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Fiesta’s Children’s Parade Brings Out the Kids, and the Kids in All of Us

83rd El Desfile De Los Niños rolls down State Street with cheers, flowers and confetti

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As a girl threw a purple flower from a red and yellow wagon to an older boy standing along State Street, they both cheered “Viva la Fiesta!” And with that, Saturday’s El Desfile De Los Niños (Children’s Parade) was under way.

In an explosion of colorful flowers, confetti, singing and dancing, Santa Barbara's State Street came alive with thousands of kids of all ages participating in the 83d annual parade.

The 89th Old Spanish Days Fiesta, a Santa Barbara tradition since 1924, kicked off Wednesday. The five-day Fiesta has been packed with about 30 events so far. Organized by the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department, one of them was Saturday’s Children's Parade.

Long before the parade even started, people pulled out chairs and blankets to the curbs of State, Victoria and Ortega streets to get a good view of their children, family and friends.

Small children dressed in sombreros and fake mustaches rode in homemade, Spanish- and Mexican-style ornamented wagons, waving and throwing confetti at anyone they could get a shot at.

In the two hour-long spectacle, from 10 a.m. to noon, all kinds of dance styles were showcased as companies like Just Dance Lompoc, the Santa Barbara Gymnastics Club and Garcia Dance Studio gave it their all to impress thousands of onlookers.

Dressed in traditional Spanish attire in red, black or white with their hair in buns and roses behind their ears, kids and adults danced flamenco and clapped along to the Latin music heard from the flower-decorated boom boxes being pulled down State Street.

“Viva la Fiesta” was continuously shouted out to the spectators, drawing waves and cheers.

Fiesta ends Sunday afternoon with the West Coast Symphony’s 46th annual Fiesta Concert in the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden, 1000 Anacapa St. The concert begins at 3.30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring snacks, lawn chairs and, most important, family.

Noozhawk intern Linda Sturesson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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