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Old Spanish Days poster set for public display to celebrate 100th festival

Old Spanish Days

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Old Spanish Days fiesta with an expansion of the Project Fiesta! exhibition starting July 12.

Below is a press release from the organization on the latest centennial celebration:

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of Old Spanish Days Fiesta with an enlarged, expanded version of its annual Project Fiesta! exhibition, opening July 12 and on view through November 1, 2024.

An opening party is held Friday, July 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum and features performances, tacos, dancing under the stars with local band Area 51, and a toast to the centennial by Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse. Tickets are $60 (Museum members $50). Fiesta attire is suggested. Tickets for this event and others leading up to Fiesta are available at

“Fiestas from years past will be brought to life with a century of memories,” says Dacia Harwood, Museum executive director. “This not only commemorates the Old Spanish Days Fiesta centennial, but also salutes the thousands upon thousands of community members who through the decades have created the celebrations.

Encompassing two galleries, the centerpiece of “Project Fiesta! Centennial” is the largest grouping of annual Fiesta posters ever exhibited. Most posters are from the Museum’s Fiesta-related collection, the largest found anywhere, with several on loan from community members.

Footage of the very first 1924 El Desfile Histórico (The Historical Parade), also from the Museum’s collections, shows hundreds of riders on horses sporting gleaming silver trimmed saddles, interspersed by flower decorated horse-drawn carriages and wagons, and high-stepping “dancing” horses. A saddle adorned with Fiesta’s official crest is on view, along with another decorated with hand-tooled silver and semiprecious gems.

Also from the Museum’s holdings are photographs, film, programs, sheet music, costumes, and a large selection of festive commemorative badges produced each year beginning in 1926. Parade attire is exhibited, including antique clothing altered to be worn by descendants of some of the oldest Santa Barbara families.

Old Spanish Days
Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
art exhibition
fiesta historical parade
Old Spanish Days
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