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Santa Barbara to Celebrate 90th Anniversary of Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Five-day festival plans special events to mark occasion, expecting to draw thousands

The 90th installment of Old Spanish Days Fiesta will bring the same spirited events to Santa Barbara, with a few extra treats for the thousands who will visit the area to mark the anniversary this week.

The five-day festival celebrating the city’s origins will kick off Wednesday with La Fiesta Pequeña, tours of the Santa Barbara Mission and Santa Barbara County Courthouse, the traditional food and drink mercados, and more.

Special this year is the tall ship traveling up from Dana Point to dock in Santa Barbara Harbor for the festivities, according to Fiesta spokesman Eric Davis.

Visitors will be able to tour the ship, a replica of the one that originally landed in Santa Barbara, and to learn more about the city’s history on Saturday and Sunday, he said.

“It’s really pretty incredible,” Davis said. “It’s going to be a great year.”

The first-ever Spirit of Fiesta, Lia Parker, will serve as grand marshal of the annual Historic Parade, which departs Friday at noon from the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard and proceeds up State Street to Sola Street.

Davis said a special partnership with the Music Academy of the West would offer two showings — Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. — of the opera “Carmen,” as set back in old Spanish days.

The performances will be at the Granada Theatre, and click here to purchase tickets.

The performances will pay tribute to those who settled in the area all those years ago, Davis said, bringing together talent, tradition and dance.

Based on social media, the 2014 Fiesta could draw the largest crowd it’s seen from out of town.

“I don’t know if it could get much bigger,” Davis said.

A schedule of other Fiesta events, available online by clicking here, also includes:

» Santa Barbara Mission Docent Tours, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at 2201 Laguna St.

» Fiesta tours of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday

» El Mercado de la Guerra, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in De La Guerra Plaza, Wednesday through Saturday

» El Mercado Del Norte, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Mackenzie Park at the corner of State Street and Las Positas streets, Wednesday through Saturday

» Casa Cantina, noon to midnight in the courtyard of the historic Casa de la Guerra. 15 East De la Guerra St., Wednesday through Saturday

» La Fiesta Pequeña, 8 p.m. Wednesday at Santa Barbara Mission

» La Misa del Presidente, 10 a.m. Thursday at Santa Barbara Mission

» Celebración de los Dignatarios, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Santa Barbara Zoo

» Las Noches de Ronda (“Nights of Gaiety”), 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens

» Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo, 8 a.m. Thursday at Earl Warren Showgrounds

» Professional Bull Riders Challenger Tour, 7:45 p.m. Thursday at showgrounds

» Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo, 7 a.m., noon and 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday at showgrounds

» Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercado, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 227 North Nopal St.

» El Desfile Histórico (Historical Parade), noon Friday at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard up State Street to Sola Street.

» Flor y Canto, 7 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens

» Kiwanis Fiesta Pancake Breakfast, 7 a.m. to noon Saturday in Alameda Park

» 84th Annual El Desfile De Los Niños (Children's Parade); 10 a.m. Saturday, parade proceeds down State Street from Victoria Street to Ortega Street

» Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show, Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Cabrillo Boulevard, west of Stearns Wharf

» Tardes de Ronda, children’s variety show, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the sunken gardens

» Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival, 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Santa Barbara Bowl

» Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo, 7 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. Sunday at showgrounds

» West Coast Symphony 45th Annual Free Fiesta Concert, 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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