From 1955 – 1970, there were 10 Miss Santa Barbara contests held at the Lobero.
Being crowned Miss Santa Barbara meant the winner could compete in the Miss California and Miss America contests.
While the contest ran for several years at the Lobero Theatre, sadly, records don’t show any of the Miss Santa Barbara county titleholders making it on to Miss America until 2006 with Moorpark’s Jacquelynne Noelle Fontaine. Ms. Fontaine went on to recognition as a prominent American opera singer.
Rules stated that entrants must be a high school graduate age 18-28, a resident of Santa Barbara County for at least six months, and, possess “poise, personality, intelligence, charm and beauty of face and figure.”
Some suggestions for the talent presentation may include giving a talk on the career she wishes to pursue, including teaching, nursing, law, medicine, business.
The Miss Santa Barbara contest was apparently somewhat controversial from the beginning, with newspaper articles mentioning that UCSB sorority events parodied the contest as early as 1958.
While we wait in the wings for things to return to normal, we hope you enjoy a peek into the Lobero archives.
We hope you’re staying safe and enjoying the arts from the comfort of your own home. Go ahead and read more stories below.