McLaughlins, von Coellns & Extended Family
In December, 1939, the town of Catalina revived Las Posadas, the Spanish Californian Christmas festival which in early days began on the night of December 16th and ended February 2nd, when the three Wise Men came bringing gifts. Symbolically, Las Posadas represents the search by Mary and Joseph for lodging until, after long denial, shelter was found in the stable at Bethlehem. Billed as the first annual Las Posadas in 1939, Earle R. Pollok's photo album had several photos of the event and he and Mary Pollok were key participants in the event as indicated in two newspaper articles. It may have only lasted a couple years before the military "invaded" the island and the good times ceased.
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Las Posadas Fiesta will revive early California holidaysFrom the LA Times, Dec 18, 1939
Headed by City Manager Earle Pollok and Mrs. Pollok in the roles of El Patron and la Patrona, Avalon will hold its first annual "Las Posadas" beginning Saturday and continuing through Jan. 1. The Colorful customs and costumes of the holiday season of California 100 years ago will be revived.
"The diligencia" (stagecoach and six) will meet visitors at the steamer dock, troubadours will strum age-old melodies and the glad cry of "bienvenidos amigos" will be the order of the day.
Young and old will wear the costumes of California's most colorful era, the mantilla and flat-crowned hat, bright sashes, silver buttons and tinkling spurs for the nine days of merrymaking that will precede each evening the impressive pilgrimage of the "naciemento" in El Encanto, when, bearing a lighted candle, everyone will join in a processional chanting the songs of the "Las Posadas" and file past the shrine in which is depicted the scene of the Nativity.
After the processional there will be wild boar and goat barbecues, songs and street dancing with the days given over to golf and tennis tournaments, games and stagecoach riding. Other features of the nine-day festival will be a barn dance and a costume ball.
"La Diligencia" and four in front of El Encanto and along Crescent Avenue with Patron, Patrona, Dora Riojas and Peggy Wiseman.
The picture above was carried in the Evening News, December 25th, 1939 with a short caption "Earle Pollok gallantly assisting Mrs. Pollok out of a stage coach and six while Peggy Wiseman, charming in an old Spanish shawl, looks on."
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