Old Spanish Days

Old Spanish Days

Early August
This five-day fiesta held in Santa Barbara, California, in early August draws heavily on the area's Spanish-American and Mexican-American heritage. The celebration begins with the Fiesta Pequeña, or "Little Festival," on the steps of the Santa Barbara Mission, the 10th of the 21 Spanish missions built in California by Fray Junípero Serra and his successors. The opening ceremonies include Spanish and Mexican songs and dances, the traditional fiesta blessing, and the introduction of St. Barbara, who is portrayed by a local citizen. The next few days are filled with flamenco guitarists, Mexican folklore dancers, and other performances at the Lobero Theatre, the site of the first Old Spanish Days festival in 1924.
The highlight of the week is the historical parade, featuring floats that depict various episodes in Santa Barbara's history, marching bands and precision drill teams, costumed flower girls, and horses in ornate silver trappings. Other popular events include the children's parade and the rodeo and stock horse show.
CONTACTS:
Old Spanish Days-Fiesta
129 Castillo St.
P.O. Box 21557
Santa Barbara, CA 93121
805-962-8101; fax: 805-962-9943
www.oldspanishdays-fiesta.org
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