Open image in lightbox
ROYAL REUNION: Back row (l to r): Nicole Padilla, Annette Domicoli Mattera, Lucretia Buda Barbieri, Sandi Frka Badalamenti, Jennifer Bristol Green, Elena Daser Villareal; Front row (l to r): Ali Di Bernardo, Monica Baca, Nina Trutanich Hixon, Abigail Warner, Connie Calise Crvarich, Gina Aguilar, and Caitlyn Piercy. (photo: John Mattera Photography)

On a brisk Sunday morning in mid-June, the steps in front of the 7th Street entrance to Mary Star of the Sea Church were filled with royalty when more than a dozen past Mary Star fiesta queens gathered in honor of the annual event’s 75th anniversary.

It was a rare gathering of the queens, usually reserved for major anniversaries like the one this month, as the Mary Star of the Sea Parish Fiesta celebrates its Diamond Jubilee July 21-23, making it one of the longest-running annual events in San Pedro.

What San Pedrans know today as a weekend filled with carnival rides, great food, and family fun, began as a small barbeque fundraiser on July 20, 1947, when Mary Star’s Monsignor George M. Scott organized a fundraiser to build their new church, currently located on Eighth Street. 

Originally titled Barbeque and Fiesta, the inaugural one-night-only event was held at Royal Palms Grove and was strictly a barbecue with live music and dancing. There were no carnival rides or games, no raffle, and no Fiesta Queen. (That would begin the following year.) Still, the fundraiser was a huge success and has grown significantly through the years to become the annual three-day carnival it is today.

Since its beginning, the fiesta has been Mary Star Parish’s largest fundraising event. Proceeds raised help support the parish ministries and overall maintenance. In the past, the parish has also shared funds with Mary Star Elementary and Mary Star High School. 

This year, the parish hopes to meet their fundraising goals as they pull out all the stops for the Diamond Jubilee, including offering $20,000 in cash prizes through their famous raffle. 

Adding to the festivities, three candidates are vying to be crowned the Diamond Jubilee’s Fiesta Queen. Andrea Gonzalez, Emily Ramirez, and Ella Stone have been busy raising money through raffle tickets and bake sales for weeks. One of them will be awarded the crown on Sunday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. spt

The 75th Annual Mary Star of the Sea Parish Fiesta begins Friday, July 21, 5p to midnight and is open Saturday, July 22, noon to midnight, and Sunday, July 23, noon to 10p. Admission is free. For more information on the event, including bingo, auditorium dinners, family day, raffle prizes, and more, visit marystar.org/fiesta.

This story includes additional reporting by Caitlyn Piercy.


1948    Geraldine G. Viovich

1949    Anna Mae Galante

1950    Thelma Dobbs

1951    Yvonne Jeldum Cardick

1952    Joanne Zorich Califano

1953    Rachel Lucich Kordich

1954    Barbara Gomes

1955    Doris Munson Rich

1956    Patricia Wiley-Lowe

1957    Rose Marie Rivera Regan

1958    Nina Trutanich Hixon

1959    Connie Calise Crvarich

1960    Marie Mascola Doss

1961    Catherine Pilato Rodriguez

1962    Mary Margaret Chenoweth Lorenzi

1963    Marie Calise Adamson

1964    Alana Binns Mikulaco

1965    Lucretia Buda Barbieri

1966    Jeanette Gargas Barlett

1967    Annette Patalano Vistica

1968    Patsy Trish Lynch Williams

1969    Bernadette Guerra Padovan

1970    Pamela Reid Stecker

1971    Pauline Aguilar Aldrete

1972    Verla Loomis Randall

1973    Mary Accetta

1974    Maria Marquez

1975    Betty Ungaro Di Bernardo

1976    Annette Domicoli Mattera

1977    Robbie Mezin Haynes

1978    Jamie Jezin Cardamone

1979    Paula Rich Schopp

1980    Cathy Robles

1981    Lynn Biazevich Solaro

1982    Sandi Frka Badalamenti

1983    Cindy Karmelich Ogusuku

1984    Debbie Russo Baker

1985    Kristi Barbieri

1986    Janet Pesusich

1987    Patricia Palaziol Fire

1988    Stephanie Cigliano Robles

1989    Terri Ikic Rasic

1990    Glori Spralja Sestich

1991    Danielle Perkov

1992    Peggy Siverson Rados

1993    Nicole Padilla

1994    Gina Aguilar Garcia

1995    Monica Baca

1996    Sabrina Buscaino

1997    Amanda Moore Baird

1998    Erica Daser Mendoza

1999    Elena Daser Villareal

2000    Tara Ann Molle

2001    Malisa Marquez

2002    Christina DiMaggio

2003    Caitlyn Trudnich Piercy

2004    Ali DiBernardo

2005    Phoebe San Gabriel

2006    Jennifer Bristol Green

2007    Lauren Costa Valenza

2008    Nicole  Hernandez

2009    Melina Mossberg

2010    Nikol Grbic

2011    Emily Harrison

2012    Itzel De La Torre

2013    Alexis Bruschi

2014    Kaylee Rucker

2015    Allison Castagnola

2016    Rose Amalfitano

2017    Gina Duhovic

2018    Sofia Amalfitano

2019    Rosana Poliseri

2020    No Fiesta (Pandemic Closure)

2021    Anna Duhovic

2022    Abigail Warner

(List provided by Mary Star of the Sea Parish.)



Joshua Stecker

Joshua Stecker is the publisher and editor-in-chief of San Pedro Today.