Fiesta Horse Parade and Winner Announced

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Scroll through the above photos of the Historical Fiesta parade by Fritz Olenberger

Update by edhat staff

Old Spanish Days historic Fiesta parade drew thousands of spectators and over hundreds of horses to State Street on Friday afternoon.

This was the 95th anniversary of El Desfile Histórico featuring hundreds of floats and historic carriages, coaches, and wagons. The parade started at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard and proceeded east along the beach to State Street, concluding at Sola Street. 

This is one of the nation’s largest equestrian parades. Every year the dedicated staff of counts the number of horses, not mules or donkeys, in the parade. Edhat readers submitted their best guess and we've picked the winner who guessed the closest number.

We counted a total of 492 horses in this year's parade. The winner is Patrick who guessed 499 horses. Congrats and viva la Fiesta!

La Presidenta Barbara Carroll

By edhat staff

It's our annual horse counting parade! We do it every year, and every year the numbers change. One edhat staffer will watch the parade in close detail and count how many horses took place in the parade. Keep in mind, we only count horses. Not mules, donkeys, or bulls. Yes, sometimes a man rides a bull, it's fun. 

What's the prize? Great question! We'll be giving away a Fiesta poster signed by this year's La Presidenta, a vintage Fiesta poster, Fiesta pins, and some edhat swag.

Submit your guess of how many horses will be in this year's parade by Thursday, August 1st at 5:00 p.m. A winner will be contacted after the parade has concluded.

Guessing has closed.


  • One entry per person
  • Email address on the entry must be tied to an edhat account [They're free! Create one here.]
  • Entry must be received by Thursday, August 1 at 5:00 p.m.
  • The person who guesses the closest number of horses will be declared the winner
  • Winner will receive a signed Fiesta poster, a vintage Fiesta poster, Fiesta pins, and edhat swag.
  • Winner will be notified after the parade has ended.



Friday, August 2, 2019

The parade starts at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard, proceeds east along the beach to State Street, then up State Street to Sola Street. 

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Z Aug 05, 2019 04:06 PM
Fiesta Horse Parade and Winner Announced

Back in the day we'd stay put after the parade had passed by. About five minutes later the city's sweeper would come through collecting the road apples. Nose was painted as a big shark's mouth; land-shark was the tail end of the parade - kid's favorite,

Flicka Aug 04, 2019 10:29 AM
Fiesta Horse Parade and Winner Announced

Congratulations, Patrick! It seems there were 600 last year, way down on horses this year. It has gotten really expensive to enter now. They want a $175.00 for one day liability insurance, plus $75 to enter the parade. Used to be, when I started riding, everything was free. Horses were at the Pershing Park showgrounds and the stalls, straw bedding, and alfalfa hay were all free. We kids had a ball, kept our horses there during Fiesta, for the parade on Thursday and the Cablagata on Friday.

Luvaduck Aug 04, 2019 06:59 AM
Fiesta Horse Parade and Winner Announced

Really curious: How do they keep the street "clean" during the parade with that many horses clopping through--I've never noticed anyone with a shovel or anything. Information anyone?

All Sides Aug 05, 2019 02:28 PM
Fiesta Horse Parade and Winner Announced

LOV- They don't. When I was in a school marching band we were told to stomp right thru. In white tennis shoes. My mother was not thrilled.

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