SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Special thanks goes out to a dozen home-grown chefs getting ready to cook up a massive Fiesta feast.
As many locals and visitors know, the Fiesta mercado at Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the best spots for authentic Mexican food during Old Spanish Days.
The church grounds off Nopal Street transform into a small village with dozens of food booths, live music and festive trinkets. Thousands of people make the culinary pilgrimage for the homemade tamales, posole, tortas, tri-tip and more.
It's not uncommon for the line to wind down the street and wrap around the block.
No mercado this year, however, Father Pedro Lopez is getting the word out that church kitchens are firing up and Our Lady of Guadalupe is cooking up food to go.
It is the parishioners way of keeping the spirit of Fiesta alive during the COVID crisis.
"I mean the place is full," said Father Lopez. "We have a tent set up here in this part of the parking lot and that's always full. And then we've got another covered area over there in front of the stage and there's always people there sitting and eating and chatting and enjoying themselves."
This will also help the parish stay afloat. Father Lopez said losing the popular Fiesta mercado is a loss of roughly one third of the parish's income. And that's on top of losing the weekly offering plate because of the pandemic.
To-go orders at Our Lady of Guadalupe run Fiesta week, Thursday, August 6 through Saturday, August 8.
For more information or to place an order, click the following link: https://www.olgsb.org/