Old Spanish Days – Fiesta

Santa Barbara, CA. July 31 - August 4, 2024

A Full Fiesta in 2022

Posted Apr 25, 2022

Old Spanish Days Officials Plans Everything from Historic Parade to Mercados

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.

On Friday, El Desfile Histórico will have a new route this year, running the length of Cabrillo Boulevard from the traditional parade start at Castillo Street to the Hilton Hotel. Participants will then return to the Carriage Museum once again along Cabrillo Boulevard. The temporary build out of State Street parklets has ruled out the traditional Fiesta parade route this year.

At the weekend, the Fiesta Arts and Crafts Show returns to the sidewalks of west beach along Cabrillo both Saturday and Sunday, and the Mercados, Rodeo and Noches de Ronda wrap up on Saturday evening.

After two years of limited Fiestas, Old Spanish Days is excited to be able to roll out a full Fiesta this summer for the entire community to enjoy.

“After what we have gone through these two past years, we are so excited at Old Spanish Days to be able to bring a full Fiesta to our community,” said 2022 La Presidente Maria Cabrera. “Fiesta is about community, family and cultural traditions. It's truly Santa Barbara’s premier Festival!”

The first Festa was held in 1924 and tied in with the grand opening of the Lobero Theatre.

“98 years ago a group of businessmen met and formed a committee to arrange the celebration of the opening of the Lobero Theatre,” said Cabrera. “Charles E. Pressley, who was elected chairman by the committee, said at the time: ‘This is to be a carnival for Santa Barbara and our first aim is to furnish a few days of merrymaking for the town people.’ Since then, Old Spanish Days has become a magical time when this community comes together to celebrate this unique California historic and cultural festival.”

Fiesta 2022 runs from August 3-7. Viva la Fiesta 2022!