Fiesta Mercado is Cancelled Citing Safety Concerns
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.