Historical Fiesta Photos

By the edhat staff

Old Spanish Days celebrates its 99th anniversary this year and edhat readers are sharing their historical photos from years past.

Send in your pics to info@edhat.com to be posted.

Aerial view from a 1940s Fiesta Historical Parade (Photo: City of Santa Barbara)

Fiesta parade in August 1939 (Photo: Los Padres National Forest Service)

Edhat reader “Flicka” (aka Judy Pearce) had previously shared stories and photos of her participation in past Fiesta celebrations. Judy passed away in 2020 at the age of 79. Below is her Fiesta story:

The largest float ever in the parade was 90 ft long. I was on it dancing, it was ‘The De la Guerra Fandango’, the celebration of the marriage of Anita De la Guerra in 1836. There were no motorized vehicles allowed in those times. There were 14 horses pulling the float. As we turned onto State from Cabrillo Blvd. the hitch broke. I can still picture them leading the team of sorrel horses away. A tow truck had to pull us up State Street, the 1st motorized vehicle allowed in the parade. Below is a photo of my cousin and me doing the Mexican Hat Dance on the 90 ft float. I am on the left (had to be the boy because I was so tall, 9 years old).

Photo courtesy of Judy Pearce

Santa Barbara Fiesta and Old Spanish Days, August 23, 1951 (Photos courtesy of USC Digital Library)

By Celeste Barber

My husband, Ken, and his little brother, Bobby. 


Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. Any pics of the Spanish enslaving & killing the native Americans who were here?
    What does Fiesta & Spanish Days celebrate again?
    Conquest & domination?
    Are our local Hispanics actually Spaniards from Spain, on the winning side?
    Or are they descendants of the local native tribes that were killed?
    Or are they from elsewhere & their ancestors were not a part of the Spanish acquisition?
    Talk about insensitive holidays. Where are all the woke folk at?
    If I’m wrong & this holiday celebrates the peaceful joining of the native people & no one was brutally killed when the Spanish came here, forgive me & thank you for setting the record straight that this was a peaceful joining of the two cultures.

    • SBLETSGET – I don’t think Fiesta is a celebration of the “joining of the two cultures,” but rather of the multicultural heritage and history we have in this town, for better or for worse. Sure, lots of local history was terrible for many, but no one is saying it never happened.

Noches de Ronda

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