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 Santa Barbara > Events & Festivals > Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Fiesta is an important Santa Barbara tradition that has continued for over 75 years.

The annual event provides an education of the history, customs, and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and early American settlers that comprise the rich cultural heritage of Santa Barbara. Fiesta is a unique forum for the cultural expression of our diversity. Fiesta provides a vehicle for the non-profit and community service groups to raise funds for local charities and social service organizations.

The event annually draws thousands of visitors from around the world. Fiesta performers come from around the nation and Mexico to participate. Celebrities of international renown who have participated or performed in Fiesta include Leo Carrillo, Will Rogers, Shirley Temple, Charles Lindberg, William Randolph Hearst, Don Wilson, Paul Whitman, and Delores Del Rio.

Opening Ceremonies -  "Little Fiesta" is the official opening ceremony of Fiesta and takes place on the Steps of the Old Mission Santa Barbara. View pictures and web movies of opening ceremonies.

Fiesta Dignatarios at the Santa Barbara Zoo - Held jointly with Old Spanish Days, this event honors Santa Barbara's elected officials. This event is held at the Santa Barbara Zoo and features live entertainment, dancing, mariachis, margaritas, and tempting food from local restaurants. View pictures and web movies of Fiesta Dignatarios.

El Mercado De La Guerra - El Mercado De La Guerra is located in De La Guerra Plaza in the center of Old Downtown between historic El Paseo and City Hall. This is the heart of Fiesta's traditional and contemporary music scene. This open-air marketplace offers a wide selection of Mexican & Spanish food delicacies.

Fiesta Finale - An elegant evening of professional music and dance. Featuring State Street Ballet, opera, Latin music, and Flamenco. Tickets benefit the John E. Profant Foundation's scholarship program. Free seating also available on the lawn for 8pm show.

Fiesta Cam -'s annual Fiesta Cam cruises the clubs & restaurants on State Street.

Fiesta Parade

The Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days Fiesta Parade celebrates the History of the Santa Barbara area. Different cultural groups and time periods are represented in the parade, including entries from local Native American groups, Spanish Colonial re-enactors, Ranchero period revelers, and nineteenth century American settlers. The first historic Fiesta parade took place at August 13, 1924. The Fiesta parade starts Friday afternoon

Children's Parade

If you love creativity wrapped in innocence and charm, then El Desfile de Los Ninos, The Children’s Parade, is a must see! Wearing colorful Fiesta attire, ninas and charritos parade down State Street. With the children com home-crafted wagons &carts pulled by dogs, parents, and big brothers. Colorful streams of ribbons, flowers and balloons array the parade. The Children's parade starts Saturday morning.