Postcard: Old Spanish Days, Santa Barbara

Mariachis in the Fiesta Santa Barbara, parade, @PennySadler 2013

Old Spanish Days, Santa Barbara, also known simply as Fiesta, is a week long celebration of the Spanish and Mexican cultural heritage of Santa Barbara, California.

Everyone loves a good parade and I am no exception. I return to Santa Barbara year after year for the Fiesta Historical Parade, one of the largest equestrian parades in the country.

There are rodeos, mercados, folklorico dance,traditional music, and of course, food, wine, and fun for the whole family.

If you happen to be in Santa Barbara before the official week begins, check out the website for pre Fiesta events.

For some more ideas on what to do in the area, read Explore Santa Barbara.

All materials copyright Penny Sadler 2012-2013. All rights reserved.


Everyone Loves A Parade

Every August the city of Santa Barbara hosts Old Spanish Days, a week long cultural event. Also referred to as Fiesta, one of the highlights is a fantastic equestrian parade. This was my second year to photograph the parade and I got so many great photographs I decided to do a photo essay.

I really like this particular parade. It does everything a parade should do – it’s colorful, it unites the community, it’s cultural, and everyone smiles at you. What’s not to like about a parade?

Fiesta 2011-2012 ©pennysadler

Fiesta Parade

Fiesta Santa Barbara ©pennysadler

Read more about Santa Barbara and be sure to check out my other images from Fiesta in the weekly photo challenge posts, Wrong, Fleeting Moments, Growth and Movement.

Fiesta Santa Barbara ©pennysadler

Past presidents of Fiesta

Camarillo white ponies

detail of bridle

For information on Fiesta go to Old Spanish Days – Fiesta.
Fiesta 2103 is July 31 – August 4.
I know you want to go now.

All materials ©pennysadler 2012

Movement – weekly photo challenge

For this weeks photo challenge, Movement, I went back to my Fiesta Old Spanish Days album and found this one. I took this at the Fiesta Historical Parade, where I captured so many memorable moments. The band is the Oxnard High School Marching Band. Marching band equals movement; right? It’s fun to try different angles with the camera and not always shoot something expected. Lines and light capture my eye and I think are a great way to show movement. Read more about Fiesta Old Spanish Days in my post for last weeks photo challenge here.


Fleeting Moments – Weekly Photo Challenge

This photo brings back great memories. I took it last year at the Fiesta Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara parade. I used to be a regular at this parade, but had not been for a few years. Last summer, I really needed to escape the Texas heat, so I contacted my friends in Santa Barbara and said, “Viva la fiesta!” Translation, I’m coming to visit. Let’s do Fiesta!

I rented a Nikon f2.8 70-200 lens to photograph the parade. If you have witnessed a parade first hand, you know, they are chock full of “fleeting moments.” You need a fast lens. It was my first time to use that lens, and to photograph a parade.

I loved this woman with her fairy wings and bubbles. I hope you like her too. I could post a zillion photos from the parade that I think would fit the theme for this week. I had a blast. So much so, you’ll see me there again this year. I’ll be at Joe’s on State St about 11:30 a.m., enjoying an adult beverage before the parade begins.

Fiesta events officially begin on August 1, 2012, however there are pre-Fiesta events beginning as early as April.  Five days of  festive parties, music, markets, rodeos, parades and carnivals for the kids. Most of the activity takes place in and around the old historic area of downtown . La Fiesta Pequena is the opening event and takes place at the Old Mission Santa Barbara.

This year the dates for Fiesta are August 1 – 5, 2012. Fiesta Santa Barbara has become one of the top regional parades in the country.