La Reina, Don Diego selected for Fiesta de Santa Fe

May 6, 2019

The Santa Fe Fiesta Council chose Elise Elaina Lopez y Leyba, a 2012 St. Michael’s High School graduate, to play the role of La Reina in this year’s Fiesta de Santa Fe celebration, scheduled for the first week of September.

Lopez y Leyba was crowned late Saturday night during the council’s annual Baile de Mayo at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

The council also selected Leonard Mike Romero, a 1997 Capital High School graduate and father of three, to play the role of Don Diego de Vargas in the Fiesta celebrations. Romero has served as a sergeant-at-arms with the Caballeros de Vargas, a nonprofit Catholic organization that carries on a tradition of honoring the Spanish general and governor.

Lopez y Leyba, who is also a University of New Mexico graduate, plans to apply to either the Peace Corps or to a Catholic missionary program.

Romero performs background work with film and television production casting agencies.

Three other women, including a mother of two, vied for the high-profile role of La Reina this year. This was the first year that the Fiesta Council relaxed the requirements for La Reina candidates, no longer prohibiting women with children from competing for the title of queen.

This year marks the 307th Fiesta de Santa Fe, which celebrates the city’s history and culture through an array of events including Catholic processions and Masses, parades, music, dance, arts and food booths, and the annual burning of Zozobra.