Economic Impact of Fiesta to be Studied

Economic Impact of Fiesta to be Studied title=
Economic Impact of Fiesta to be Studied
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2017 Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebration in Santa Barbara (Photo: Fritz Olenberger)

Old Spanish Days have partnered with UC Santa Barbara to determine how much money the annual Fiesta celebration generates for the City of Santa Barbara.

Every summer since 1924, Fiesta events aim to spread music, dancing, and traditions of the Rancho period across the City of Santa Barbara. Visitors and locals attend numerous celebratory events throughout the city during the first week of August each year.

“As much as Fiesta heralds light, music, and color throughout the city, it also serves as a substantial economic generator for the local Santa Barbara area,” explained 2017 Fiesta La Presidente Rhonda Ledson Henderson. “Hundreds of local non-profits and merchants participate in the festivities and welcome the influx of business from locals as well as tourism dollars from out of town visitors to the area.”

For 2018’s Fiesta, Old Spanish Days is requesting help with a survey. The UC Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project (EFP) has been appointed to conduct a study of the impact Fiesta has on the local economy and quality of life. The Board of Directors of Fiesta and other stakeholders hope to use this study to protect the tradition of Old Spanish Days Fiesta for future generations.

“The economic report will find the impact Fiesta has on the businesses and individuals in the city of Santa Barbara, information Old Spanish Days can present to local government and the community that will help to ensure Fiesta continues to provide education and entertainment to the community in the coming years,” said Dr. Peter Rupert Director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project. “Unfortunately, EFP cannot complete its study without YOUR help!”

In order to complete this study, EFP requires over 1000 surveys from individual Fiesta attendees and another 200 surveys from local businesses. The survey is estimated to take five minutes to complete. EFP staff will be distributing surveys throughout the week of Fiesta at all venues.  Survey participants will either receive a fiesta-themed prize or be entered a raffle.

All survey data will be kept entirely confidential, with only EFP researchers seeing any of the raw data. EFP encourages anyone attending Fiesta or any concurrent events, residents and nonresidents of Santa Barbara alike, to fill out a survey and assist in the preservation of this unique cultural tradition. The survey is available online at

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Factotum Aug 01, 2018 11:39 AM
Economic Impact of Fiesta to be Studied

How will they factor in the costs of extra policing required to protect against outside Ventura gangs who have caused problems in the past?

Lucky 777 Aug 01, 2018 11:22 AM
Economic Impact of Fiesta to be Studied

Poorly designed survey. Asks how much "DID you spend on Fiesta THIS YEAR" and is out in the media on the FIRST day of the festivities. Should have included "or plan to spend." Also no opportunity to discuss the true facts of Fiesta, such as "do you avoid going downtown during Fiesta?" "Do you have suggestions for making Fiesta safer and/or more fun?" The ECONOMIC impact is not the only aspect of the event that concerns residents.

a-1590853939 Aug 01, 2018 08:09 AM
Economic Impact of Fiesta to be Studied

Food vendor enforcement is important to protect our health. Sickness from food preparation is relatively common. Also, remember being at a party and how it can be memorably bad? Let's keep Fiesta safe.

420722 Jul 31, 2018 07:01 PM
Economic Impact of Fiesta to be Studied

What ever happened to just having a party and then remembering how fun it was. They are killing the fiesta vibes with all the bans, the impact studies and food vendor enforcement. Let’s just viva la fiesta for crying out loud.

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