Old Spanish Days “Fiesta” Parade in Santa Barbara

Fiesta  in Santa Barbara have become a tradition for me.  The event is held the first weekend of August every year.  My favorite event is the parade on Friday afternoon.

The first parade took place August 13,1924, (hmm…coincidentaly that is my birthday maybe that is why I love it so)  The celebration was initially held partly in honor for the opening of Lobero Theater and partly a way to draw visitors to Santa Barbara in the summer.  Before then most visitors came during the winter.

The parade celebrates the history of the Santa Barbara area.  The history and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and early American settlers are commemorated.

The parade is one of the largest equestrian parades in the country.  The riders are often costumed to represent periods in the past.

Spanish style female riders.

Every good parade needs a marching band!  This one is from Oxnard.

My favorite section of the band are always the drums.

Participants in the parade come from far away places.  This large group of riders came from Jalisco, Mexico!

The horses from Mexico are particularly beautiful and trained to do tricks and appear to dance to the music.

I really loved the colors of this rider’s costume against her beautiful horse.

There was an awe-inspiring performance by this gentleman that does tricks with his rope.

I took many pictures hoping that his skill would translate…

I was thrilled to get this action shot…pretty cool!

There was a group of horses that had the most amazing hair.  Long and luxurious – look at the curls around the hooves…

Just a gorgeous horse!

I found the costumes, saddles, and blankets of these riders particularly beautiful and inspiring.  The embroidery work is simply amazing.  I see a bed cover made with this hand craftsmanship.

This rider was color coordinated with her horse.  His mane, intricately fastened with ribbons and roses.

The local fire department always participates at the end of the parade to help clean up the mess.

They cart a historic piece of fire equipment and usually a fire fighter rides in the wheel for fun.

It’s always fun to people watch at the parade.  I love seeing the children all dressed up in their Fiesta finery.  This small had a great pink dress and colorful Gerber daisies in their hair.

Lots of little gals in Spanish Flamenco style dresses.  Loved the polka dots!

This parade makes me smile every year.  Mark your calendars…next year’s event is August 3-7.  For more information about the parade and other festivities during Old Spanish Days…http://www.oldspanishdays-fiesta.org/new/index.php

1 Comment

Filed under Things I like

One response to “Old Spanish Days “Fiesta” Parade in Santa Barbara

  1. Hi Kari, good to be back here.

    And happy birthday my friend! I hope you are being treated royally.

    You are a good photographer. Love that rope action shot!

    A warm hug to you,


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