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Local News

Viva la Fiesta! Santa Barbara’s Annual Cultural Celebration in Full Swing

The festivities continue through Sunday, complete with parades, mercados and rodeos — all in the spirit of tradition

Santa Barbarans jumped into Old Spanish Days Fiesta with enthusiasm Wednesday, with La Fiesta Pequena at the Santa Barbara Mission and “Viva la Canary” at the Canary Hotel.

Through Sunday, the city will be alive with dancing, live music and mercados featuring Spanish and Mexican-American food.

From the rooftop of Carrillo Street’s Canary Hotel, the Fiesta celebrations kicked off Wednesday night with pork and fish tacos — so fresh the heads were still on the cutting boards — and margaritas.

Downtown, there are many free events to come, including tours of the Santa Barbara Mission and the Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse, parades and evening events.

Friday’s parade is one of the largest equestrian parades in the country and will start at noon on Cabrillo Boulevard, proceed along the beach to State Street and up to Sola Street. There will be a Children’s Parade down State Street from Victoria Street to Ortega Street at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Las Noches de Ronda (Nights of Gaiety), a free variety show with music, singing, and flamenco and folklorico dancing, will be held at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens at 1100 Anacapa St. at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Through Saturday, there will be food, live music and souvenir booths from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in De la Guerra Plaza at El Mercado de la Guerra and at MacKenzie Park at Mercado Del Norte. There will also be carnival rides and attractions at MacKenzie Park, at the corner of State and Las Positas streets.

At the Earl Warren Showgrounds, the Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo will feature shows at 8 a.m. Thursday and at 8 a.m. and noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information or to buy tickets, call 805.967.6331 or visit the box office at 3400 Calle Real. Earl Warren will also host the Professional Bull Riders Challenger Tour at 7:45 p.m. Thursday.

Click here for a full list of Old Spanish Days Fiesta events.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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