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El Desfile de Los Niños (the Children’s Fiesta Parade) celebrates its 87th year of kid-friendly fun

Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 5, 2017; will feature over 3,000 participants

The Children’s Fiesta Parade, part of Santa Barbara’s annual Old Spanish Days celebration, will be held on Saturday, August 5 at 10:00 a.m.

This year’s parade will feature over 3,000 participants in 100 groups, with groups varying in theme from traditional Fiesta dancing to a Tibetan wedding motif. Several four-legged participants will join in this year, including ten dogs, a pony, and two miniature horses. One of the miniature horses, named Tar Tar, showed his commitment to the festivities by helping turn in his group’s parade application at the Parks and Recreation Department’s Laguna Street office. In addition, this year’s entries will wow spectators with nearly 500 wagons, bikes, strollers, or carts as they process along State Street.

Watching the Children’s Fiesta Parade has become a much-anticipated tradition for many local families, said Anita Ho from the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department. Ms. Ho has been instrumental in the parade’s coordination for over 40 years. “Every year, I’m surprised by how cute and clever the kids and parents can be with their entries,” said Ho. “They take their creativity in so many different directions, it really is a joy to watch year after year.”

Although this family- and youth-focused parade has been a part of Fiesta since the 1930s, it has grown dramatically since the early Depression-era Children’s Fiesta Parades. An estimated 50,000 spectators gather each year to watch the parade; most groups of spectators arrive by 8:00 a.m. to find just the right viewing spot along the seven-block State Street parade route, which begins at Sola Street and ends at Ortega Street. The parade starts at 10:00 a.m. and lasts approximately 90 minutes, concluding around noon.

As each parade group reaches the end of the parade route, participants will be treated to ice cream provided by MarBorg Industries. The parade itself, which is organized by the Parks and Recreation Department each year, is sponsored by the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation.

Event Details

El Desfile de los Niños: The Children’s Fiesta Parade

Saturday, August 5, 2017

10:00 a.m. start time

Parade route: State Street, beginning at the Sola Street intersection and finishing at Ortega Street

Further Information

Facebook event

Background information on the City of Santa Barbara website

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2018
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