Old Spanish Days – Fiesta

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

Fiesta 2022 Opening Ceremonies This Wednesday

Posted Jul 31, 2022

Old Spanish Days and City Officials Set to Open Annual Community Fiesta After 3 Years 

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.” 

The official Fiesta Opening Ceremony begins Wednesday, August 3, at 10:50 am at De La Guerra Plaza, with a count-down to the official start at 11 am. This celebratory fanfare begins five days of Fiesta, including two Mercados (De La Guerra Plaza and Del Norte at McKenzie Park), two Parades, dancing nightly at the Courthouse, Fiesta Pequeña at the Mission, Arts and Crafts Show, Rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds, plus food, friends, and family. 

“Everything comes together for our community Fiesta,” added La Presidente Cabrera. “We celebrate the Rancho period in California and also of its traditions, culture and fiestas.” 

The Rancho Period began in 1833, 12 years following Mexico’s independence from Spain. It lasted officially until 1846, but the traditions, culture and fiestas continued well into the US period. The Rancho Period is a time remembered when Spanish was the official language, and friends, family, and fiestas were the highlight of everyday life. 

MEDIA NOTE: A balloon drop will occur at 10:30 am on Wednesday, August 3 at Mercado del Norte to officially open that Mercado which is known as a family oriented with carnival rides, food, and entertainment. The media is welcome to attend this colorful balloon drop at Mercado del Norte but images of this great photo and video op are embargoed until 11 am that same day to allow for the official opening of Fiesta 2022 to occur at Mercado De La Guerra. Photos of both events will be available to the media later that same day. 

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