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Fiesta historian looks back on Old Spanish Days

Celebrations like Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara have a history dating back to the 1800’s.

Historian Erin Graffy says ranchers back then would come from miles to see each other and out of the area guests for music, dancing, food and a fiesta.

The four day party in Santa Barbara also has a direct link to the opening of the Lobero Theatre in the 1920’s.

These days the history of the Ranchero, Spanish and Mexican cultures blend together during Old Spanish Days.

“This is one of the only places where we know what the old dances look like from the 1830’s because we have been performing them since the 19th century,” said Graffy. When we invented Fiesta in 1924 you had the old timers who remembered that, and they taught the next generation.”

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