Cultural Evening Planned for Joaquin Moraga Adobe Fundraiser

(Theresa Long, Photographer)
Miramonte High School students (L-R) Gil Peled, Athena Davis, and Robert Fuhriman demonstrated historic dances at last year’s Fandango.

    Fandangos were an important part of life for families in the Rancho period of California history and the Moraga family was no exception. The Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe are carrying on the tradition by hosting a fundraising evening with an historic theme.
    The Friends hold the 6th annual Fandango Aug. 24. Proceeds go toward the purchase and restoration of the 1841 Moraga Adobe in Orinda.  
    The adobe is the oldest original structure in Contra Costa County and the original Mexican land grant home of the Moraga family. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Friends have until September 2021 to raise $500,000 to purchase the site. The Adobe will be restored to its 1848 configuration and be opened to the public as a museum and learning center.
    The Fandango will include dinner catered by Orinda chef Charles Vollmar, Hispanic music by Los Arribeños de San Francisco, dancing, a silent auction, a wine talk by Captain Vineyards of Moraga, and a hand-made textiles exhibition.
    Orinda music teacher Christina Holling is getting a group of local elementary and middle school students together to demonstrate historic Hispanic dances such as el borrego and jarabe tapatío (the Mexican hat dance).
    Greg Smestad, Bernal descendant and trail guide author for the National Park Service’s Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Guide, is scheduled to speak and present a display. 
    The event takes place 6-9 p.m. at the Art & Garden Center at Wilder in Orinda. Tickets are $100. To purchase tickets and for more information, go to

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