Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Posted on Jul 20 by SEASONS Magazine

Old Spanish Days offers a bevy of beautiful dance performances. Photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

Old Spanish Days offers a bevy of beautiful dance performances. Photo by Fritz Olenberger, courtesy Old Spanish Days.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta is devoted to honoring and maintaining Santa Barbara’s history, culture, and heritage. The annual six-day festival known as Fiesta takes place from August 1-5 this summer. The annual event delivers an education to both locals and visitors about early American settlers of American Indian, Spanish, and Mexican decent in Santa Barbara.

The reputation of Old Spanish Days Fiesta has grown over the years into becoming one of the top regional festivals in the United States. Every year thousands of visitors come from across the globe to immerse themselves in Old Spanish Days. Not only do visitors travel, but performers do as well from around the nation and Mexico.

Fiesta is full of numerous events for all ages. The days are filled with parades, tours, food, music, and so much more!

The schedule for Fiesta is listed below.

Wednesday, August 1

La Fiesta Pequeña 8 p.m.

As the August sun slowly sets behind the “Queen of the Missions”, experience the Franciscans hospitality as they welcome all to enjoy the official opening of Old Spanish Days Fiesta at this beautiful setting as they have since 1927. La Fiesta Pequeña, “Little Fiesta,” is a colorful, historical program which includes traditional songs and dance from Californios’ Spirit. This event is free to the public.

Santa Barbara Mission Docent Tours (times see below)

Come to explore the Queen of the Missions during special docent-led tours. This beautiful landmark is located at 2201 Laguna St. For more information and pricing please contact the Santa Barbara Mission at 805/682-4713.

Wednesday thru Friday: at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.;

Thursday: Special Mission Treasures Tour at 2:30 p.m.;
Saturday: at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.;
Sunday: at 1:30 p.m.

El Mercado de la Guerra 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Stroll through a colorful Mexican market to feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment all day and into the early evening.

Mercado de la Guerra is located in De La Guerra Plaza, on the first block of East De la Guerra Street.

Courthouse Fiesta Tours (Times see below)

Free guided tours of this beautiful Moorish-Spanish building take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., every 30 minutes Wednesday thru Saturday and every 60 minutes on Sunday. The group will meet in the Mural Room at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St.

For more information please call 805/962-6464.

El Mercado Del Norte 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Come for the fun and the food, and stay for the music and dancing. Check out the four distinct “neighborhoods:” the food court where you can watch daily entertainment and enjoy Fiesta foods; the Fiesta Bazaar for souvenirs; Fiesta Carnival with rides and attractions for the kids; and the Crazy Horse Cantina for icy cold beer and live entertainment. Mercado Del Norte is located in Mackenzie Park at the corner of State Street and Las Positas Street in the San Roque area.

Casa Cantina 12 p.m.–12 a.m.

Celebrate Fiesta, where it all began as Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, presents the Casa Cantina in the courtyard of the historic Casa de la Guerra. Part of the annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebration, locals and visitors alike are invited to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta! Held at Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. For more information please call 805/965-0093.

Crazy Horse Cantina 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

The Crazy Horse Cantina, inside Mercado Del Norte, features a beer garden with live entertainment and is a favorite gathering spot for locals during Fiesta. It is host during the day to Fiesta’s battle of the bands’ competition where aspiring new talent comes to play. At night and all day Saturday the Cantina turns into a beer garden with entertainment from the top area bands.

Thursday, August 2

La Misa del Presidente 10 a.m.

Held on the second day of Fiesta in the morning, the Saint Barbara Parish invites those of all faiths to enjoy High Mass in the main church of Old Mission Santa Barbara. La Misa is held in honor of La Presidenta and the Old Spanish Days Board, celebrating both the long-standing relationship between the Old Mission and Old Spanish Days as well as the entire Fiesta community. This Roman Catholic Mass dates back to the first day of Fiesta in 1936 and today is followed by a festive reception in the Mission’s Sacred Garden.

This beautiful landmark is located at 2201 Laguna St. For more information please contact the Santa Barbara Mission at 805/682-4713.

Santa Barbara Mission Docent Tours (times see below)

Come to explore the Queen of the Missions during special docent-led tours. This beautiful landmark is located at 2201 Laguna St. For more information and pricing please contact the Santa Barbara Mission at 805/682-4713.

Wednesday thru Friday: at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.;

Thursday: Special Mission Treasures Tour at 2:30 p.m.;
Saturday: at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.;
Sunday: at 1:30 p.m.

Courthouse Fiesta Tours (Times see below)

Free guided tours of this beautiful Moorish-Spanish building take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., every 30 minutes Wednesday thru Saturday and every 60 minutes on Sunday. The group will meet in the Mural Room at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St.

For more information please call 805/962-6464.

El Mercado de la Guerra 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Stroll through a colorful Mexican market to feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment all day and into the early evening.

Mercado de la Guerra is located in De La Guerra Plaza, on the first block of East De la Guerra St.

Casa Cantina noon–12 a.m.

Celebrate Fiesta, where it all began as Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, presents the Casa Cantina in the courtyard of the historic Casa de la Guerra. Part of the annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebration, locals and visitors alike are invited to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta! Held at Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St.  For more information please call 805/965-0093.

El Mercado Del Norte 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Come for the fun and the food, stay for the music and dancing. Check out our four distinct “neighborhoods” for all of the family: the food court where you can watch daily entertainment and enjoy Fiesta foods; the Fiesta Bazaar for souvenirs; Fiesta Carnival with rides and attractions for the kids; and the Crazy Horse Cantina for icy cold beer and live entertainment in the evening to get you out on the dance floor. Mercado Del Norte is located in Mackenzie Park at the corner of State Street and Las Positas Street in the San Roque area.

Crazy Horse Cantina 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

The Crazy Horse Cantina, inside Mercado Del Norte, features a beer garden with live entertainment and is a favorite gathering spot for locals during Fiesta. It is host during the day to Fiesta’s battle of the bands’ competition where aspiring new talent comes to play. At night and all-day Saturday, the Cantina turns into a beer garden with entertainment from the top area bands.

Professional Bull Riders (PBR)
Touring Pro Division
 7:30 p.m.

The Earl Warren Showgrounds Arena is the setting for the only Professional Bull Riding (PBR) event in Santa Barbara County. This is a great opportunity for rodeo fans of all ages to witness the greatest riders in the world – and where every seat is up close and personal! Fans will witness thrilling 8-second rides and jaw-dropping wrecks throughout the adrenaline-soaked performance as the PBR’s insanely brave cowboys risk it all against monstrous animal athletes that can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. For more information please visit sbfiestarodeo.org.

Las Noches de Ronda 8 p.m.

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. Over 200 performers entertain nightly and donate their time to this wonderful event. Admission is free to the public.

Blankets and chairs can be set up no earlier than 9 a.m. on the day of the event – please note that anything of plastic or nylon material will be removed.

DIGS! (Celebración de los Dignatarios) 5 p.m.–10 p.m.

Now All Inclusive! Santa Barbara’s wildest and most talked about party happens just once a year at the Santa Barbara Zoo.  Experience which wines and tequilas pair with a stunning sunset over the Pacific while you walk through the gardens of the beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo. Come hungry, food from the Central Coast’s finest eateries is included in the price of the ticket and drinks are included as well. Then party the night away to the best dance sounds of DJ Hecktik.

Friday, August 3

Santa Barbara Mission Docent Tours (times see below)

Come to explore the Queen of the Missions during special docent-led tours. This beautiful landmark is located at 2201 Laguna St. For more information and pricing please contact the Santa Barbara Mission at 805/682-4713.

Wednesday thru Friday: at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.;

Thursday: Special Mission Treasures Tour at 2:30 p.m.;
Saturday: at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.;
Sunday: at 1:30 p.m.

Courthouse Fiesta Tours (Times see below)

Free guided tours of this beautiful Moorish-Spanish building take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., every 30 minutes Wednesday thru Saturday and every 60 minutes on Sunday. The group will meet in the Mural Room at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St.

For more information please call 805/962-6464.

El Mercado de la Guerra 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Walk through a colorful Mexican market and feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, as you shop for crafts, souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment. Mercado de la Guerra is located in De La Guerra Plaza, on the first block of East De la Guerra St.

El Mercado Del Norte 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Come for the fun and the food, and stay for the music and dancing. Check out our four distinct “neighborhoods:” the food court where you can watch daily entertainment and enjoy Fiesta foods; the Fiesta Bazaar for souvenirs; Fiesta Carnival with rides and attractions for the kids; and the Crazy Horse Cantina for icy cold beer and live entertainment. Mercado Del Norte is located in Mackenzie Park at the corner of State Street and Las Positas Street in the San Roque area.

Casa Cantina noon–12 a.m.

Celebrate Fiesta, where it all began as Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, presents the Casa Cantina in the courtyard of the historic Casa de la Guerra. Part of the annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebration, locals and visitors alike are invited to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta! Held at Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. General Admission fee required, free admission for SBTHP members. For more information please call 805/965-0093.

Crazy Horse Cantina 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

The Crazy Horse Cantina, inside Mercado Del Norte, features a beer garden with live entertainment and a popular gathering place for locals during Fiesta. During the day, it hosts Fiesta’s battle of the bands’ competition, where aspiring talent comes to play. At night and throughout the day Saturday, the Cantina turns into a beer garden with entertainment from the top area bands.

Las Noches de Ronda 8 p.m.

Las Noches de Ronda, “Nights of Gaiety” is held in the 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. Over 200 performers entertain nightly and donate their time to this wonderful event. Admission is free to the public.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Enjoy one of the best traditions of Fiesta. Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado serves up a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine and entertainment.

El Desfile Histórico (Historical Parade) noon

This year is the 94 anniversary of the Fiesta Historical Parade. It is unique to Santa Barbara and features floats depicting episodes from the history of the state and city. Descendants of local Native Americans, Spanish Pioneers, the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West, and local service clubs and organizations all reenact historical scenes. It is one of the nation’s largest equestrian parades, featuring over 600 horses, as well as many antique carriages, coaches, and wagons. The parade starts at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard, proceeds east along the beach to State Street, then up State Street to Sola Street.

Flor y Canto 7 p.m.

Here is a rare opportunity to see the original Spanish California dances and songs of the 19 century. Interwoven with historical narration, the musical numbers are accompanied on replica acoustic instruments. These unique songs and 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! The event is held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 1100 Anacapa St.

Courthouse Legacy Foundation’s Fiesta Party Overlooking Las Noches de Ronda 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

View Las Noches festivities from the Courthouse’s 2nd Floor Loggia and Mural Room.  You can also take in the breathtaking, sweeping city views from the Clock Tower. This exclusive, annual fundraiser for the Courthouse Legacy Foundation is not to be missed! Fiesta attire strongly encouraged. No tickets sold at door.  Must be 21 to attend.

PRCA Rodeo Performance (Competencia De Los Vaqueros) 7:30 p.m.

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association events, including Bareback Riding, Tie-down Roping, Steer Stopping, Mutton Bustin’, Saddle Bronc Riding, PRCA Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding.  Bareback Riding, Tie-down Roping, Steer Stopping, Mutton Bustin’, Saddle Bronc Riding, PRCA Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding.  For more information please visit sbfiestarodeo.org.

Fiesta at Paseo Nuevo!

Join Paseo Nuevo as they celebrate Old Spanish Day’s Fiesta with Flamenco dance performances and live music in Center Court all week long.

Saturday, August 4

Annual El Desfile De Los Niños (Children’s Parade) 10 a.m.

The charming Children’s Parade is organized by the City Parks and Recreation Department. Young people of Santa Barbara, their parents, and other parade participants don traditional costumes and celebrate the rich culture of the area. The parade proceeds down State Street, from Victoria Street to Ortega Street. Viewing the parade is free.

To participate in the parade please call the Parks and Recreation Department at 805/564-5418.

Santa Barbara Mission Docent Tours (times see below)

Come to explore the Queen of the Missions during special docent-led tours. This beautiful landmark is located at 2201 LagunaSt. For more information and pricing please contact the Santa Barbara Mission at (805) 682-4713.

Wednesday thru Friday: at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.;

Thursday: Special Mission Treasures Tour at 2:30 p.m.;
Saturday: at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.;
Sunday: at 1:30 p.m.

Courthouse Fiesta Tours (Times see below)

Free guided tours of the beautiful Moorish-Spanish building take place between 10 AM and 3 PM, every ‘half-hour’ Wednesday thru Saturday and ‘every-hour’ Sunday. Meet in the Mural Room at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St.

For more information please call 805/962-6464.

El Mercado de la Guerra 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Walk through a colorful Mexican market and feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, as you shop for crafts, souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment. Mercado de la Guerra is located in De La Guerra Plaza, on the first block of East De la Guerra Street.

El Mercado Del Norte 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Come for the fun and the food, and stay for the music and dancing. Check out our four distinct “neighborhoods”: the food court where you can watch daily entertainment and enjoy Fiesta foods; the Fiesta Bazaar for souvenirs; Fiesta Carnival with rides and attractions for the kids; and the Crazy Horse Cantina for icy cold beer and live entertainment. Mercado Del Norte is located in Mackenzie Park at the corner of State Street and Las Positas Street in the San Roque area.

Casa Cantina noon–12 a.m.

Celebrate Fiesta where it all began in the courtyard of the historic Casa de la Guerra. Locals and visitors are invited to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta, Casa de la Guerra, located at 15 E. De la Guerra St. For more information please call 805/965-0093.

Crazy Horse Cantina 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

The Crazy Horse Cantina, inside Mercado Del Norte, features a beer garden with live entertainment and a popular gathering place for locals during Fiesta. During the day, it hosts Fiesta’s battle of the bands’ competition, where aspiring talent comes to play. At night and throughout the day Saturday, the Cantina turns into a beer garden with entertainment from the top area bands.

Las Noches de Ronda 8 p.m.

Las Noches de Ronda, “Nights of Gaiety” takes place at the Sunken Gardens at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The evening performances include spectacular dances and songs from the fire of flamenco to the charm of Mexican folklórico dances. More than 200 performers entertain nightly and donate their time to this wonderful event. Admission is free to the public.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Enjoy one of the best traditions of Fiesta. Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado serves up a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine and entertainment.

Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Arts and Crafts show is an all-day event held on Saturday and Sunday of Fiesta week. Walk along the beautiful beachfront west of Stearns Wharf and look for handmade items made by local artisans.

Tardes de Ronda 1 p.m.–5 p.m.

Tardes de Ronda takes place at the historic Sunken Gardens on Saturday afternoon. “Afternoon of Gaiety” a continually highly attended event, features performers under the age of sixteen. The Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens is located at 1100 Anacapa St.

PRCA Rodeo Performance (Competencia De Los Vaqueros) 7:30 p.m.

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association events include Bareback Riding, Tie-down Roping, Steer Stopping, Mutton Bustin’, Saddle Bronc Riding, PRCA Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding. For more information please visit sbfiestarodeo.org.

Fiesta at Paseo Nuevo!

Join Paseo Nuevo as they celebrate Old Spanish Day’s Fiesta with Flamenco dance performances and live music in Center Court all week long.

Sunday, August 5

Santa Barbara Mission Docent Tours (times see below)

Come to explore the Queen of the Missions during special docent-led tours. This beautiful landmark is located at 2201 Laguna Street. For more information please call 805/682-4713.

Wednesday thru Friday: at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.;

Thursday: Special Mission Treasures Tour at 2:30 p.m.;
Saturday: at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.;
Sunday: at 1:30 p.m.

Courthouse Fiesta Tours (Times see below)

Free guided tours of this beautiful Moorish-Spanish building take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., every 30 minutes Wednesday thru Saturday and every 60 minutes on Sunday. The group will meet in the Mural Room at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St.

For more information please call 805/962-6464.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Enjoy one of the best traditions of Fiesta. Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado serves up a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine and entertainment.

Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show Sat 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Arts and Crafts show is an all-day event held on Saturday and Sunday of Fiesta week. Walk along the beautiful beachfront west of Stearns Wharf and look for handmade items made by local artisans.

West Coast Symphony Annual Free Fiesta Concert 3:30 p.m.

Bring the family, snacks, and lawn chairs for an afternoon of beautiful music conducted by Dr. Michael Shasberger. Held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 1100 Anacapa St.

Rodeo Performance (Final Event) 2 p.m.

In the final Rodeo performance, riders compete in Bareback Riding, Tie-down Roping, Steer Stopping, Team Penning, Mutton Bustin’ and Saddle Bronco Riding. They also compete in PRCA Team Roping, Barrel-Racing, and Bull Riding. Please visit www.sbfiestarodeo.org for tickets and event information.

Fiesta at Paseo Nuevo!

Join Paseo Nuevo in celebrating Old Spanish Day’s Fiesta with Flamenco dance performances and live music in Center Court all week long.

Delaney Mayfield

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