On April 25 2022 the Old Spanish Days committee met on City Hall’s steps where mayor Randy Rowse announced the plans for this coming Fiesta. Fiesta is a well known summer event in Santa Barbara from confetti eggs, to great food, and many dances. Locals and visitors are welcomed to learn about the history, customs, and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and early American settlers. Fiesta began in August of 1924 at the Lobero Theater, soon after a group began to form and started to plan events such as a parade, a rodeo, musical performances, and of course dancing. Mayor Charles M. Andera announced Fiesta week. Every year after that events were created to celebrate culture and bring friends and family together. Two circumstances motivated the first Fiesta, one reason was that the business owners in Santa Barbara believed that there should be an annual summer event to attract visitors. The second reason was that they needed something for the opening of the Lobero Theater and they came up with the idea of Fiesta.
Santa Barbara has not had a normal Fiesta in two years due to COVID. This year all the beloved events are coming back. This will be the 98th Fiesta, and Old Spanish Days is determined to make it a great one.
This is the first Fiesta in two years where there will be a parade, Noches De Ronda, and La Fiesta Pequeña. These events are some of the most popular during Fiesta and many are thrilled that they are back. Mercado De la Guerra and Mercado del Norte will also be returning.
The famous historic parade will be returning with a new route on Friday, August 5. Instead of the traditional route from Castillo Street to the Hilton Hotel, the parade will be the length of Cabrillo Boulevard. The new set up of State Street is the reason that the route has changed.
Before the official Fiesta there will be multiple pre-Fiesta events that you need tickets to consisting of La Primivera on May 21, Fiesta Ranchera on June 16, and the El Presidente party on July 31. August 3-7 will be the official star of Fiesta where you can catch free dancing, eat at the different mercados, and celebrate the culture. The Junior Spirit of Fiesta, Layla Gocong and the Spirit of Fiesta, Tara Mata will be dancing around town all week. ¡Viva La Fiesta!
[Image Credit Fritz Olenberger / Old Spanish Days]