Viva la Old Spanish Days Fiesta 2018

The Complete Guide to Fiesta 2018

Photo Credit: Fritz Olenberger
By

As Santa Barbara continues to recover from a difficult year, we hold dear our traditions now more than ever. Let the Santa Barbara Independent’s Old Spanish Days special section guide you during this annual celebration, from the pageantry of the parades and performances to mercados with food, drink, and music. You will also meet Denise Sanford, one of the very few women to be named La Presidenta; the Spirit and Junior Spirit of Fiesta, Jesalyn Contreras-McCollum and Georgey Taupin; and Saint Barbara, Anne Petersen. The Independent is proud to highlight a custom and meaningful tradition that continues to showcase our resilient city and bring locals and tourists together year after year. ¡Toma que toma, y viva la Fiesta!

Santa Barbara’s Fiesta Horse Parade: El Desfile Histórico is Santa Barbara’s Fiesta celebration of the horse and one of the largest equestrian parades in the United States

Fiesta Historical Parade 2018: Learn the lineup for El Desfile Histórico horse procession on August 3

Meet This Year's Fiesta Stars: Quick Conversations with La Presidenta, the Spirits, and Saint Barbara

Wednesday 8/1

Courthouse Fiesta Tours | Daily

Meet in the Mural Room for a guided tour of this Moorish-Spanish building. Tours happen every 30 minutes. 10am-3pm. S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free. Call 962-6464.

Project Fiesta: A History of Old Spanish Days | Daily

In celebration of the more than 90 years of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, explore this spectacular exhibition to discover the origins and experience the pageantry and traditions of this most cherished cultural festival through displays of beautiful restored costumes, posters, artwork, artifacts, and historical photos. 10am-5pm. S.B. Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St. Free; donations accepted. Call 966-1601. sbhistorical.org

S.B. Mission Docent Tours | Daily

Trained docents will lead a special tour of the Queen of the Missions. 11am and 1:30pm. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. Free-$13. Call 682-4713.

El Mercado de la Guerra | Daily

Feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment, all while strolling through this colorful Mexican market. 11am-11pm. De la Guerra Plaza, first block of E. De la Guerra St. Free.

El Mercado del Norte | Daily

Enjoy Fiesta foods, souvenirs at the Fiesta Bazaar, rides and attractions at the Fiesta Carnival, and ice-cold drinks and live entertainment at the Crazy Horse Cantina. The purchase of a wristband gets you unlimited rides. 11am-11pm. MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Admission: free; wristband: $25.

Crazy Horse Cantina

This cantina inside El Mercado del Norte features a beer garden with live entertainment at night and is host during the day to Fiesta’s battle-of-the-bands competition. 11am-10:30pm. El Mercado del Norte, MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Free. Ages 21+ after 5pm.

Fiesta! at Paseo Nuevo | Daily

Celebrate Old Spanish Days Fiesta with flamenco dance performances and live music in the heart of this outdoor paseo. Noon-7pm. Center Ct., Paseo Nuevo, 651 Paseo Nuevo. Free. paseonuevoshopping.com

Casa Cantina

This annual Mexican-style cantina invites all to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta. Noon-midnight. Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. Free-$15. Ages 21+. Call 965-0093. sbthp.org

Sip N’ Swirl

This Fiesta-inspired event will include tequila tastings, cheese pairings, live music, and beautiful views from the rooftop. 5:30-7:30pm. Canary Hotel Rooftop, 31 W. Carrillo St. $35. Ages 21+. Email sales@canarysantabarbara.com. tinyurl.com/FiestaSipNSwirl

La Fiesta Pequeña

Experience “Little Fiesta,” with traditional songs and dance from the Californios — flamenco, Spanish classical, and Mexican folklórico — as they have been performed since 1927. There will also be special performances by the 2018 Spirit and Junior Spirit. 8pm. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. Free.

Thursday 8/2

Courthouse Fiesta Tours | Daily

Meet in the Mural Room for a guided tour of this Moorish-Spanish building. Tours happen every 30 minutes. 10am-3pm. S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free. Call 962-6464.

La Misa del Presidente

Community members of all faiths are welcome to enjoy High Mass followed by a festive reception in the mission’s Sacred Garden to celebrate the longstanding relationship between the Old Mission and Old Spanish Days, as well as the entire Fiesta community. 10am. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. Free. Call 682-4713.

Project Fiesta: A History of Old Spanish Days | Daily

In celebration of the more than 90 years of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, explore this spectacular exhibition to discover the origins and experience the pageantry and traditions of this most cherished cultural festival through displays of beautiful restored costumes, posters, artwork, artifacts, and historical photos. 10am-5pm. S.B. Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St. Free; donations accepted. Call 966-1601. sbhistorical.org

S.B. Mission Docent Tours | Daily

Trained docents will lead a special tour of the Queen of the Missions. 11am and 1:30pm. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. Free-$13. Call 682-4713.

El Mercado de la Guerra | Daily

Feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment, all while strolling through this colorful Mexican market. 11am-11pm. De la Guerra Plaza, first block of E. De la Guerra St. Free.

El Mercado del Norte | Daily

Enjoy Fiesta foods, souvenirs at the Fiesta Bazaar, rides and attractions at the Fiesta Carnival, and ice-cold drinks and live entertainment at the Crazy Horse Cantina. The purchase of a wristband gets you unlimited rides. 11am-11pm. MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Admission: free; wristband: $25.

Crazy Horse Cantina

This cantina inside El Mercado del Norte features a beer garden with live entertainment and is host during the day to Fiesta’s battle-of-the-bands competition. 11am-10:30pm. El Mercado del Norte, MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Free. Ages 21+ after 5pm.

Fiesta! at Paseo Nuevo | Daily

Celebrate Old Spanish Days Fiesta with flamenco dance performances and live music in the heart of this outdoor paseo. Noon-6:30pm. Center Ct., Paseo Nuevo, 651 Paseo Nuevo. Free. paseonuevoshopping.com

Casa Cantina

This annual Mexican-style cantina invites all to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta. Noon-midnight. Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. Free-$15. Ages 21+. Call 965-0093. sbthp.org

S.B. Special Mission Treasures Tour

Learn about some of Old Mission S.B.’s most precious treasures, magnificent architecture, and beautiful and historical artworks in areas not normally open to the public, including the Archive-Library! 2:30pm. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. $20. Ages 12+. Call 682-4713.

Fiesta Beer Tasting

Taste Mexican-inspired craft beers just in time for Fiesta! Conveniently located inside the Public Market. 5-7pm. Wine + Beer, 38 W. Victoria St. $10. Ages 21+. Call 770-7701. tinyurl.com/FiestaBeers

DIGS! Celebración de los Dignatarios

Enjoy food from the Central Coast’s finest eateries, experience wines and tequilas, and dance to the sounds of DJ Hecktik by sunset. All-in-one pricing includes admission, drinks, and food. 5-10pm. S.B. Zoo, 500 Niños Dr. $125-$150. Ages 21+. Call 962-5339. sbzoo.org

Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Touring Pro Division

The nation’s top riders and brave cowboys risk it all in thrilling eight-second rides and jaw-dropping wrecks against animal athletes that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. 7:30pm. Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real. $25-$40. Call 688-5093. sbfiestarodeo.org

Las Noches de Ronda (Nights of Gaiety)

More than 200 performers will create an evening of dance and song, from flamenco to Mexican folklórico. Bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating. 8pm. Sunken Gardens, S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free.

La Nueva Fiesta! Wildcat Dance Party

DJ Darla Bea will spin Latin hits while La Boheme Dancers perform! There will be open dancing after 9:15 p.m. 8-10:30pm. Wildcat Lounge, 15 W. Ortega St. Free-$5. Ages 21+. Call 962-7970. tinyurl.com/LaNuevaFiesta

Friday 8/3

Courthouse Fiesta Tours | Daily

Meet in the Mural Room for a guided tour of this Moorish-Spanish building. Tours happen every 30 minutes. 10am-3pm. S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free. Call 962-6464.

Project Fiesta: A History of Old Spanish Days | Daily

In celebration of the more than 90 years of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, explore this spectacular exhibition to discover the origins and experience the pageantry and traditions of this most cherished cultural festival through displays of beautiful restored costumes, posters, artwork, artifacts, and historical photos. 10am-5pm. S.B. Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St. Free; donations accepted. Call 966-1601. sbhistorical.org

S.B. Mission Docent Tours | Daily

Trained docents will lead a special tour of the Queen of the Missions. 11am and 1:30pm. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. Free-$13. Call 682-4713.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado

Enjoy a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine and entertainment. 11am-9pm. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 227 N. Nopal St. (corner of Nopal and Montecito sts.). Free.

El Mercado de la Guerra | Daily

Feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment, all while strolling through this colorful Mexican market. 11am-11pm. De la Guerra Plaza, first block of E. De la Guerra St. Free.

El Mercado del Norte | Daily

Enjoy Fiesta foods, souvenirs at the Fiesta Bazaar, rides and attractions at the Fiesta Carnival, and ice-cold drinks and live entertainment at the Crazy Horse Cantina. The purchase of a wristband gets you unlimited rides. 11am-11pm. MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Admission: free; wristband: $30.

Crazy Horse Cantina

This cantina inside El Mercado del Norte features a beer garden with live entertainment and is host during the day to Fiesta’s battle-of-the-bands competition. 11am-10:30pm. El Mercado del Norte, MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Free. Ages 21+ after 5pm.

Casa Cantina

This annual Mexican-style cantina invites all to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta. Noon-midnight. Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. Free-$15. Ages 21+. Call 965-0093. sbthp.org

El Desfile Histórico (The Historical Parade)

This year marks the 94th anniversary of the Fiesta Historical Parade, one of the largest equestrian parades in the U.S., featuring more than 600 horses as well as floats, dancers, and antique carriages, coaches, and wagons. The parade starts at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard, proceeds east along the beach to State Street, and then goes up State Street to Sola Street. Noon. Free; reserved seating: $18-$45. For more info, see p. 13.

Fiesta! at Paseo Nuevo | Daily

Celebrate Old Spanish Days Fiesta with flamenco dance performances and live music in the heart of this outdoor paseo. 2-7pm. Center Ct., Paseo Nuevo, 651 Paseo Nuevo. Free. paseonuevoshopping.com

Courthouse Legacy Foundation’s Annual Fiesta Party

Celebrate Fiesta from the second floor of the Courthouse, overlooking the Sunken Gardens and Las Noches de Ronda festivities. The Loggia and Mural Room are the perfect places to view this annual Fiesta celebration while enjoying cocktails, food, and Tony Ybarra on acoustic guitar. You can also get breathtaking and sweeping city views from the Clock Tower. All proceeds benefit the S.B. Courthouse Legacy Foundation. 6:30-9:30pm. S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. $125. Ages 21+. Call 770-7222. sbclf.org

Flor y Canto (Flower and Song)

Interwoven with historical narration, Spanish California dances and songs of the 19th century will be performed by area residents in authentic costumes. Bring a picnic dinner and blankets for lawn seating. 7pm. Sunken Gardens, S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free. Call 962-6464.

Spanish Nights!

Start the evening by enjoying flamenco dance performances, and then end the night dancing to tunes provided by DJ Darla Bea. Dancers: 6-7pm; dance party: 7-10pm. Ty Lounge, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore S.B., 1260 Channel Dr. Free. Ages 21+. Call 969-2261. tinyurl.com/SpanishNightsTyLounge

PRCA Performance: Competencia de los Vaqueros

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeo riders will compete in Bareback Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Stopping, Mutton Bustin’, Saddle Bronc Riding, PRCA Team Roping, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding. 7:30pm. Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real. $15-$25. Call 688-5093. sbfiestarodeo.org

Las Noches de Ronda (Nights of Gaiety)

More than 200 performers will create an evening of dance and song, from flamenco to Mexican folklórico. Bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating. 8pm. Sunken Gardens, S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free.

Saturday 8/4

S.B. American Legion Celebrity | Pancake Breakfast

Come hungry for pancakes or cereal and raise funds for American Legion Post 49 and Veterans’ Memorial Bldg. at the same time. 7am-noon. Veterans’ Memorial Bldg., 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd. $10. Call 636-7961.

88th Annual Desfile de los Niños (Children’s Parade)

Young people of Santa Barbara, their parents, and other parade participants will don traditional costumes and celebrate the rich culture of the area. Ice cream is provided for participants. The parade will go down State Street from Victoria Street to Ortega Street. 10am. Free. Call 564-5418.

Courthouse Fiesta Tours | Daily

Meet in the Mural Room for a guided tour of this Moorish-Spanish building. Tours happen every 30 minutes. 10am-3pm. S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free. Call 962-6464.

Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show

Browse for handmade treasures created by artisans as you stroll along the beautiful beachfront. 10am-6pm. Cabrillo Blvd., west of Stearns Wharf. Free.

Project Fiesta: A History of Old Spanish Days | Daily

In celebration of the more than 90 years of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, explore this spectacular exhibition to discover the origins and experience the pageantry and traditions of this most cherished cultural festival through displays of beautiful restored costumes, posters, artwork, artifacts, and historical photos. 10am-5pm. S.B. Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St. Free; donations accepted. Call 966-1601. sbhistorical.org

S.B. Mission Docent Tours | Daily

Trained docents will lead a special tour of the Queen of the Missions. 10:30am and 2pm. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. Free-$13. Call 682-4713.

Crazy Horse Cantina

This cantina inside El Mercado del Norte features a beer garden with live entertainment and is host during the day to Fiesta’s battle-of-the-bands competition. 11am-10:30pm. El Mercado del Norte, MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Free. Ages 21+ after 4pm.

El Mercado de la Guerra | Daily

Feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment, all while strolling through this colorful Mexican market. 11am-11pm. De la Guerra Plaza, first block of E. De la Guerra St. Free.

El Mercado del Norte | Daily

Enjoy Fiesta foods, souvenirs at the Fiesta Bazaar, rides and attractions at the Fiesta Carnival, and ice-cold drinks and live entertainment at the Crazy Horse Cantina. The purchase of a wristband gets you unlimited rides. 11am-11pm. MacKenzie Park, State St. and Las Positas Rd. Admission: free; wristband: $30.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado

Enjoy a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine and entertainment. 11am-9pm. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 227 N. Nopal St. (corner of Nopal and Montecito sts.). Free.

Fiesta! at Paseo Nuevo | Daily

Celebrate Old Spanish Days Fiesta with flamenco dance performances and live music in the heart of this outdoor paseo. Noon-7pm. Center Ct., Paseo Nuevo, 651 Paseo Nuevo. Free. paseonuevoshopping.com

Casa Cantina

This annual Mexican-style cantina invites all to relax, purchase a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta. The 4-Day Viva Pass is available at nightout.com. Noon-midnight. Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. Free-$15. Ages 21+. Call 965-0093. sbthp.org/casacantina

Margaritas y Más Festival

Enjoy unlimited samples of margaritas or tequila/mezcal from Mexico’s top purveyors, savor food from area food trucks (for additional cost), groove to live music, and play jumbo lawn games! 1pm. Elings Park, 1298 Las Positas Rd. Designated driver: $10; GA: $50. Ages 21+. margaritasymasfestival.com

Tardes de Ronda (Afternoon of Gaiety)

This afternoon of dances and songs from various Mexican regions features performers ages 16 and younger. 1-5pm. Sunken Gardens, S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free.

23rd Annual S.B. Mariachi Festival

This festival, featuring Alicia Villareal, Lupillo Rivera, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, Mariachi Mariposas, and Mariachi Angeles, will show you the heart and soul of mariachi. 5:30pm. S.B. Bowl, 1122 N. Milpas St. $55-$115. Call 962-7411. sbbowl.com

Telling the Truth About California Missions

Take a sober look at the other side of our state’s history. The Barbareño Chumash Council, S.B. Unitarian Society, and Tribal Eye Productions will screen this half-hour nonfiction film that corrects widely held historical myths about Junípero Serra, California’s missions and their treatment of Native Americans, and the lies, myths, and falsehoods that glorified these institutions while denigrating the people for whom they were supposedly built. 7pm. Unitarian Society of S.B., 1535 Santa Barbara St. Free. Call 637-1207 or email shalawa2@gmail.com.

PRCA Performance: Competencia de los Vaqueros

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo riders will compete in Bareback Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Stopping, Mutton Bustin’, Saddle Bronc Riding, PRCA Team Roping, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding. 7:30pm. Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real. $15-$25. Call 688-5093. sbfiestarodeo.org

Las Noches de Ronda (Nights of Gaiety)

More than 200 performers will create an evening of dance and song, from flamenco to Mexican folklórico. Bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating. 8pm. Sunken Gardens, S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free.

Sunday 8/5

S.B. American Legion | Celebrity Pancake Breakfast

Come hungry for pancakes or cereal and raise funds for American Legion Post 49 and Veterans Memorial Building at the same time. 7am-noon. Veterans’ Memorial Bldg., 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd. $10. Call 636-7961.

Courthouse Fiesta Tours | Daily

Meet in the Mural Room for a guided tour of this Moorish-Spanish building. Tours happen every 60 minutes. 10am-3pm. S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free. Call 962-6464.

Fiesta Car Show 2018

This car show will have more than 250 car entries of all types, food for sale, vendors, live music, and a raffle. 10am-4pm. Boys & Girls Club of S.B., 632 E. Canon Perdido St. Free. Call 962-2382 or email harmony@boysgirls.org. boysgirls.org

Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show

Browse for handmade treasures created by artisans as you stroll along the beautiful beachfront. 10am-5pm. Cabrillo Blvd., west of Stearns Wharf. Free.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado

Enjoy a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine and entertainment. 11am-9pm. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 227 N. Nopal St. (corner of Nopal and Montecito sts.). Free.

Project Fiesta: A History of Old Spanish Days | Daily

In celebration of the more than 90 years of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, explore this spectacular exhibition to discover the origins and experience the pageantry and traditions of this most cherished cultural festival through displays of beautiful restored costumes, posters, artwork, artifacts, and historical photos. Noon-5pm. S.B. Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St. Free; donations accepted. Call 966-1601. sbhistorical.org

Fiesta! at Paseo Nuevo | Daily

Celebrate Old Spanish Days Fiesta with flamenco dance performances and live music in the heart of this outdoor paseo. 12:30-3:30pm. Center Ct., Paseo Nuevo, 651 Paseo Nuevo. Free. paseonuevoshopping.com

S.B. Mission Docent Tours | Daily

Trained docents will lead a special tour of the Queen of the Missions. 1:30pm. Old Mission S.B., 2201 Laguna St. Free-$13. Call 682-4713.

Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Performance: Final Event

Riders will compete in Bareback Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Stopping, Team Penning, Mutton Bustin’, and Saddle Bronco Riding, plus PRCA Team Roping, Barrel-Racing, and Bull Riding. 2pm. Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real. $10-$15. Call 688-5093. sbfiestarodeo.org

West Coast Symphony Orchestra 48th | Annual Fiesta Concert

Under the direction of conductor Dr. Michael Shasberger, the concert will feature music with a Spanish flair. Bring snacks and lawn chairs or blankets for lawn seating. 3:30pm. Sunken Gardens, S.B. County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Free.

Fiesta Finale Gala

Wear cocktail attire or your Fiesta outfit one last time to honor Santa Barbara traditions with fabulous cuisine, professional dance performances, dancing to live music, a costume contest, artwork that comes to life with the recreation of the poster from the 1947 movie Fiesta Brava, and legendary pianist Gil Rosas. Proceeds go toward the Profant Foundation for the Arts scholarships. 5:30-9pm. El Paseo Restaurant, 10 El Paseo. $225. Call 705-9179. profantfoundation.org/fiesta-finale

For more information and schedules, call 962-8101 or visit sbfiesta.org.

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