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El Desfile Histórico – the Fiesta parade, entirely at the Santa Barbara waterfront this year

SANTA BARBRA, Calif. - In its 98th year, Old Spanish Days is responded to changes in Santa Barbara with a promenade now in the area of the traditional El Desfile Historico parade route. With that, the parade went entirely down Cabrillo Blvd. from Castillo St. to Calle Puerto Vallarta.

The parade started at noon.

It had more than 60 entries, six floats and about 400 horses. It was full of rich history. Hillary Berkemper watched with her family and said, "yes it's representative of Santa Barbara and it has been foreve, so we missed it."

Thousands came out, many had their chairs and blankets in place at dawn.

Sanam Lopez said, "we came last year expecting it to be here and it got canceled the last minute and we are happy it's  back."

The all-waterfront route had some new viewing opportunities all the way down to the Hilton Beachfront Resort.

Berkemper said "and it is good to see people back and all the beautiful horses"

"I loved it. just like the old days it's great!." said Richard Sanchez who was wearing an authentic sombrero.

Parking was tight in the area. The city offered three free shuttles from downtown to help the public get to and from the waterfront.

There were about 700 special ticketed seats under canopy's along the parade route.

Businesses along the parade's path were packed with customers including Jeannine's Restaurant and Bakery, Chad's and Flor de Maiz. Jeannine's has added an archway of colored flowers and balloons, Fiesta flags and a special menu.

Temperatures on the parade route were considered perfect. About 75 degrees with a light monsoonal influence.

Sanam Lopez said, "we came last year expecting it to be here and it got canceled the last minute and we are happy it's  back."

Sarah Benner arrived after it started. "We went to Joe's first," she said after stopping at one of the most popular restaurants during Fiesta.

Aty Loeza was wearing a fashionable multi-colored dress and stood along the fencing. She said the dress was made by her mom, aunt and grandma years ago. "They took 24 hours to create it, because I was in a rush.  It's uncopied, they handmade each piece, so it  means a lot." Loeza grew up in Mexico, and has been in Santa Barbara 12 years. She has seen each Fiesta parade.

After the parade, the entries with horses turned around and returned to the Carriage Museum for the Horseman's Rendevous party.

Watch the full parade below:

For more information go to: Old Spanish Days

Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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Lily Dallow

Lily Dallow is a digital journalist and assignment editor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lily, click here.

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