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Public Health Officer advises people not to “mix” during Old Spanish Days

Public Health Officer urges people not to mix during Old Spanish Days
COVID-19 update
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.-- Old Spanish Days also, known as Fiesta, in Santa Barbara is known for parades, dancing, live music, mercados, and confetti-filled eggs called cascorónes made to smash on unsuspecting people's heads.

Santa Barbara police's spokesperson Anthony Wagner said they won't be cracking down on cascorones.

Anthony Rodriguez of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church said he doesn't know of parishioners or anyone making them to sell this year.

County Supervisor Gregg Hart said they have been working with organizers of Old Spanish Days to keep things virtual.

The County's Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said that means no socializing or mixing with people outside your home.

"The Governor used the term mixing rather than gathering at his press conference yesterday. I want to emphasize that we are in a modified, but still, stay-at-home order. I think the message has to be conveyed more clearly that we should stay to people in our immediate household
and that is for scientific reasons, because if we stay in this little bubble of people we don't mix with other bubbles, therefore the virus can not jump from one group to another. That is why travel is not encouraged and that's why all kinds of mixing and mingling of people is not encouraged in order to slow the spread of this virus." said Ansorg.

Supervisor Hart said the Old Spanish Days board has done a lot of planning to create a virtual celebration that will continue the tradition in a new way.

"Physical gatherings can't happen during the pandemic so we are going to be discouraging the actual physical gatherings of any people. I know they are have been conversations about there being a parade, but it is not floats and bands and things, but cars going around in neighborhoods and that event is not published in advance and does not go along a traditional route that people have historically gathered at, that probably is something that could probably work," said Hart.

Fiesta is like a local holiday and Alana Walczak from CALM- Child Abuse Listening & Mediation said holidays will be not be the same during the pandemic.

"Halloween, Thanksgiving and winter holidays will all look very different."

She said young people take their cues from adults, parents and caregivers so now is the time to set a good example.

People can still enjoy fiesta food to-go. Our Lady of Guadalupe church created a Viva La Fiesta menu at Customers can order online or call (805)965-4060

Church spokesperson Anthony Rodriguez said, "You can still get the famous tamales, some birria, agua frescas , you will still be able to get it as we will be selling food on Thursday, Friday and Saturday."

For information on the virtual events on television and online visit

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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