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Viva La Familia: Fiesta 2012 in Santa Barbara

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Fiesta 2012 events

The theme for Santa Barbara’s 82nd Fiesta this summer is “Viva la Familia.” What could be a more appropriate family event? Fiesta takes over downtown Santa Barbara from August 1st to August 5th and is a celebration of California history and community with so many different activities and events that even the hardest to please will find something to enjoy. From the Art and Crafts Show, to the mercados (open markets), to musical and dance performances, to the famous parade with its horses and music, it is impossible not to get caught up in the “Spirit of Fiesta.”

Of particular interest to families is the Children’s Parade to take place Saturday, August 4th, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. along State Street between Victoria Street and Ortega Street. This parade is a popular event featuring children (with a minimum of adults as chaperones.) Organized by Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation, the colorful parade draws over 40,000 spectators. Follow the link below for an application to participate in the parade and more information.

Also fun and educational for families is the Flor y Canto event to take place at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Friday, August 3rd at 7:00 p.m. This event features music played on traditional acoustic instruments. The dancers and performers are in costume and a historical narrative is woven into the show. One feels transported back in time 150 years. Bring a picnic for the family and enjoy a nice summer evening.

Among my children’s favorite events for Fiesta is the Fiesta Pequena which takes place at the historic Santa Barbara Mission on Wednesday, August 1st at 8:00 p.m. This event kicks off all of Santa Barbara’s Fiesta activities and features dancers on the Mission steps. It is a crowded, but much loved event. It is of special interest to my girls because the young woman (or women) chosen for the Junior Spirit of Fiesta dances for the crowd.

Plan ahead and expect crowds, but–most importantly—round up the family and head out to enjoy the great show and celebration that Fiesta offers Santa Barbara.

Viva la Fiesta! Viva la Familia!

[AUTHOR: Hilary Doubleday]

July 26, 2012

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