Old Spanish Days Officials Announce Full Fiesta Schedule for 2022

By Bonnie Carroll

Officials from Old Spanish Days (OSD) held a press conference on historic Plaza De La Guerra in front of City Hall attended by representatives from the City of Santa Barbara Downtown Organization, Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Mayor Randy Rowse, and a bevy of community partners to unveil plans for Fiesta 2022. La Presidente Maria Cabrera and Mayor Randy Rowse were all pleased to announce that for the first time in three years, Santa Barbara will have a complete Fiesta in August 2022 with the return of the historic parade, both Mercados and a variety of dance and celebrations throughout the community. 

Speakers from individual 2022 production segments of Old Spanish Days Fiesta included La Presidente Maria Cabrera, David Bolton Fiesta Primer Vice Presidente, Brian Schwabecher Fiesta Segundo Vice Presidente, Mayor Randy Rowse, Robin Elander of the Downtown Organization, Dacia Harwood (Director SB Historical Museum), Janice Howell (OSD Division Chief, Celebration), Patricia Orena (OSD Division Chief, Dance and Entertainment), Marge Romero (OSD Division Chief, Mercados), Isis Wills (Co-Chair Mercado del Norte), Tony Miller (OSD Division Chief, Pageantry), Diana Vandervoort (Chair Noches de Ronda), Judith McCaffrey (Chair Fiesta Pequena), Tara Mata (2022 Spirit of Fiesta), Layla Gocong (2022 Junior Spirit of Fiesta), and Lyn Kirst (2022 Saint Barbara).

The 2022 Fiesta will commence on Wednesday, August 3 with the opening of both Mercado De La Guerra and Mercado del Norte at McKensie Park. That evening, Fiesta Pequeña once again takes place on the steps of the Old
Mission. Noches de Ronda will take place on Thursday in the Sunken Garden of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and the Fiesta Rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds. On Friday, El Desfile Historico will have a new route this year, running the length of Cabrillo Boulevard from the traditional parade start at Castillo Street to the Hilton Hotel. Participants will then return to the Carriage Museum once again along Cabrillo Boulevard. The temporary build-out of State Street parklets has ruled out the traditional Fiesta parade route this year.

During the weekend, the Fiesta Arts and Crafts Show returns to the sidewalks of west beach along Cabrillo, with the Mercados, Rodeo and Noches de Ronda finale on Saturday evening. After two years of limited Fiestas, Old Spanish Days is excited to be able to roll out a full Fiesta this summer for the entire community to enjoy.

Mayor of Santa Barbara Randy Rowse shared a few words on the importance of the history of Fiesta to the people of Santa Barbara and that having the historical parade once again return for Fiesta 2022 is very special to the citizens of Santa Barbara. 

“After what we have gone through these two past years, we are so excited at Old Spanish Days to be able to bring a full Fiesta to our community,” said 2022 La Presidente Maria Cabrera. “Fiesta is about community, family and cultural traditions. It’s truly Santa Barbara’s premier Festival!”

2022 La Presidente Maria Cabrera and her husband (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)

The first Festa was held in 1924 and tied in with the grand opening of the Lobero Theatre.

“98 years ago a group of businessmen met and formed a committee to arrange the celebration of the opening of the Lobero Theatre,” said Cabrera. “Charles E. Pressley, who was elected chairman by the committee, said at the time: ‘This is to be a carnival for Santa Barbara and our first aim is to furnish a few days of merrymaking for the town people.’ Since then, Old Spanish Days has become a magical time when this community comes together to celebrate this unique California historic and cultural festival.”

Old Spanish Days Fiesta 2022 will run from August 3-7. Viva la Fiesta 2022! For schedule and information visit: www.sbfiesta.org.

Bonnie Carroll

Written by Bonnie Carroll

Writer, publisher, editor over 30 years, Bonnie Carroll is the present Publisher, Editor-in-Chief of Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News founded 2005. She is also a contributor to a bevy of magazine and newspapers California and international since 1983.

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