El Mercado De La Guerra
At De La Guerra Plaza, Downtown
Stroll through a colorful Mexican market to feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs and enjoy live entertainment all day and into the evening. This festive street fair is located downtown in De la Guerra Plaza (across from City Hall).
El Mercado as its known in Spain and
Mexico, or "the marketplace" in cities throughout the world, has been
the center of village and city life. The focus of gathering for the
people in Santa Barbara, however, had been the Presidio, as the town had
Robert Hoyt, a well-known architect designed and constructed the booths reflective of true mercado puestos and helped determine the rental to be charged in order that the mercado be self-supporting.
For the first time each booth was sponsored
by a non-profit or religious organization of the City of Santa Barbara
and the revenue earned was to be used for their organization. The food,
beverage, candy and merchandise sold was limited to the items that would
be found in a mercado of the Spanish and Mexican California period.