Hundreds of bicyclists gathered at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara to join in the annual Fiesta cruiser ride across the South Coast.  (John Palminteri / KEYT photo)

The annual Fiesta cruiser ride starting at Santa Barbara’s Stearns Wharf drew a crowd of about 500 bicyclists Sunday, a smaller group than past years, according to authorities.

It’s an unsanctioned event so there weren’t any road closures, but Santa Barbara police officers were assigned to enforce traffic laws and hand out citations if necessary.

“It sounds like there were fewer people than past years,” Sgt. Eric Beecher said.

“In the past we’ve seen 1,000 and 2,000 people, and it doesn’t look like we saw anything near those numbers.”

The ride is held the Sunday of the Old Spanish Days weekend, and participants traditionally stop at various liquor stores along the roughly 12-mile route to the Isla Vista area, and back again.

Bicyclists head north on State Street during Sunday’s ride. (John Palminteri / KEYT News photo)

Bicyclists head north on State Street during Sunday’s ride. (John Palminteri / KEYT News photo)

Not many people returned from Isla Vista this year, with most riders going just one way, Beecher said.

There weren’t any traffic problems reported with the event this year, he said, but one bicyclist was injured in a hit-and-run collision in the 3900 block of State Street.

Beecher was unsure how serious the injuries were, but the bicyclist was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Police reported 38 traffic citations and 14 parking citations handed out Sunday, but it’s unclear how many were associated with the ride. 

The Santa Barbara Police Department recorded a total of 643 citations and 109 arrests during this year’s Old Spanish Days celebration between Wednesday and Sunday.

Most of the citations were vehicle-related, with 224 traffic citations, 163 parking citations and 23 vehicles towed. There were also 221 municipal code citations, according to statistics released by the police department.

Overall, police responded to fewer incidents, issued fewer citations and made fewer arrests this year than 2014’s Fiesta. There was a 79-percent drop in felony arrests, with 10 compared to last year’s 48, and a 50-percent drop in DUI arrests, with 11 compared to the 22 in 2014.

There were 10 felony arrests, 86 misdemeanor arrests, 11 DUI arrests and one felony DUI arrest, with the most arrests made on Saturday. Most of the arrests were for warrants, probation or parole violations, and drug possession, police said.

Two significant incidents and arrests over the five-day period weren’t related to Fiesta events: a stabbing that happened “after a night of drinking downtown,” and an assault with a deadly weapon at the Wildcat Lounge, according to police.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at