jan Shriner, Greg Smestad, Elena Robles, and Lance Beeson for supplying background information for the captions above.

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Created 12/1/06 by Ronald Horii