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Special Fiesta 2020 float is being driven around Santa Barbara

Fiesta float
John Palminteri
A special Fiesta float is being towed around Santa Barbara during Old Spanish Days, in a year when the normal parade and floats will not be appearing. (Photo: John Palminteri)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Without an Old Spanish Days parade this year, Fiesta historian Mark Martinez has built a one-of-kind float to drive around town in Santa Barbara.

Martinez is already been getting honks, screams and hoisted beer bottles. 

An empty saddle honors the late 2014 El Presidente Dennis Rickard. 

The float has vintage banners and signs, dating back more than 70 years.

"We thought it would be really good to have something come out of the community that wouldn't have a parade route, that could just be viewed. We are just driving around," said Martinez. "Someone yelled 'that's the cutest thing I ever saw' and there's been a lot of response mostly from locals."

Martinez is often building floats for weeks at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum prior to the famous parade that has been called off for this year. 

He plans to drive around for several hours each day this week with the special float, hitting all areas of the city.

There is currently no set schedule or route.

The trailer has been provided by Milpas Rentals. Flowers were donated by Florabundance in Carpinteria.

Martinez has been honored for his work for Old Spanish Days and has a vast collection of pins, leather ribbons, and posters. He often displays them during Fiesta special events.

Community / Entertainment / Events / Latino / Latino Local / Santa Barbara- S County

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.