Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara and What You Need to Know

From wonderous architecture to mouthwatering cuisine, to grand fiestas and colorful music, Santa Barbara’s Spanish roots run deep. Spanish, Mexican, and North American pioneers first settled and built this city, and decades later, Santa Barbara retains much of its original Spanish influence. Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara dates back to 1924, and is just one way that the city honors its history, people, culture, and heritage.

Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara is one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year. To find more great festivals and events in the area, simply download our free Santa Barbara Vacation Guide. Our guide includes over 100 attractions, celebrations, and things to do in the area.

15 of the Best Events at Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara

1. Fiesta Ranchera | June

The Old Spanish Days Fiesta officially starts in August. However, there are plenty of pre-fiesta events to hold you over until then! Shortly after La Primavera, which kicks off the fiesta season in Santa Barbara, there is Fiesta Ranchera! This is a party that you won’t want to miss. Enjoy an evening of fabulous food and live entertainment, and end the night with dancing among the gardens! This event requires tickets, so purchase yours in advance.

2. El Desfile Histórico (Historical Parade) | August

The Historical Parade is one of Santa Barbara’s best learning opportunities. During this parade, you will see beautiful reenactments of history, performed by descendants of local Native Americans, Spanish pioneers, the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West, and local service clubs and organizations. It is also one of the nation’s largest equestrian parades, with over 600 horses, antique carriages, coaches, and more! Space is limited for this event, and advanced tickets are required,  

3. Rodeo Performance (Final Event) | August

The Rodeo Performance is a colorful tribute to America’s first cowboys, the Vaquero. This rodeo dates back to the very first Fiesta over 90 years ago, and it is a great way to get up close and personal with some of the greatest riders in the world! Tickets are required for this event.

More Great Events at Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara

4. La Primavera | May

5. La Recepción del Presidente | July

6. Old Spanish Days Annual Costume Sale | July

7. La Fiesta Pequeña | August

8. El Mercado de la Guerra | August

9. Courthouse Fiesta Tours | August

10. West Coast Symphony | August

11. Crazy Horse Cantina | August

12. Flor y Canto | August

13. Fiesta at Pasa Nuevo | August

14. DIGS! at the zoo (Celebración de los Dignatarios) | August

15. Annual El Desfile De Los Niños (Children’s Parade) | August

Where to Stay

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, you will find Cheshire Cat Inn. Our charming bed and breakfast has everything you need to relax and unwind after a long day of celebrating at Old Spanish Days. We are happy to offer our guests a complimentary continental breakfast in the morning, and a social hour with local wine and gourmet hors d’oeuvres in the afternoon! 

Alice’s Balcony Room is one of our coziest accommodations. This room enjoys its own secluded deck overlooking our English gardens and Santa Ynez mountains. Alice’s Balcony Room also features a king bed, private bathroom with shower, flat screen TV, and more. We are booking up quickly for the spring and summer, so check our availability today!

Don’t forget to download your free vacation guide to find more great celebrations like Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara!