Fiesta Is Returning, with 2021 Lineup Announced

No Parade or Mercados, but Lots of Events and Parties

2018 Old Spanish Days Fiesta Pequeña at the historic Santa Barbara Mission | Credit: Nancy Rodriguez

Old Spanish Day organizers on Wednesday announced a healthy lineup of events for Fiesta 2021, including La Fiesta Pequeña, Las Noches de Ronda, an arts and crafts show, the rodeo, and a handful of traditional parties. But due to the ongoing pandemic, no parade or mercados will take place. 

“This is a great moment for Fiesta as we continue to move out of the recent restrictions,” said La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow. “So many have worked so hard, and in a creative way, to bring as much Fiesta to our community this year as possible.” Attendance and event sizes will be smaller, Petlow said, but make no mistake: “Fiesta is returning.”

Petlow also announced this year’s theme ― Honoring Our Generations. “We are all where we are because of those who came before us and the paths they paved. It is our duty to make sure we pave positive paths for future generations.” During this weekend’s La Primavera event, the official 2021 poster and pin will be revealed.

COVID-19 all but canceled last year’s celebrations, though some signature events still took place, including the Spirit and Jr. Spirit competitions and Fiesta Pequeña.

La Primera Vice Presidente Maria Cabrera hinted at possibly relaunching the parade and mercados if the reopenings continue. “When the City and County of Santa Barbara give us the go-ahead, Old Spanish Days Fiesta is poised and ready to bring our historic parade up State Street again and to return the popular Mercados to both De la Guerra Plaza and Mackenzie Park.”

Between now and August, more events will be announced, the organizers said. In the meantime, here is the current schedule:

Saturday, May 15, 2021
5 p.m. La Primavera — The Carriage and Western Art Museum, 2021 Poster and Pin Unveil

June 2021
Fiesta Ranchera — Goleta

July 2021 
Costume Sale

Sunday, August 1, 2021 
5 p.m. La Recepcion del Presidente — The Carriage and Western Art Museum

Fiesta Week
Los Niños de las Flores

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 
7 p.m. La Fiesta Pequeña — Live from TV Hill

Thursday, August 5, 2021 
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo — Earl Warren Showgrounds
Time TBA Los Dignatarios — Santa Barbara Zoo

Friday, August 6, 2021 
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo — Earl Warren Showgrounds
Noon-12:30 p.m. Documentary: El Desfile Histórico — the Historic Parade, Channel 1013
4 p.m. Horsemen’s Rendezvous — The Carriage and Western Art Museum
8-9:30 p.m. Noches de Ronda

Saturday, August 7, 2021 
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo — Earl Warren Showgrounds
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fiesta Arts and Crafts Show — Cabrillo Boulevard, West Beach
7-7:30 p.m. Documentary: El Desfile Histórico — the Historic Parade, Channel 1013
8-9:30 p.m. Las Noches de Ronda

Sunday, August 8, 2021
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fiesta Arts and Crafts Show — Cabrillo Boulevard, West Beach

For more information, visit the Old Spanish Days website


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