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Logistics essential with two weeks until Old Spanish Days and a new parade route

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With two weeks before the start of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, the final logistics are in motion for the biggest event of the year in the city, and one of the largest gatherings since the pandemic.

Among the highlights will be a new route for El Desfile de Historico. "The change this year is our parade," said La Presidente Maria Cabrera.  It is going to be on Cabrillo Blvd. on Friday, Aug. 5. The route will be from Castillo Street to Calle Puerto Vallarta.

"The last time that happened is 1973 . So it's not new, it is something that is happening because we can't be on State Street," said Cabrera.

The Fiesta Children's Parade, Saturday, Aug. 6, will go from Garden Street to Calle Puerto Vallarta.

At the end of the route for the main parade, it will turn down Milpas Street, come back to Cabrillo Boulevard, and return to the parking lot for Pershing Park and the Carriage and Western Art Museum.

Some of the parade participants may disembark for a pick-up prior to that.

Fifty entrants will be in the 2022 parade, which is smaller than parades in the past.

It will include dancers, floats, and many equestrian entries. In the past, there have been up to 600 horses.

This is expected to be an economic boost for businesses in the parade area, including Chad's, Jeannine's, the Stearns Wharf merchants, Funk Zone retailers, wine tasting rooms, and the hotels with a front row view.

"I was part of the parade since I was a kid so  having a business right center of it will be very cool," said Alison Hardey of Jeannine's Restaurant and Bakery. "We are going to decorate the front of Jeannine's with a bunch of flowers and all of our staff will be in their Fiesta wear. We are blessed to be here,  and we are blessed that Covid is mostly behind us and we can celebrate again."

Both of the mercados will be held with live stages of performers and food booths. They will be located in De la Guerra Plaza and McKenzie Park.

Performances during the day will feature dancers from many of the studios in Santa Barbara and Goleta.

The nighttime lineup will feature some of the area's most popular bands including Spencer the Gardener, Flannel 101, The Molly Ringwald Project, Mezcal Martini, and House Arrest.

DJ Darla Bea and the award-winning La Boheme Dancers will also appear.

Most of the events are free during Old Spanish Days.

How you plan Fiesta 2022, will take a full calendar for some people. "You have to figure out parking. Are you taking the bus?  Are you taken Uber? Are you going with family and friends together? Where are you going to park? So these are all important things for  every event of Fiesta," said Cabrera.

The Old Spanish Days staff says it has always been, and is this year, a community-wide event. "We are doing it for them so they need to come they need to participate,  we need them as spectators, we need them also to be volunteers,  we need them as  vendors," said Cabrera.

For more information, times and schedules go to the Old Spanish Days website.

Article Topic Follows: Events
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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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