Fiesta, not Siesta
Dance the week away at Fiesta’s most notable events
Written by Elliana Westmacott
El Mercado Del Norte
Fiesta week serves as the most memorable summer days in Santa Barbara. El Mercado Del Norte, a family friendly carnival that takes place in Mackenzie Park, is the center of the fiesta. For four days (August 3 - 6) kids scream joyfully from the flashy rides and people dance to the rhythm of Old Spanish songs while waiting for tamales and churros. Here, both professionals and visitors will be singing until the last hours of fiesta.
El Mercado De La Guerra
Across from City Hall, vendors line the streets and the smell of fresh Mexican food wafts through the air. Shop for food, vividly colored clothes, uniquely decorated confetti eggs, and practically any item you can imagine. Shopping in Santa Barbara is always enjoyable, but with four days of this festive event, the downtown streets of Santa Barbara are more exciting than ever (and sprinkled with confetti).
Fiesta Stock Horse Show
Earl Warren Show Grounds is the home to many of Santa Barbara’s most popular events throughout the year. For Fiesta, the showgrounds host an Old Spanish Days Show and Rodeo. People gather from all over to watch horses canter carrying beautifully decorated equestrians. On Friday the fifth, animals and people race to their heart's content in the spirit of Fiesta.
Surrounded by the preserved historical Casa De La Guerra, with the decorative accents of fiesta hung everywhere, the Casa Cantina fiesta party serves as a fun gathering spot with live music and refreshing beverages. For two days (August 4 - 6) the days of Casa De La Guerra will be lively and the nights filled to the brim with the songs of history.
Viva La Fiesta (Loquita)
Gather at Loquita for food with traditional Spanish flavors that melt in your mouth (paella, anyone?), music and dancing that can only be described as vibrance to the eyes and ears, and bottomless Sangria that tops off Fiesta Friday with a hoorah! Live flamenco dances from Zermeño Dance Academy and the spirit of the Old Spanish Traditions are preserved with Loquita’s Viva La Fiesta celebration of history and pleasantries.
Flor Y Canto
What better way to celebrate Fiesta than to truly transport yourself into the Spanish traditions? With your friends and family, on a comfortable blanket surrounded by fresh air and free spirit, you can enjoy the original Spanish California dances and songs at the Flor Y Canto celebration held at Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens on Friday, August 5th. Everyone loves a picnic; with the companionship of lively songs and dances performed to acoustic instruments, there’s no doubt it will be a night to remember.
State Street Parade
The Fiesta Parade held on State Street is one of the most popular events of Santa Barbara summers. Colorful flags decorate the buildings and floats, confetti covers the heads of children racing by, and songs ring throughout the streets of downtown Santa Barbara. Everywhere you look, there is the buzz of happiness in the midst of summer heat. On Friday, a majority of Santa Barbara’s residents will be dancing, watching, or waving, at the Downtown Fiesta Parade.
Put the cervesas and margaritas on hold for a moment and head to Sunstone Winery. Cultures collide as the French countryside-like setting fills with Mexican food, Flamenco performances, Mariachi music and Latin Rock August 5-7th. Plus: seven new wines will be released that weekend.