La Fiesta Pequeña

Paul Wellman (file)

La Fiesta Pequeña

Old Spanish Days Are Here Again

For Santa Barbarans, Fiesta conjures all sorts of images: the nighttime performances of Las Noches de Ronda at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens; El Desfile Histórico, one of the country’s largest equestrian parades; the delicious Spanish and Mexican foods found at the mercados. What it ultimately is, though, is a way for the community to come together and honor the traditions of old Californio culture. While some things have changed over time, the essence of Fiesta endures.

In this year’s special issue, you’ll find a complete schedule of events for the long weekend, everything you can expect to see in the parade, the scoop on the spirits and La Presidenta, and the lowdown on the dances and songs of 19th-century Californio.

¡Viva la Fiesta!

• Junior Spirit: Anais Crespo Peña

• Spirit of Fiesta: Marisa Leon-Haro

• La Presidenta: Joanne Funari

Flor y Canto: Early California Songs and Dances

• Fiesta In-Crowd’s Favorite Food: A delectable invitation to sample the tastiness of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s mercado.

• Eating Fiesta, Barney-Style: Here’s Barney Brantingham’s guide to the food booths in El Mercado and El Mercado del Norte.

• Fiesta Listings: All of the activities and entertainment Old Spanish Days has to offer.

• Fiesta Horse Parade Lineup

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Self in Bathroom

A man barricaded in the bathroom of a Goleta business apparently killed himself after robbing a bank ...

News-Press’ Found to Owe Union and Employees $2.2 Million

National Labor Relations Board puts money amount on employee losses since 2006.

Fire Starts Just West of Buellton

[Update] Vegetation fire starts on the 1000 block of Highway 246; Bobcat Springs on evacuation warning.

UCSB Enrollment Up

Admission jumps 10 percent though housing concerns remain.

Banned in Santa Barbara

City Council says no more plastic straws or Styrofoam.