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Reimagined Old Spanish Day officially kicks off on the steps of Santa Barbara City Hall

Fiesta 2020 proclamation
John Palminteri
Old Spanish Day kicked off on the steps of Santa Barbara City Hall with a proclamation. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Fiesta ribbon cutting
John Palminteri
Old Spanish Day kicked off on the steps of Santa Barbara City Hall with a proclamation. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Fiesta ribbon cutting
John Palminteri
Old Spanish Day kicked off on the steps of Santa Barbara City Hall with a proclamation. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Fiesta ribbon cutting
John Palminteri
Old Spanish Day kicked off on the steps of Santa Barbara City Hall with a proclamation. (Photo: John Palminteri)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In the most unusual Old Spanish Days in modern history, Fiesta is Santa Barbara has begun with a small ribbon cutting ceremony on the steps of City Hall.

El Presidente Erik Davis was presented with a proclamation from Santa Barbara City Councilman Eric Friedman, who was filling in for Mayor Cathy Murillo.

In a normal year, there would have been a grand stage in De la Guerra plaza in front of City Hall, a Fiesta-themed song by Dave Gonzales, and dancing by the Spirt and Junior Spirit of Fiesta to launch the opening of the downtown Mercado.

The plaza was empty except for two men sitting on the grass with their belongings.

Nearby 1290 radio host and close friend Carpinteria 76 gas station owner Don Risdon , refused to let the event go without a traditional plaza lunch. They brought tacos, corn on the cob and beverages to the base of the flag pole, sat on a wooden box and enjoyed lunch in the sun.

Risdon says he has been doing this for 50 years and was not going to missed the moment, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The kick off event today featured El Presidente, Erik Davis, El Secretario, David Bolton , Saint Barbara Teresa Kuskey Nowak, La Primera Vice Presidente, Stephanie Petlow, Santa Barbara City Councilmember Eric Friedman , External Relations Chief, Angelique Davis, 2020 Junior Spirit of Fiesta, Alexandra Nocker and 2020 Spirit of Fiesta, Alena Velasco.

Davis said he has had many emotions of joy at the way the community has supported a scaled back version of Old Spanish Days and looks forward to the days ahead with some special surprises to make the 2020 Fiesta memorable.

For more information go to : Old Spanish Days

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John Palminteri

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