August 6, 2007 - Smoke and Mares
Another Fiesta has come and gone. In our own humble opinion, this year's Fiesta was not one to ride home about. First there were the ashes that filled the sky and fell to the ground like confetti. Then, there was the shooting.
The ash was just a random thing. The fire was started by accident, and it just happened that Parade Friday was the day it chose to billow smoke over the mountains and dump debris into the air.
The shooting could have happened any time a big crowd gathered on lower State to part-e. As we walked down State Street after the parade, we got the sense that the crowd was full of out-of-towners ready to drink, yell, and fight. Santa Barbara spends a lot of time and energy attracting upscale tourists to our upscale shops and attractions. But, it seems as if the Fiesta Parade attracts a different type of visitor, including people from Oxnard carrying guns who are willing to fight over a girl.
The biggest concern regarding Fiesta however, doesn't involve guns or ashes. It's the precipitous decline in horses participating in our world-famous horse parade. Because the dedicated staff of edhat.com has diligently counted these animals for the last four years, we are able to say which much certainty that this year's parade had 25% FEWER HORSES than two years ago! Now you might think that this is a good thing. 25% fewer horses means 25% less horse poop on the pavement. But it also means that our tenuous claim to be the biggest horse parade in North American is in jeopardy of being nosed out by the tenuous claim of some other parade.
This year we counted 402 horses. There were also about 40 mules that weren't included in our tally for the simple reason that mules are not horses. The dedicated staff went to two parties - one at Hatch and Parent, and one at Cearnal Andrulaitis Architects. Even after a few margaritas, we didn't count the parties as horses. What's the old expression? If parties were horses, Paris Hilton would drive. For the record, in comparing the two parties, the architects had better margaritas (and much livelier bartenders), and the lawyers had better food.
Guesses were high in the Edhat contest to guess the number of horses. In fact, only three subscribers guessed lower than the actual number. Teacher guessed 396. He/she gets the top grade and some extra credit - a coveted Edhat t-shirt.
Here are some pictures of the parade.
The 2007 horses are now on the graph! Check out this cool graph showing all the trends in Santa Barbara parades - santa hats, drums, horses, and dogs.