Central Coast Visitor Information

Old Spanish Days – Fiesta

Fiesta originated in 1924 to celebrate Santa Barbara’s history and our Spanish and Mexican heritage through pageantry including dancing, parades, and general camaraderie. Part of California and Santa Barbara’s rich heritage is the vaqueros, the horsemen and cattle herders of Spanish Mexico who came to California in the 1700s and became the area’s first cowboys. The vaquero tradition continues in California and the rest of the United States to this day. The Fiesta Rodeo and Stock Horse Show continues this tradition of celebrating the vaqueros, with generations of cowboys and cowgirls competing, and in more recent years, the addition of the Professional Bull Riders. Fiesta itself has grown into a wonderful family affair, put on for locals and visitors alike, to celebrate the colorful history of this city and state, including vaqueros, folklorico dance, and traditional songs.

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