Santa Barbara Fiesta is still on - Here are the 5 things we love about SB Fiesta!💃
Updated: Aug 27
Did you know that the Santa Barbara Fiesta is a historical event that dates back to 1924? Santa Barbara Fiesta is considered to be the largest festival in Santa Barbara because it typically draws between 75-100K guests, annually! Everyone has a favorite activity during Fiesta, be sure to drop a comment below on what yours is! (bonus points if you add a photo!)
What’s not to love about Fiesta? First of all, we miss the Parade (Just sayin).
But in addition to that, there’s flamenco dancing all around town, Mariachi music on state st that serenades you while you dine, and let’s not forget the cascarones that we love to smash on each other’s heads! (Kidding! Well, sort of….)
Even though the parade which typically kicks off the festival has been cancelled again (thank you COVID), there’s an entire museum exhibit dedicated to reliving the parade and all of it’s history at the SBHM.
Everyone has their own style and events that they attend to celebrate Fiesta. In fact many local groups use Fiesta as an excuse to host a party or get-together - check us out at our SBAOR Fiesta Party!
And, check out local guitarist Chris Fossek playing Flamenco music while Marisol performs traditional Flamenco, Ole!
Sadly, el Mercado de la Guerra has also been canceled this year (booo), among other events.... BUT there are still a number of ways to enjoy the Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara Fiesta this year! Here are 5 of our favorites - let us & our audience know which ones you enjoy by commenting below! [BONUS: the events below that are our favorites happen to also be FREE to the public!]
5. La Fiesta Pequena - #5 favorite event at Santa Barbara Fiesta
LIVE from “The Queen of The Missions”, e.g. Old Mission Santa Barbar, it is a colorful and musical display of Spanish heritage, dance and more. You can catch the replays on KEYT daily from 12-1:45pm
4. Noches de Ronda - #4 must-attend event at Santa Barbara Fiesta
Las Noches de Ronda, “Nights of Gaiety,” is held in the famous Sunken Gardens of the beautiful Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The evening performances feature spectacular dances and songs from the fire of flamenco to the charm of Mexican folklórico dances. (source: sbfiesta.org)
3. Fiesta stock horse show - #3 event at Santa Barbara Fiesta celebrates tradition
This is the celebration of the “Vaqueros” - the Cowboys - where people from San Diego to Salinas will come and show their skills at roping, cutting, racing and bronco riding in honor of the old cowboy traditions. Visit sbfiestarodeo.org for details on the traditions, schedule of events, and how to participate!
2. Flor y Canto - #2 must see event at Santa Barbara Fiesta
Flor y Canto is a rare opportunity to see the original Spanish California dances & songs of the 19th century. Interwoven with historic narration, the musical numbers are accompanied on replica acoustic instruments. These unique songs & dances are performed by local residents in authentic costumes much as they would have been 150 years ago. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the show! This event is free!
Held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. (source: sbfiesta.org)
1. Tardes de Ronda - #1 favorite & must attend event at Santa Barbara Fiesta
Held in the historical Sunken Gardens on Saturday afternoon, the always highly attended “Afternoon of Gaiety” features the talents of performers under the age of sixteen. The Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens are located at 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. (source: sbfiesta.org)
A summary/calendar of the Santa Barbara Fiesta events can be viewed below, be sure to visit sbfiesta.org for more details and information about each event (The Telecast info also available). SBfiestarodeo.org will be your best resource for the Stock Horse show.
Wed Aug 4: Fiesta Pequena @ 6:30pm
Thu Aug 5 La Misa del Presidente - 10am Los Dignitarios at the Zoo - 5 - 10pm (tickets: $250) Noches de Ronda, 8-10
Fri Aug 6 Fiesta Stock Horse Show @ EWS, 9a - 5pm Horsemen’s Rendezcous - 3pm @ Carriage and Western Art Museum Flor y Canto 7-8 Sat Aug 7 Fiesta Stock Horse Show - 9a - 5pm Fiesta Arts and Crafts show 10-6 @ west beach Tardes de Ronda 1-5 @ sunken Gardens Sun Aug 8
Fiesta Stock Horse Show 9a - 5pm @ EWS
→ Check the schedule for reining classes and cowboy ranch riding Arts & crafts show @ west beach 10z-5pm
So in a nutshell, in a non-covid year, there will be more to see and do at Santa Barbara Fiesta, but until then we will need to rely on the memories people post digitally so we can celebrate safely. Help us continue the spirit of fiesta by sharing below what some of your favorite events are at Santa Barbara Fiesta.
What are some of your favorite memories? Write a comment and tell us below, we want to celebrate with you!
Tell us what makes Fiesta special to you in the comments below.
Viva la Fiesta, Ole!
Sources: Old Spanish Days Fiesta www.sbfiesta.org
SB Fiesta Rodeo sbfiestarodeo.org
The Santa Barbara Independent's Guide to Fiesta: https://www.independent.com/2021/08/04/celebrating-old-spanish-days-2021/