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Fiesta 2015 in Santa Barbara


Old Spanish Days are such a big part of Santa Barbara heritage! You do not want to miss out on any of the fun that take place every August.  One of our favorite date nights of the year is… Celebración De Los Dignatarios. This is a fun “locals” event filled with dancing, music, and great food.

There is so much to see and do during Fiesta – whether you attend the opening festivities (Fiesta Pequena) at the Mission tonight, watch a parade, attend the rodeo, watch a dance performance at the Sunken Gardens, hear a concert, go to the carnival or stroll through the colorful Mexican markets to enjoy Spanish and Mexican-American foods. Every year we try to discover something new to experience. No matter what age, kids never seem to tire of cascarones, the colorful confetti filled eggs that decorate our streets.


  • La Recepción del Presidente, Double Tree Resort
    This event unofficially kicks off Fiesta week. A wonderful evening in the beautiful outdoor Plaza del Sol at the Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, this event brings together Fiesta history with the excitement of the Fiesta to come.
  • La Fiesta Pequeña, Santa Barbara Mission 8pm FREE
    “The Little Fiesta” officially opens Old Spanish Days on the steps of Santa Barbara’s historic Old Mission.
  • Celebración De Los Dignatarios, Santa Barbara Zoo, 5:00-10:00pm
    Participate in a locals adult night on the town where you can enjoy delicious appetizers and delectable wines presented by local restaurants and wineries.
  • Las Noches De Ronda, Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 8:00pm FREE
    A splendid variety show of music, singing, fiery Flamenco from Spain, and vivid Folklórico dances from many regions of Mexico.
  • El Desfile Histórico/Parade, 12:00pm FREE
    One of the largest equestrian parades in the United States.
  • Flor y Canto, Courthouse Sunken Garden 7:00pm FREE
    See the original Spanish California dances & songs of the 19th century. Interwoven with historic narration, the musical numbers are accompanied on replica acoustic instruments.
  • Las Noches De Ronda, Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 8:00pm FREE
    A splendid variety show of music, singing, fiery Flamenco from Spain, and vivid Folklórico dances from many regions of Mexico.
  • Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast, Alameda Park, Saturday 7am-12pm, $6
  • El Desfile De Los Niños/Children’s Parade, Santa Barbara, Saturday 10:00am FREE
  • Tardes De Ronda, Children’s Variety Show, Sunken Gardens, Saturday 1pm-5pm FREE
    Colorful costumes, children from the Santa Barbara area demonstrate their talents & multi-cultural heritage.
  • Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show, Cabrillo Blvd, west of Stearns Wharf 10am-7pm FREE
  • West Coast Symphony Fiesta Concert, Sunken Gardens, Sunday 3:30pm FREE
  • Fiesta at Paseo Nuevo – Join Paseo Nuevo as they celebrate Old Spanish Day’s Fiesta with Flamenco dance performances and live music in Center Court all week long. VIEW SCHEDULE
  • El Mercado de la Guerra – located in De La Guerra Plaza. Stroll through a colorful Mexican market (across from City Hall) to feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment all day and into the early evening.
  • El Mercado Del Norte – located in Mackenzie Park. Come for the fun and the food, stay for the music and dancing. Food court where you can watch daily entertainment and enjoy Fiesta foods; the Fiesta Bazaar for souvenirs; Fiesta Carnival with rides and attractions for the kids, and the Crazy Horse Cantina and live entertainment in the evening.
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado – located at 227 N. Nopal Street. Enjoy one of the best traditions of Fiesta. Our lady of Guadalupe Mercado serves up a wide array of authentic Mexican cuisine and entertainment.
  • Casa Cantina – You are invited to relax, sip a cold drink, and celebrate at the home of Fiesta, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation!
  • County Courthouse Tours… If you’ve never visited the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Fiesta is a great time to do so.
  • Be sure to attend events at the Santa Barbara Fiesta Rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds. Check out the website for more details on these events: The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Challenger Tour, and the Old Spanish Days Fiesta Stock Horse And Rodeo.
July 27, 2015

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  1. Reyna Angel says:

    Our favorite Fiesta tradition is visiting Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Sunday Morning.
    There are less crowds on Sunday. This is the one place that you are guaranteed to get authentic delicious affordable Mexican food. There is dancing, music, food and games. It is a good time for all!!!

  2. Stephanie Torres says:

    My favorite Fiesta Tradition has been wearing our purple hats with the Yellow dingleballs ~ everywhere we go they are a hit! The are one of a kind. As kids we hated wearing them,but then as an adult, we do enjoy the attention. Oh and Dignatarios, It one of the best Adult only parties in town where you can be as Wild as the animals. Viva La Fiesta

  3. Sarah Mack says:

    Our Favorite Family Tradtions are: One-waiting for the floats to make their way to the end of the parade and the drivers let the children gather the flowers from the floats. Two: the El Presidente Mass at The Old Mission
    And Third: The Pancake Breakfast, followed by The
    Children’s Parade.

  4. marygrace Monteleone says:

    Fiestas is one of my favorite times of the year. We were involved as children and now my children are involved in the Flower Girl & Las Senoritas program. My favorite Fiesta activity is visiting rest homes/retirement homes with the Flower Girls & Las Senoritas (in full costume) to hand out flowers to the residents that are not able to partake in the many events. The residents are very appreciative and it is very heartwarming.
    Other favorite events are Fiesta Pequena, the parades, and visiting the mercados to eat drink and dance!
    Viva La!

  5. gabriela dodson says:

    I have two favorite activities – watching the parade on Friday nights and watching the dancing during the evening at the Sunken Gardens.