Fiesta's Los Niños de las Flores

Posted Jul 31, 2022
Fiesta's Los Niños de las Flores

Traditionally it's one of the happiest pictures of Fiesta — the annual group picture of Old Spanish Days ambassadors, Los Niños de Las Flores. The official 2022 picture took place on the steps of historic Old Mission Santa Barbara.

The picture includes a total of 48 youngsters, 46 girls and two boys, ranging in age from 6 to 12. Ten señoritas also were on hand along with 2022 Fiesta La Presidente Maria Cabrera and members of the OSD committee.

Los Niños de las Flores participate in both parades, and the opening night ceremony at the Old Mission. Throughout Fiesta week they visit convalescent homes, and greet visitors at both the airport and train station. With their bright smiles and a "Viva La Fiesta", Los Niños embody the spirit of Fiesta!

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Downtown Trolleys Set for Fiesta Parade Day

Posted Jul 31, 2022
Downtown Trolleys Set for Fiesta Parade Day

With a new parade route along Cabrillo Boulevard and limited nearly parking, attendees will now be able to take advantage of the downtown parking garages and arrive at the Parade route via free shuttles. 

Old Spanish Days is partnering with the City of Santa Barbara and the Downtown Organization to offer this free service to the community. 

Three shuttles will be circulating up Chapala Street, across Victoria Street, and down Anacapa Street to the beach side of State Street. The shuttles will pick up at multiple locations along this route running in roughly 10-minute intervals. 

The free shuttles will begin at 10 am and run until 5 pm. 

“It’s important to all of us that members of our community have easy access to our Fiesta Parade,” said 2022 La Presidente Maria Cabrera. “These trolleys are a great collaboration between three organizations that support Fiesta in many ways. This year’s theme, Todos Juntos en Familia, is evident in this outstanding collaborative partnership that benefits our community tremendously.” 

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Fiesta 2022 Opening Ceremonies This Wednesday

Posted Jul 31, 2022

For the first time in three years, Santa Barbara is having a Fiesta! And this Wednesday, as is tradition, the official opening of the five days of Fiesta will be held at Mercado De La Guerra counting down to the opening of the Mercados at 11 am. 

Everyone is cordially invited to attend this annual event where Old Spanish Days and Santa Barbara City officials, join local dignitaries and community members to officially cut the ribbon and open Fiesta for its 98th year. 

“Fiesta is here,” said 2022 La Presidente Maria Cabrera, “The entire Old Spanish Days family thanks everyone in the community -- our valued volunteers, members of our business community, and city and county staff and elected officials – everyone has worked hard, and has worked together, to make this year’s Fiesta a success for our community. We have not been able to have a full Fiesta since 2019, and everyone is ready. We hope that you enjoy Fiesta. Please stay safe, have fun, and remember, Todos Juntos en Familia.” 

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Fiesta Poster Unveiled

Posted May 23, 2022
Fiesta Poster Unveiled

“The entire community is represented”, 2022 Fiesta La Presidente Maria Cabrera said as she unveiled the 2022 Old Spanish Days Poster and Pin before a large gathering at Saturday’s La Primavera celebration held at the Carriage and Western Art Museum.

The poster is a joyful scene painted in lively colors depicting a celebration of music and dance in front of Old Mission Santa Barbara. Maria Cabrera stumbled across the watercolor by Arthur Beaumont while archiving Fiesta material in the Old Mission Archive library.

“Fiesta is a time to just enjoy life being together,” said La Presidente Cabrera whose 2022 theme is “Todos Juntos en Familia” translated: “All Together as a Family”.

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A Full Fiesta in 2022

Posted Apr 25, 2022

For the first time in three years, Santa Barbara will have a complete Fiesta this summer with the return of the historic parade, both Mercados, and a variety of dance and celebrations throughout the community. 

Facing historic Plaza De La Guerra and with City Hall as a backdrop, Officials from Old Spanish Days, the City of Santa Barbara, the Downtown Organization, and a variety of community partners unveiled plans for Fiesta 2022.

Fiesta officially begins on Wednesday, August 3 with the opening of both Mercado De La Guerra and Mercado del Norte at McKensie Park. That evening, Fiesta Pequeña once again takes place on the steps of the Old Mission.

Thursday is highlighted by the first night of Noches de Ronda in the sunken garden of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and the Fiesta Rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds.

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2022 Spirit of Fiesta Chosen

Posted Apr 11, 2022
2022 Spirit of Fiesta Chosen

Tara Mata, a 19-year-old student at Santa Barbara City College, was selected 2022 Spirit of Fiesta. She danced a Cantiñas. 

Meanwhile, nine year old Layla Gocong, a third grader at Crane Country Day School, was chosen as the 2022 Junior Spirit. She danced a Tanguillo.

The Spirit Auditions are the most anticipated moment of Fiesta. Each year, the Spirit of Fiesta is front and center at the major Old Spanish Days events and, along with the Junior Spirit, will bring dance and energy to the community.

This year’s Fiesta La Presidente Maria Cabrera announced the names of the two winners in a most dramatic moment.

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Fiesta 2022 Leadership Team Unveiled

Posted Nov 21, 2021
Fiesta 2022 Leadership Team Unveiled

With anticipation and planning, officials of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara are laying out plans for Fiesta 2022, and announced the leadership team that will guide the area’s largest regional festival in a safe environment next summer.

La Presidente Maria Cabrera will lead the organization into its 98th year. She is a retired school counselor and current fulltime community volunteer. Primer Vice Presidente David Bolton, Segundo Vice Presidente Brian Schwabecher, Treasurer Colin Hayward, and El Secretario Fritz Olenberger will join La Presidente Cabrera on Fiesta executive committee. Additionally, the Fiesta 2022 leadership team will include Division Chiefs Janice Howell (Celebrations), Patricia Oreña (Dance and Entertainment), Casie Killgore (External Relations), Marge Romero (Mercados), and Tony Miller (Pageantry).

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2021 Fiesta Returns in a Big Way

Posted Jun 16, 2021
2021 Fiesta Returns in a Big Way

SANTA BARBARA, CA - With the opening of California and the lifting of many restrictions, Fiesta will be returning to Santa Barbara this summer with many of the traditional events that have made up Old Spanish Days for nearly 100 years.

Some of the highlights for this year’s Fiesta announced by officials during a Tuesday media conference on the steps of Old Mission Santa Barbara:

Fiesta Pequeña will return to the steps of the historic Old Mission Santa Barbara on Wednesday, August 4.

Noches de Ronda will return to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden Thursday, August 5-Saturday, August 7. Tardes de Ronda will be held that Saturday afternoon.

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2021 Spirit and Junior Spirit Announced

Posted May 18, 2021
2021 Spirit and Junior Spirit Announced

This year, 10 Spirit Finalists and 5 Junior Spirit Finalists auditioned for the title of Spirit and Junior Spirit of Fiesta.  

The 2021 Spirit Auditions were held at the historic Lobero Theatre where Fiesta began in 1924 and was broadcast live on Channel 13/1013.  A rebroadcast of the event will air on Saturday, April 24th at 7 PM on Channel 13/1013.  

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2021 Fiesta Poster and Pin Unveiled

Posted May 17, 2021
2021 Fiesta Poster and Pin Unveiled

As they have for 97 years, and with emotion, fanfare and excitement, the 2021 Fiesta Poster and Pin have been unveiled to the community.

La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow had the distinguished honor in front of family, friends and members of the community at the Fiesta kick-off La Primavera celebration at The Carriage and Western Art Museum. It was a special moment for Ms. Petlow who designed the poster and pin using family, youth and history.

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Fiesta 2021 Unveiled

Posted May 13, 2021
Fiesta 2021 Unveiled

SANTA BARBARA, CA - With historic parade carriages forming a picturesque backdrop, and flanked by members of the extended Old Spanish Days family, 2021 La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow revealed a full slate of Fiesta events for this coming year, sans parade and mercados, and announced the Fiesta 2021 theme “Honoring our Generations.”

Fiesta Pequeña, Noches de Ronda, Arts and Crafts Show, Rodeo, and a handful of traditional parties will be all part of Fiesta 2021, and all of the planning that has taken place includes the most current guidelines and protocols. Attendance and event size will be smaller to assure community safety, but Fiesta is returning.

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2021 Leadership Team Announced

Posted Nov 17, 2020
2021 Leadership Team Announced

SANTA BARBARA, CA – November 17, 2021 – History continues in Santa Barbara as Old Spanish Days announces the leadership team for the 2021 Old Spanish Days Fiesta. The Executive Committee will be comprised of: La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow;  La Primera Vice Presidente Maria Cabrera; El Segundo Vice Presidente y El Secretario David Bolton and La Tesorera Casie Killgore. The elected Division Chiefs include: Division Chief of Celebrations Janice Howell; Division Chief of Dance and Entertainment Maria Cabrera and Division Chief of Pageantry Gary MacDonald. 

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El Presidente Thank you 2020

Posted Aug 10, 2020
El Presidente Thank you 2020

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to personally thank all the amazing sponsors, volunteers, collaborative partners and the entire Santa Barbara community for helping to bring forward Fiesta joy during this challenging year.

My theme this year was “¡Vamos a Bailar!”, in English, “Let’s Dance!”. And as my good friend and Parade Grand Marshal Father Larry Gosselin so eloquently quoted during La Misa Del Presidente, “when you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance”. And we did!  Because of the generosity, encouragement and support of our wonderful community we were able to bring forward dance, music and history in ways never seen before and in ways that took our magnificent festival beyond the Santa Barbara region.

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The Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade will not go on as planned

Posted Aug 05, 2020

The Fiesta Spirit lives in the heart.

As we have done from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Spanish Days (OSD) continues to make decisions that are in the best interest of public health and safety.  To that end, we are not going to proceed with our small but spirited reimagined Fiesta caravan car parade that was scheduled for Friday, August 7.   

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Father Larry Gosselin named Grand Marshal of Reimaged 2020 Fiesta Parade

Posted Jul 30, 2020
Father Larry Gosselin named Grand Marshal  of Reimaged 2020 Fiesta Parade

Long-time friend and supporter of Fiesta to carry on tradition

SANTA BARBARA, CA – July 29, 2020 – Organizers of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara have announced that Father Larry Gosselin, a long-time supporter and friend of Fiesta, has been named the Grand Marshal of the Reimagined 2020 Fiesta Caravan Parade.  The caravan parade will take place on Friday, August 7, starting at noon and will feature classic cars and decorated vehicles and will travel through Santa Barbara and Montecito neighborhoods bringing Fiesta joy as it passes. 

“This is a privileged honor that I accept with a very humble heart, but with immense gratitude and appreciation,” said Father Larry. “It’s an honor that I never could have imagined that I would be given, with all the highest respect, esteem, and admiration I have always held for the community of Santa Barbara.”

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Online Auction to Benefit Fiesta

Posted Jul 27, 2020
Online Auction to Benefit Fiesta

Local artists including Grace Fisher, Chris Potter and Richard Schloss bring hope and joy to first-ever online auction

SANTA BARBARA, CA – July 27, 2020 – Organizers of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara invite the community to participate in their first-ever online auction. The auction is open through Sunday, August 9, 2020 and proceeds will benefit Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage, and traditions.

The auction, open now at www.sbfiesta.org/auction, features 10 limited-edition 2020 Fiesta posters printed on metal. The 2020 Fiesta poster is an original graphic design by local Santa Barbara artist Andrew Leonard. The poster captures iconic scenes of Santa Barbara like the Santa Barbara Mission and the waterfront and prominently features a dancing couple.

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Operation Light up your Fiesta Spirit

Posted Jul 18, 2020
Operation Light up your Fiesta Spirit

Organizers of the 2020 Reimagined Fiesta invite the community
to help keep the Fiesta Spirit Alive

SANTA BARBARA, CA –July 18, 2020 – Organizers of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara invite the community to light up their homes and businesses this Fiesta season to help keep the Fiesta Spirit Alive. 

"Operation ‘Light up your Fiesta Spirit’ is just one way to honor our beloved festival while bringing joy and solidarity into our neighborhoods,” said El Presidente Erik Davis. “We hope seeing the colors and symbols of Fiesta remind the community that we’re all in this together and that there are better days ahead. Hope, joy and optimism have always been a big part of this reimagined Fiesta. Please join us and Light up your Fiesta Spirit Santa Barbara!”

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2020 Honorary Presidentes & Presidentas Announced

Posted Jul 05, 2020
2020 Honorary Presidentes & Presidentas Announced

Honorees include local celebrity John Palminteri  and California Historian Erin Graffy

SANTA BARBARA, CA – July 5, 2020 – Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that Hugh P. and Dianne Davis, Bill and Solange Springer, Geoff Grow, Kathy Baron, Nancy Callahan, John Palminteri and Erin Graffy de Garcia have been named honorary El Presidentes & La Presidentas for Fiesta 2020.  

Honorary Presidentes and Presidentas are chosen each year by the current El Presidente or La Presidenta.  It is an honor bestowed on them for their personal support to the current Presidente or their contributions to Old Spanish Days.

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Fiesta Music and Dance Fridays Lineup Announced

Posted Jun 30, 2020

Live-streamed summer concert series will provide a venue to bring music and dance to the community in a safe way.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – June 30, 2020 – Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara announced today the lineup for Fiesta Music and Dance Fridays, a live-streamed concert series.

Audiences can watch a great lineup of popular local bands from anywhere in the world streamed to a Smart TV or on any internet-connected device, such as a phone, tablet or computer. Scheduled acts include: Area 51, Spencer the Gardner, False Puppet, King Bee and Mezcal Martini. In between sets, Old Spanish Days will bring forward local dance acts and history segments. Every Friday in July, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Fiesta Music and Dance Fridays will be streamed for free to the Santa Barbara community and beyond.

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Announcing the Spirit and Junior Spirit of Fiesta 2020

Posted Jun 15, 2020
Announcing the Spirit and Junior Spirit of Fiesta 2020

Alena Velasco earns 2020 Spirit of Fiesta title and Alexandra Nocker earns Junior Spirit title

SANTA BARBARA, CA – June 15, 2020 – Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that Alena Velasco is the Spirit of Fiesta 2020 and Alexandra Nocker the Junior Spirit of Fiesta 2020.

The tradition of the Spirit of Fiesta started in 1949 and embodies the joy and vitality of Santa Barbara's beloved annual summer festival.  The Spirits are goodwill ambassadors to local residents and visitors alike and represent the charm, grace and beauty of Old Spanish Days. 

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