Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns title=
Fiesta Mercado at the De La Guerra Plaza in 2019 (courtesy photo)
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By Stephanie Petlow, 2021 La Presidenta of Old Spanish Days

As much as we would love to bring the entire Mercado experience to the Santa Barbara community, Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, Inc. recognizes our higher duty to preserve the health and welfare of our community, especially our elders and those that are infirmed.

This decision was not an easy one as we deliberated extensively with counsel from the Public Health Agency and experts from within our health care community. A decision has been made to cancel Mercado De La Guerra due to the volume of people who pass through the Mercado on an hourly basis for four days and flow of participants.

We are concerned about our families, grandparents, children, and visitors in the community and we want to make sure everyone remains healthy. Mercado is important to all of Santa Barbara as a backbone of fiesta providing memorable moments for our families, visitors, and friends, stages for our dance groups, and a platform for the nonprofits.

The Mercados are the heart of Fiesta; however, based on the spike of the COVID-19 Delta Variant cases and based on our extensive review with health officials, it is important that we keep our families, visitors, and community safe. It is extremely hard to make this decision; however, we look forward to the Mercados having a grand return in 2022.

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Luvaduck Jul 30, 2021 01:17 PM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

See if you can spot the fallacies in this statement: "My constitutional freedom means I can kill or compromise others for their remaining life-times, expect the medical community to take care of me whether I personally pay or not, cripple the economy, put small business owners out of business and into debt and shut down all group entertainments b/c I don't believe in vaccines."

sacjon Jul 30, 2021 10:38 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

What an absolute bummer. Last year, it was a sudden thing and they had no time to adjust, so sadly, canceling was the only option. Now, Over a year and a half into this pandemic, Fiesta should have had a Plan B this year. No reason to completely cancel everything anymore. Use crowd control (eg, our police force) and only let X number of people in at a time. Easy enough to fence the area off. Why couldn't they have had some back up plan allowing the stalls to still make some money and for us to have a little hard-earned fun? Heck, make masks mandatory and enforce it! We can't keep going through life with this all or nothing attitude anymore. I've been saying from the get go, we need to just accept it and learn to live with covid. You don't want to wear a mask to order some delicious tacos? Fine, stay home. The rest of us want to act like adults and live our lives still!

bigbrownie Jul 30, 2021 10:14 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

I saw on the news last night that Casa de la Raza will be offering their tortas to go, and, hopefully we'll still be able to get tamales from Our Lady, like we did last year.

wahine Jul 30, 2021 07:31 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

Yes, good call but I think they could have found a middle ground: No on-site dining, just take out for at least a select few non-profits. That's a perfect place for people to drive up and go around and get out. People make appointments to pick it up or walk up at designated times and get their food and get out. That way it can help the nonprofits who need the income and still let the community get some of the great food. Yeah, yeah, I know, the mercado is also about entertainment and socializing but that ain't gonna happen.

SBisOk Jul 30, 2021 10:32 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

I agree Wahine, some middle ground should have been found. Because now a bunch of vendors who had some hope of making money had the rug pulled out from them... again. This is an outdoor event, and we are all so trained these days to stay apart, some compromise should have been made.

Marathoner Jul 30, 2021 12:10 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

Unvaccinated mask scoffers will find other places to circulate Delta Covid...and soon there will be Epsilon...and other variants until there are new ones that will hit younger people harder and will circumvent all vaccines. But then those very same antivaxxers who have prolonged the pandemic will shout "see the vaccines don't work" and so the lemmings will go off the cliff.

Chip of SB Jul 29, 2021 03:33 PM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

It’s a shame we can’t have events like this anymore. However, the main cause of the frustration and loneliness so many people are experiencing is memories of the way things used to be. Thankfully, young children are not burdened by these memories and will be more adaptable to our “new normal” way of life. Without the life experiences to understand what they are missing, our children will not feel angry or cheated as they grow up. They will simply never know what it’s like to go to make new friends on the playground during recess, they will never experience the excitement of attending their first concert, or the nervous anticipation leading up to their first school dance. However, if the kids start to figure out what they are missing out on during the years ahead we may be in for some major social changes.

sacjon Jul 30, 2021 10:16 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

VOICE - good point. Yeah, they're just cancelling Fiesta because they hate your freedoms. Also, the fair happened when the numbers were much lower, but don't let facts or REASON get in the way.....

letmego Jul 30, 2021 09:52 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

LOOSECANNON, it turns out...more data coming out is suggesting that vaccinated persons DO get the virus. It's not always minor, and they can shed the Delta variant. The amount of virus present in the nose/throat of the vaccinated is MUCH higher with Delta than the original virus.

You are still better off being vaccinated, but it's not the final solution. I know more than one fully vaccinated person who has been sick from COVID in the last couple of weeks, presumably the Delta variant.

ChillinGrillin Jul 29, 2021 09:30 PM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

Chip of SB: Frankly, staying unvaccinated is indefensible at this point. The overwhelming majority of current hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated, even if they contract the Delta variant. They are keeping the pandemic going, which is ironic because they are likely the ones most disillusioned with public health measures. Look, we get it. Needles can be scary. But there are incentives and you can probably ask for a lollipop when scary-time is over.

LooseCannon Jul 29, 2021 06:29 PM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

Yes, the Delta variant has been shown to be transmissible to vaccinated persons, who then experience minor symptoms

...and in "extremely rare" circumstances, may shed viral particles which would have little impact on vaccinated individuals, if infected.


Kids under 12, wear masks. Play with your Legos at home. Stay out of bars and nightclubs.

Immunocompromised people, wear masks, avoid risky behaviour.

Everyone else, get the vaccine. It's free, there are no risks involved. Just do it already. Seriously. You pandejos are a pain the butt.

Let's have a broad VACCINE MANDATE in Santa Barbara and get on with our lives.

Chip of SB Jul 29, 2021 04:06 PM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

Even if everyone got vaccinated, that may not solve our problem as Covid continues to mutate. Until recently, many people believed that if enough people got the vaccine to achieve herd immunity, Covid transmission would stop and Covid would be eradicated. Perhaps the early versions of the virus will be eradicated by our vaccines, but the delta variant has proven to be highly transmissible among vaccinated people. More transmission means more mutations will follow. Now the CDC director has warned that while our existing vaccines are effective in preventing severe disease and death, we may be just a couple mutations away from a new strain of Covid that will evade our vaccines.

SBLinda Jul 29, 2021 10:57 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

The unvaccinated are making the mercados and so many other "normal" activities unsafe. Let's hope more people step up and get vaccinated so we can all have fun again.

Snorky Jul 29, 2021 09:16 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

based on the "Mercados" statement in last sentence, I assume all of them are cancelled (Del Norte and Our Lady of Guadalupe) or are those called something else? Seemed focused on the De La Guerra one...

SBTownie Jul 30, 2021 08:29 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

I think they did? But the vendors just aren't complying, perhaps. Agree with banning mylar. I personally find the paper confetti litter one of the least offensive forms of blight possible on this earth. Charming, even.

biguglystick Jul 30, 2021 08:23 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

MINIBEAST, Yesss! This irks me every year. We really need to ban mylar. We are an ocean loving seaside community. We can do better than this, especially at Fiesta.

SBTownie Jul 29, 2021 09:21 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

Agreeing with a decision and it being sad are not mutually exclusive. I am a native. I personally enjoy fiesta, including the mercados. I know many locals are down on Fiesta, and I used to rag on it, too, but I've really enjoyed visiting the cantinas, the equestrian parade (especially because I know multiple riders), and the courthouse performances in the last few years. I am disappointed that we cannot return to normal life because people refuse to get vaccinated.

ZeroHawk Jul 29, 2021 09:12 AM
Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns

not actually thought this was a good idea? i live downtown, and am VERY glad we don't have hundreds of people from LA and up north coming here to get drunk and trash downtown and do stupid things and spread some more covid around. i'm personally glad about this being cancelled.

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