Tuesday, July 31, 2018

FIESTA SANTA BARBRA begins Wednesday August 1

94th Old Spanish Days Fiesta Has Something for Everyone, And Much of It’s Free

Santa Barbara celebrates traditions with music, dancing, parades, horses and countless cascarones just waiting for their break
Spirit of FiestaClick to view larger
The 2018 Spirit of Fiesta, Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum, leads the dancing at the annual La Recepción del Presidente on Sunday at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. (Fritz Olenberger / Old Spanish Days photo)
Cascarones (confetti eggs), mercados, parades, authentic food, music, dancing and the rodeo are an essential part of Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
Traditions continue as the five-day celebration begins Wednesday, running through Sunday.
The theme for the 94th year of Fiesta is “Celebrate Traditions,” a choice selected by 2018 La Presidenta Denise Sanford.
All events included are free to attend, except for the main rodeo performances.
“Every summer since 1924, Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara —or Fiesta, as it is known in the area — spreads music, dancing and traditions of the rancho period across the city of Santa Barbara,” David Bolton, media chairman for Old Spanish Days, told Noozhawk in an email.
“Visitors and locals alike mingle in the warm ocean breeze and soothing summer sun at celebratory events throughout the city to appreciate the unique cultural heritage this community offers.”


» The Mercado de la Guerra, named for its location in De la Guerra Plaza, offers food, vendor booths selling clothes and other items. Visitors strolling the marketplace also can watch the performances at the stage located at the center of the plaza.
The first block of East De la Guerra Street is closed off between State and Anacapa streets in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Mercado de la Guerra is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. WednesdayThursdayFriday and Saturday. From noon to 12 a.m., there’s a nearby beer garden — Casa Cantina — for those thirsty for beer or margaritas.
» Festivities take place at El Mercado del Norte from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. WednesdayThursdayFriday and Saturday at MacKenzie Park, on Upper State Street at Las Positas Road. The marketplace includes food stands, the Fiesta Bazaar with souvenirs, carnival rides and the Crazy Horse Cantina for people over 21. Wristbands for the carnival are $25 on Wednesday and Thursday, and $30 on Fridayand Saturday.
» The official opening of Old Spanish Days Fiesta — La Fiesta Pequeña, or “Little Fiesta” — kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Mission. Thousands of people usually show up to watch dancers grace the steps of the Santa Barbara Mission2201 Laguna St.
The event, a tradition since 1927, features traditional songs and dancing, including styles of Californios, Flamenco, classical Spanish and Mexican folklórico. Blankets, chairs or other items placed on the mission lawn to reserve seating for the gathering is not be allowed until 6 a.m. Wednesday, according to event organizers.


» The Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo opens Thursday at Earl Warren Showgrounds3400 Calle Real. Riders compete in bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronco riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team penning. Mutton bustin’ is a crowd favorite.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo features Professional Bull Riding competition at 7 p.m. Thursday, with PRCA rodeos at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available from the Earl Warren Showgrounds box office, or click here to purchase tickets online.
A full schedule of daytime rodeo events are free and open to the public. Click here for a schedule of events.
» The Saint Barbara Parish invites people of all faiths to enjoy High Mass at 10 a.m. in the mission’s main sanctuary at 2201 Laguna St. La Misa del Presidente is held in honor of La Presidenta and the Old Spanish Days board members. The gathering celebrates both the long-standing relationship between the Mission and Old Spanish Days, as well as the community.
» The Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden, along the 100 block of East Anapamu Street in downtown Santa Barbara, will transform to a performance stage offering dances and songs from the flamenco to the Mexican folklórico dances. More than 200 performers are expected to take the stage Thursday to Saturday. Las Noches de Ronda begins at 8 p.m.


» The Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado marketplace is located in the courtyard of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church227 N. Nopal St. Food vendors serve up a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine. Live entertainment and music takes place on the stage. The venue is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
» The 94th annual El Desfile Histórico (Historical Parade) in Santa Barbara begins at noon. The parade route travels from the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard to State Street, and up State Street to Sola Street. The celebration is known as one of the largest equestrian parades in the nation, featuring more than 600 horses, dancers, antique carriages, coaches, floats and wagons. Riders and horses are expected to entertain the large crowds.
» A rare opportunity to see the original Spanish California dances and songs of the 19th century takes place at 7 p.m. at the Courthouse Sunken Garden. The unique songs and dances are performed by local residents in authentic costumes.
» Paseo Nuevo celebrates Old Spanish Day with Flamenco dance performances and live music in the Center Court. Performances take place Friday through Sunday.


» The annual El Desfile De Los Niños (Children’s Parade) strolls through downtown Santa Barbara starting at 10 a.m. The parade travels down State Street, from Victoria to Ortega streets. The 88-year-old Old Spanish Days tradition is expected to draw thousands of participants, both children and families, sporting elaborate costumes. In previous years, the parade also showcased goats, ponies and dogs adding to the fun.
» Performers under the age of 16 dance during Tardes de Ronda at the Courthouse Sunken Garden from 1 to 5 p.m.


» Cabrillo Boulevard just west of Stearns Wharf will feature local artisans at the Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show. The displays are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
» The West Coast Symphony will hold its annual Fiesta concert at 3:30 p.m. at the Courthouse Sunken Garden. Music is conducted by Michael Shasberger, a Westmont College professor of music and worship who conducts the Westmont College Choir and Orchestra.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

French Festival in Santa Barbara July 14 and 15

   The French Festival takes place in Oak Park, 
which is located at the corner of W. Junipero 
Street and Alamar Avenue in Santa Barbara. 
The official address for the park is 300 W. 
Alamar Avenue, Santa Barbara 93105.  
Oak Park covers a large geographic area, 
for navigation purposes you may have better 
luck using 600 W. Junipero 
to get to the area where the Festival is held. 
The portion of the park that houses the 
Festival is concentrated 
roughly in the area bordered on the east 
side by Alamar Avenue and West Junipero 
Street on the southern edge.

The Eiffel side of the Festival set up is on 
the grassy side of the park that runs along 
Alamar Avenue.  The Moulin Rouge side 
of the Festival can be accessed from the 
small parking lot on Junipero Street, or 
by entering on the Alamar Avenue side 
and crossing over the footbridge in the 
middle of the park.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Summer Camp at the Sanbta Barbara Zoo is the best experience!

Summer Zoo CampZoo Camp registration is now open for the summer! 
Be the first to reserve your spot for one of our specialty camps, 
like the brand-new "Aussie Adventure." 
Zoo information including Camper Info

Friday, May 4, 2018

Koala Visitors at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Good news, mates: Edmund and Thackory have arrived! For the next year, these two "ambassador-able" marsupials can be found eating eucalyptus in their brand-new exhibit next to the train station. Edmund and Thackory are not only here to be adorable, but to bring awareness to the challenges facing koalas and other important Australian species.
Learn more on the Zoo's website

Sunday, April 22, 2018

New Events at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Portal to the Planet: Marine Debris Investigation Station
Saturday, April 28
1:00–3:00 PM
Sea Center
The ocean shapes the surface of our planet and supports all life on Earth. Today, humans have the chance to shape the health of the ocean for the better! Join us on the wet deck for a hands-on experience about marine debris impacts. Free with paid admission. Information: jhunt@sbnature2.org or 805-962-2526 ext. 110.

Science on Site: Wildlife Camera Basics
Saturday, April 28
11:00 AM–2:00 PM
Biologists use wildlife cameras to discover animal habitats and ranges without interacting with them. Join David Lee, local wildlife biologist, as he demonstrates how to install, monitor and troubleshoot trail cameras for use in wildlife observation. Learn about choosing a trail camera, data collection methods, and how the results are used in research. Kids can also solve their own animal mystery by exploring evidence of wildlife. Free with paid admission. Information:scoleman@sbnature2.org or call 805-682-4711 ext. 170.