Santa Barbarans call a halt to the downtown business day when the Fiesta Parade steps up State Street on Friday at noon, swapping desk jobs for margarita glasses, but the blocked Castillo Street underpass may create a little chaos due to new street and Highway 101 ramp closures. Around noon, dozens of flower girls will lead El Desfile Histórico along the waterfront and then up State, but the return to Pershing Park will head down Garden Street, instead of the usual Castillo.
To ensure the safety of riders and horses, some of whom shy at cars coming toward them, parking restrictions and lane closures will be in place generally from about noon till 4 p.m. on Friday. Police spokesperson Sgt. Joshua Morton suggested parade watchers relax and hang out after the parade while participants take about an hour to regain Pershing Park.
Also, street parking time limits are waived just for the day — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — above the freeway between Valerio, Bath, and Laguna Street. Below the freeway, the free zone is surrounded by Cabrillo Boulevard, Castillo Street, and Garden Street. Parking lots will charge as usual.
Specifically, the west side of Garden Street will be closed to parking and the northbound lane will be closed between Gutierrez and Sola from about 1 p.m. until the last float and rider clears out. Sheriff’s deputies will be waving cross-traffic through, except at Gutierrez Street, which will be closed from Laguna to the west. The return route goes along Yanonali, Santa Barbara Street, and Montecito Street, which will also have “no parking” signs posted. Exiting the Funk Zone should not be a problem, but ingress will be limited as the floats and horses come through. They’ll go down Bath to Yanonali to get back to Pershing Park.
All Highway 101 ramps at Garden Street will close from noon to 4 p.m., according to Caltrans, with access available at Laguna Street’s ramps.