I find Old Spanish Days to be a sham and not anything about what Santa Barbara represents to the world. This city is not a comfort to Spanish people or their heritage, nor a refuge to Spanish culture. It is impossible for any family represented in this Fiesta to actually live and thrive in S.B. The families, children, vendors, visitors are not Santa Barbara. They could never afford to live here.
The working people who drive hours each day to clean our houses, cut our grass, cook our food are not represented by the sham of inclusion that these Old Spanish Days tries to project. Santa Barbara will not allow average people to live here because the rents are the highest outside San Francisco and New York. Home prices are beyond anyone making less than $200,000 per year even with a half-million-dollars down!
So please, stop the charade. We only play this week to celebrate Spanish history and culture, but on Monday will close our city to any other than the privileged, celebrities, uber-rich. Of course, they need a place to live, too, but stop trying to use the sham of Old Spanish Days to make anyone think we really celebrate anything other than money and property.
Yes, the rich people need equal respect, but stop trying to make anyone in the world think Santa Barbara is anything other than existing for the rich.