Celebrating Old Spanish Days 2021

A Complete Guide to This Year’s Fiesta, with Profiles, Listings, and More

Celebrating Old Spanish Days 2021

A Complete Guide to This Year’s Fiesta, with Profiles, Listings, and More

By Terry Ortega | August 5, 2021

Junior Spirit Savannah Hoover | Credit: Fritz Olenberger

As Santa Barbara continues to navigate the pandemic’s shifting safety guidelines, Old Spanish Days will bring a slightly modified celebration to the city, with plenty of Fiesta spirit to share. We’re happy to bring back our annual guide, which can help you plan your activities, the 97th Annual S.B. Fiesta Stock Horse Show, the food and entertainment offerings at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, and more. 

The following pages will teach you a bit about this year’s Fiesta Luminaries: La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow; the Spirits of Fiesta, Ysabella Yturralde and Savannah Hoover; and The Native Daughters of the Golden West’s pick to represent Saint Barbara this year, Patricia Oreña.

In addition, our executive arts editor, Charles Donelan, dives into the Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s ongoing Project Fiesta!, which includes film of Fiestas past, costumes, carriages, and more. And finally, learn about this year’s Fiesta Guide cover girl, and my mother, Mary Dominguez Ortega. 

We’re proud to once again highlight this historical tradition, and we wish everyone a safe and happy Fiesta! 

*Please be aware that events may be changed or canceled.*

Become Acquainted with the Powerful Luminaries of This Year’s Fiesta

Get to Know 2021’s La Presidenta, Spirits of Fiesta, and Saint Barbara

Spirit of Fiesta Ysabella Yturralde | Credit: Fritz Olenberger

Our Old Spanish Days Cover Girl: Mary Dominguez Ortega

How This Seventh Generation Santa Barbaran Wound Up Dressed Up and Horseback

Credit: Courtesy

A Complete Guide to Fiesta 2021

See What’s Happening at this Year’s Fiesta and Learn a Little About this Year’s Luminaries, La Presidenta, the Spirits, and St. Barbara

Credit: Fritz Olenberger


With Santa Barbara County recommending masks in public places and mandating them indoors regardless of vaccination status, Old Spanish Days organizers are also encouraging masks regardless of vaccination status. Social distancing is also being encouraged in all public settings to curb the spread of COVID-19 and prevent any outbreak in the community. Those who are not feeling well should stay home, and Fiesta officials have stated they will be paying close attention to the health department for any changes in the next few days.

Santa Barbara Historical Museum Celebrates Old Spanish Days

New Exhibit Features Film and Costumes from Decades of Fiestas

By Charles Donelan

Credit: Fritz Olenberger

Mujeres Makers Market Comes to Casa De La Guerra

First Two-Day Event Coincides with Old Spanish Days in Downtown Santa Barbara

By Celina Garcia

Courtesy of Lu’s Strawberries


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