Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue title=
2019 Fiesta Parade (Photo: Fritz Olenberger)
Reads 7499

Update by Santa Barbara County Health Department

With the beginning of the yearly tradition of Old Spanish Days Fiesta in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reminds community members and visitors that Local Health Officer order 2020-12.5 prohibits gatherings of any size due to elevated disease transmission of COVID-19. A gathering is defined as any event or convening that brings people together in a single room or single indoor or outdoor space at the same time. Limited exceptions apply. Santa Barbara County remains on the County Monitoring List due to continuing high case rates and hospitalizations.

Risk of contracting COVID-19 significantly increases in crowded places, enclosed spaces, and with close contact to others. “This year will have to be different for every person hoping to celebrate. The decisions we make in the next few days will set the course for what the transmission of COVID-19 looks like in the weeks to come,” shared Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg. “Please wear a face covering, avoid gatherings, and maintain your distance from those that do not live in your home.”  

The following measures can reduce the risk for getting and spreading COVID-19. Together we are stronger as we stay safely apart.

  • Stay home when possible.
  • Remain six feet away from others and wear a facial covering when engaging in tasks away from home.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not go to work or other places. 

More information about the COVID-19 response locally, visit or call the County Call Center at 1(833) 688 – 5551.

Source: Old Spanish Days

The Fiesta Spirit lives in the heart.
As we have done from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Spanish Days (OSD) continues to make decisions that are in the best interest of public health and safety.  To that end, we are not going to proceed with our small but spirited reimagined Fiesta caravan car parade that was scheduled for Friday, August 7.  
The reimagined Fiesta parade was carefully planned and coordinated alongside city officials in the hopes of bringing Fiesta cheer to our community in a safe and distanced way.  The route would have traversed 19+ miles and featured 20 historic convertible cars and trolleys escorted by city police. The public was encouraged to stay at home and wave at the caravan at a safe distance.  
OSD Parade organizers were told by County and City Officials on Tuesday afternoon that a parade could potentially cause people to gather which would be in violation of County Health Orders and should be reconsidered.    
Our priority is, and will always be, our beloved community of Santa Barbara. Old Spanish Days is proud to be an integral part of what makes our community special and we cherish our special bond with generations of local families and those who come to celebrate each year.  Our wish is that Santa Barbara stays safe, healthy and keeps the Spirit of Fiesta alive in their hearts.  The joy of Fiesta will live on.  Viva la Fiesta!  

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
a-1596650961 Aug 05, 2020 11:09 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

And what say you about the people jam-packed along the street to watch the 100% safe car caravan? Gotta consider all the parts of the parade, not just the people in the street.

Lucky 777 Aug 05, 2020 10:58 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

20 cars full of costumed "Dignitarios" instead of hundreds of horses and floats and bands..... gee whiz. It was a poor substitute. I think of Fiesta as our Mardi Gras, the once a year chance to blow off steam, and I do so look forward to riding my mule in it. This year more than ever we need some kind of gestures to bring the community together. They could have opened the car caravan to Old Timer antique car clubs and had it be a real treat to see going by, and to make it properly ethnic it could have had lots of Low Riders with their customized cars. But no. Who wanted to wait on the curb just to see the Mayor and her City Council drive by waving, and have a chance to "boo" at them...

a-1596650870 Aug 05, 2020 11:07 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

The idea was stupid to begin with, making it bigger would have made it even more of a public health risk. How does switching out horses for cars do anything about the real problem, which is masses of people lining State Street spreading COVID? Answer: it doesn't. Thank you, Fiesta, for being logical and making the right decision, even though it is emotionally upsetting. These are the hard choices we need to continue to make.

Basicinfo805 Aug 05, 2020 02:34 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Good call to cancel this. Sorry for those who can't handle that but that's my take. Let's let the fiesta player's club, largely 50-70+ somethings (=highest chance of becoming a stastistic, which will hurt us all) cruise around together in their cars? Hmm, yeah I don't think so. Hey, the bar's been set - schools (and many businesses, camps, etc.) can't happen, and that's a real shame, so I don't see why we should let this happen.

a-1596665203 Aug 05, 2020 03:06 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Fiesta is not unionized, which is the only reason the schools won't open. Unions won't let them, so you can't compare the two events. Has nothing to do with health or arbitrary numbers. Viva la.

a-1596667223 Aug 05, 2020 03:40 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

From this point forward any calls shutting down anything due to "covid" must be made by those no longer getting their paycheck, by someone who has real skin in the game. Not paid bureaucrats or politicians, who have no immediate stake in the economic future of this town. This was a terrible call. Who are these people? A good civics teaching moment.

LocalinSB Aug 05, 2020 04:24 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Did they just now realize that gathering would have occurred if they had a parade? They have no common sense... They are ruining the economy by the on-again, off-again rules, the lack of enforcement and the insane desire to keep tourists heading to Santa Barbara for the weekend. Some industries just need to be closed and the way they are going about things is just making everything worse.

REX OF SB Aug 05, 2020 04:26 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Well, all isn't lost. I've decided to drive my Nissan Cube along what was to be the parade route, throwing handfuls of confetti out the window at anyone who's on the street. It may not be as festive as a float or a carriage, but I'll tie a couple of balloons to the antenna and play mariachi music on the stereo and roll all the windows down, and a good time should be had by all. Also, there will be no horse poop to clean up. I'd bring the Huskies, but too much confetti would get in their fur. Ah, jeez, where are Maria Margelli, Jules Lindner and Flicka now that we need them?

a-1596774818 Aug 06, 2020 09:33 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

And I hope she really is recovering. Haven't emailed her in a long time, it feels like bugging her. I only know her from here, but we share a lot of equine SB history.

forrealnews Aug 05, 2020 07:11 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

If people would just wear the stupid masks and keep distance, we could have some fun things and more people would partipate in local commerce. The dummies are the ones stopping all this stuff from happening for everyone.

a-1596685240 Aug 05, 2020 08:40 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Perhaps our community should rethink Fiesta. It is celebrating ... the settlers and soldiers from Mexico and Spain, appearing here in the 1700's, enslaving the local native population (who were forced to move out of their villages and then build the missions and adobes of the invaders). The well armed invaders laid claim to ancient native tribal lands and waterways, then killed off much of the local flora and fauna to create their city. Later in the century into the 1800's, the European and American influx brought more changes and cultural upheaval up and down the coast. In the 1920's a group of mostly white folks and their clubs decided what the heck let's celebrate all this, it worked out well for us. It used to be a small city function, not the tourist madness and junk vendor mess it ended up being. Enough already. Let's rethink and regroup.

a-1596687096 Aug 05, 2020 09:11 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Just do it. Just not an official activity; but old fashion spontaneous summer outdoor fun. Old Spanish Days has worked so hard all year round. No reason they can just meet up and drive the 19 mile route in their own cars, and show that Fiesta spirit. Community loves you and has always looked forward to those few special days when young and old come together, share food, share music and share appreciation for the diverse roots of our community.

vvorker Aug 06, 2020 07:48 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

What about the animal cruelty angle..Had a horse die from a stroke a few years ago. Ironic how the Old Spanish we were celebrating, gave the Natives their first and last Pandemic. Kinda like history going full circle again. Perhaps in 100 years from now when the Chinese come back and reclaim the land we will celebrate old Chinese days and dress up in the Cooley look and throw firecrackers around... Remember they were are cheap labor around town for over 100 years, before we were invaded by the cheap labor from the south...

LFG Aug 06, 2020 07:52 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

If they'd like to do anything, they're going about it the wrong way. Rather then celebrate Fiesta, they need to "protest" Fiesta. Then gathering in big crowds is totally ok. Viva la Fiesta Protesta!

PitMix Aug 06, 2020 12:01 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

9:55, are you saying nothing bad happened during the Spanish period when the missions enslaved native americans and spread diseases through their populations, greatly reducing their numbers? Yes bad things also happened later. But be honest about it all.

SantaBarbaraObserver Aug 06, 2020 12:20 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Coolio, Maybe its time but a lot of people still like to play Spanish dress-up while dancing to Norteno music, drinking Mexican beer and eating Mexican food. Strangely, all seemingly sponsored by Tecate... Viva The Party Brah. Old what days?

a-1596733707 Aug 06, 2020 10:08 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

If public health becomes governance, we will never emerge from shelter or an economic depression again. The severe cases are very much older or ill people. Focus on them. The percentages of death very low--with all due respect. 95% plus recover. Next we will be wearing PP clothes--egad. Most people, like other colds, flus, bronchitis, recover. This also attacks people practicing poor hygiene in general. This is now the deep end. Will encourage irrational thinking as well.

PitMix Aug 06, 2020 11:59 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Irrational thinking like your post. This pandemic has higher death rates and more long term effects than the maladies you list. That is why we are treating it differently.

OWLworks Aug 06, 2020 10:37 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Our City is losing its identity through this "identity politics" hatred gone rampant. Shaming, blaming, ranting. egad.
We will end up just another tourist town looking for bucks and now, getting bugs from other places?
We have always welcomed visitors (Fiesta) and that has helped our economy to share the other traditions of arts, music, collaboration of cultures. We have nothing to be ashamed of celebrating the diverse peoples, ideas, and the real progress made in a constantly civilizing culture. We do not need hatred of history, others, and self --reflected in so many comments about our SB culture.
This is hispanic/european/ black / asian "all American culture". Let's stay present and positive about a common future of recovery in every aspect of better thoughts and actions!

a-1596774551 Aug 06, 2020 09:29 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

How is Fiesta not just another tourist event looking for bucks?!
Okay, I get your point, generations of families getting together to cook, eat and be part of Desfile de los Ninos. That DOES happen in other community festivals and parades, even the Rose Parade, which was cancelled a while back. We'll get by without this event.

a-1596738716 Aug 06, 2020 11:31 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Pretty hard to gather packed covid-coughing crowds along a 19 mile caravan route. 19 miles is approximately a 200,000 feet long space using both sides of the route, allowing for 33,000 persons at 6 feet distancing, or 66,000 persons at the WHO recommended 3 feet (one meter) distancing. My guess, is there would be plenty of room to spare, and there was no realistic threat of "packed crowds" of this size anywhere along this 19 mile route. Thanks for trying Old Spanish Days -our heart is still with you.

PitMix Aug 06, 2020 11:55 AM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

You are assuming that people will space out evenly along the route. More likely is a bunch will go down to chase palm park and see it from there, and be packed together.

Lorax Aug 06, 2020 12:48 PM
Reimagined Fiesta Caravan Parade Will Not Continue

Rediculous, let the parade go on. So sick of the overreacting politics that most likely end the day after election regardless of what moron is elected.
Move on SB and Viva la Fiesta.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.