Fiesta Pequeña and Noches de Ronda Closed to Public
By edhat staff
Old Spanish Days announced their annual Fiesta Pequeña event at the Santa Barbara Mission will be closed to the public and Noches de Ronda at the courthouse will be canceled.
On Tuesday morning, Old Spanish Days organizers held a press conference stating the events will continue with COVID-19 safety protocols only to reverse course later that day and cancel some events due to the rise in infections.
Fiesta Pequeña, which normally takes place on the Wednesday evening of Fiesta week, features an evening of dancers and singers on the steps of the Mission. Spectators and locals would crowd around the Mission lawn to watch the festive display while local news station KEYT would conduct a live broadcast for those at home.
KEYT made the decision to cancel the live broadcast in order to keep their employees safe, according to KEYT reporter John Palminteri. For Wednesday evening, the Mission Lawn will be closed to the public and only open to performers.
Additionally, Las Noches de Ronda will be canceled entirely. The events usually take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights feature dancers and musicians on the steps of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens.
The Fiesta Mercado at the De La Guerra Plaza was canceled last week "to preserve the health and welfare of our community," organizers stated.
However, Old Spanish Days still plans to hold its Celebración de los Dignatarios event, a large party that includes eating, drinking, and dancing at the Santa Barbara Zoo. The Horsemen’s Rendezvous at the Carriage and Western Art Museum is also still planned to take place as well as the Fiesta Rodeo at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.
The unofficial mercado at Our Lady of Guadalupe appears to still be taking place, according to John Palminteri, although this event is not hosted by Old Spanish Days.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced on Tuesday that mask mandates will go into effect on Friday for anyone who is indoors, regardless of vaccination status.