1999: Mother, Daughter Love a Good Party

Bankheads bond over new roles with La Fiesta

By Bradford Pearson | Staff Writer

In 1999, Kristen Bankhead attended the La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas gala, seated all the way up at the front. She was the 7-year-old girl surrounded by coloring books as her mother, Margie, spent the day scurrying about as chairwoman. Kristen’s escort was a pack of crayons.

Now, 12 years later, she finally gets a shot at taking a dip.

“From the beginning of when we were selected, through all of the events we’ve gone to, this has been a bonding experience for both of us,” Kristen, 19, said. “We were already really close, but we’ve just gotten to spend a lot of time together.”

Kristen Bankhead
Kristen Bankhead (above), a sophomore at SMU, will finally make her adult debut at La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas. Her mother, Margie (below), was the event’s chairwoman in 1999, as seen in a clipping from that year’s Park Cities People.
Margie Bankhead

By the time Margie was named chairwoman in 1999, she’d already worked with La Fiesta for 10 years, climbing through the allocations, underwriting, and social chairs along the way. Since 1989, the only years she hasn’t served the event in an official capacity are 2004 ­— when daughter Kendall was a duchess — and this year. The positions were a time commitment, she said.

“It’s pretty full-time, but it’s all very much worth it,” Margie said. “It’s amazing to see how strong it is and how big the organization is now compared to when it was just getting started and people really had to say, ‘Now, what is that again? I don’t really know what that is.’ ”

As a child, Kristen would tag along with mom to the office, listening in while Margie shoehorned table arrangements or tweaked guest lists. She said watching her mother’s involvement over the years not only heightened her interest in La Fiesta, but also gave her a wealth of knowledge that many of the other duchesses weren’t privy to.

“Well, I’ve known what was coming for all of the events,” Kristen said. “It’s definitely been good to see both sides; it’s made it a lot easier.”

And while La Fiesta has not been around long enough to feature any second-generation duchesses, the Bankheads are not the first family to contain both a former chairwoman and a duchess. Connie O’Neil led the event a few years back, and her daughter Isabel is a duchess this year; Margie had already served as chairwoman when her daughter Kendall attended as a duchess in 2004.

After all the hoopla and decadence die down, Kristin said she’ll be happy just have to attended.

“I think I’ll remember putting on the dress and getting to see everyone else’s dresses on,” the SMU sophomore said. “I can’t wait.”

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Valedictorian: Clark Webb
Salutatorian: Frank Yeh
Blanket Award winners: Hadleigh Henderson and Ben Brosseau
Homecoming Queen: Allie Koons

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