Old Spanish DaysA Santa Barbara Tradition
The entire Santa Barbara community comes together to celebrate Old Spanish Days, and this year we are looking forward to a truly great celebration! Santa Barbara
residents have long been proud of their city’s heritage from our Spanish founders who first settled here and built much of the city.
Started in 1924, the first Old Spanish Days, called Fiesta, began as an annual celebratory event to attract and entertain visitors in the summer months. At the same time, the Lobero Theatre was revitalized and reopened in order to host a gala celebration for the first Fiesta. The 1924 Mayor Charles M. Andera declared fiesta week “one of festival and gaiety, during which period, which shall be known as ‘Old Spanish Days,’ the spirit of old Santa Barbara shall be lived again and again and the new Santa Barbara shall give
way to the traditions of the city’s founders.” Ninety-eight years later, we still celebrate with our founders in mind.
This year the celebration starts officially on Wednesday, August 3, with the opening of Mercado Del La Guerra and Mercado del Norte at McKensie Park. That evening the Fiesta Pequena takes place on the steps of the stunning Santa Barbara Mission.
Thursday, August 4 th , includes an event in the sunken garden at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and the Fiesta Rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds among other activities.
Throughout Friday and the rest of the weekend we can enjoy historical parades, traditional food, music, dancing, shopping, and much more. This is the first time in 3 years that Santa Barbara has enjoyed a complete Fiesta, and we are ready to celebrate! Viva la Fiesta indeed!
For more information visit www.sbfiesta.org. Whether you’re a long-time Santa Barbara resident or a first-time visitor to the area, we hope you enjoy our most treasured city-wide party: Old Spanish Days!