Viva La Fiesta!!

This week was the biggest party of the year in Santa Barbara. It’s a weeklong Fiesta celebration, culminating in a massive parade on Friday along downtown State street. For a city of about 100,000, I think there were about 101,000 folks at the parade Friday, stretching out for a mile or two along the main route.

Fiesta week is an old Spanish celebration, since Santa Barbara was settled by the Spaniards. All week, there’s all kinds of activities going on. Folks start reserving their plot of sidewalk on State street as early as 4pm on Thursday, leaving taped blankets and chairs overnight to claim their sidewalk real estate.

It was another perfect day in paradise for the parade. The sky was clear. The temperature perfect; never too hot to sweat, and afternoons never too cold to comfortably wear shorts and skirts. And the occasional gentle breeze was just to enough to stir the fresh air.

I swear I saw more horses and cowboy hats than a John Wayne western! Apparently, it’s the largest equestrian parade in the country! After seeing it, I’m sure it’s true!

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Now that’s a lot of bull!
Horses with blue painted nails!
Horses with blue painted nails!
Midget horses
Cute midget horses

People take this stuff seriously! Below, these folks are doing it right! They took all day to setup, spent all night preparing the feast, and gorged all parade long. Viva la Fiesta indeed!

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One of the biggest traditions is to decorate empty eggs shells with artful ornaments, fill them with confetti, and then smash them on someone’s head and shout, “Viva la Fiesta!” You can find all kinds of creative designs. And these ornamental eggs sell anywhere from 6 for a dollar to $1 each. Some of ┬áthem are just awesome!

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Viva la Fiesta!
Viva la Fiesta!

Of course, no Fiesta parade would be complete with cha-cha’s and adorable kids.

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I don’t want to boast, haha, but I did kind of save the parade. Behind me were the parade announcers with their microphones and loudspeakers. A couple idiot teenagers decided to walk through the roped-off area near the speakers, knocked down the speaker, and nearly busted my head. I happened to be standing in just the right place such that in order to save myself from injury from the heavy and long loudspeaker on a stand, I had to grap the stand as it was falling. The heavy end of the loudspeaker was about a foot away from crashing on top of the head of the male announcer! LOL. I saved his head! And maybe the parade. Haha.

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Cute ol' couple
Cute ol’ couple
Me and UC Santa Barbara mascot. BFFs forever.
Me and UC Santa Barbara mascot. BFFs forever.