Old Spanish Days kicks off events leading up to the 100th Fiesta celebration

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The most celebrated event of the year in Santa Barbara, Old Spanish Days turns 100 years old this year. Events are already set on the calendar for festivities leading up to, and including the nearly week-long activities.

“As one of Southern Santa Barbara Counties largest all working volunteer board of directors, we could not continue to plan and execute such large free and fundraising events without hundreds if not thousands of board and volunteer hours,” said El Presidente Brian Schwabecher.

On the steps of the Lobero Theatre Wednesday morning, Schwabecher and the Board of Directors rolled out a banner with the new theme and with confetti poppers going off he said, “Viva el Centenario!”

Brian Schwabecher explained the theme saying, “Viva el Centenario. Yeah, obviously in Spanish, you know, long live 100, live 100. This is 100th year with the fact that we’ve made it this long as an organization. That community around this size of an event is really remarkable. And obviously it’s recognition of the present with the 100, but also the projection in the future. “

The Lobero Theatre was at the center piece of the original Fiesta in 1924.

Speaking about the connection, Lobero Theatre General Manager David Asbell said, “both of us are so beautiful and interwoven in the community. But also the stewardship of both organizations. You know, 100 years of all volunteer, that’s tough. And they did a marvelous, fantastic job for 100 years.”

Some of the special 100th year anniversary  collectibles will be new centennial bunting which will be out later this year along with the annual poster and pin.

“There’s going to be some little special things here and there where folks can say, I was at the 100th anniversary and I got to witness this,” said Schabecher. “I got to witness that and I got to participate really in one of the most beautiful events in the entire country.”

El Desfile Historico – the  Fiesta parade has been along Cabrillo boulevard in recent years. It was a shift from downtown and it will be in the showcase site along the waterfront once again.

Brian Schwabecher said, “we’re still starting at the same location at  Cabrillo Boulevard and Castillo, v the staging is going to be a little different this year. We are going to have some equestrian groups park at the end of the parade and  come up Cabrillo . “

The mercados will bring in thousands as usual for food, music and dancing and the downtown site may be expanded this year to an area larger than the plaza.

Asbell said, “I love the mercados. I love going out there, I love the fact there is entertainment  – non stop!”

Some of the key events ahead are:

April 6 Spirit & Jr. Spirit of Fiesta Audition
May 4 La Primavera
June 20 Fiesta Ranchera
July 13 Fiesta Fashion Sale (Formerly known as the Costume Sale) 9am at Carriage Museum
July 27 Los Niños de las Flores Garden Party
July 28 La Recepción del Presidente

Old Spanish Days takes place Wednesday July 31 – Aug. 4.

For more information go to: Old Spanish Days

(More details, photos and video will be added here later today.)

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