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85th Annual Children’s Fiesta Parade Now Accepting Entries

Free Parade Organized by the City of Santa Barbara's Parks and Recreation Department Creates Treasured Memories for Children and Families

Above: Participants enjoying the 2014 Children's Fiesta Parade.

The City of Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Department is currently accepting entry forms for participation in the Children’s Fiesta Parade. The parade, to be held on Saturday, August 8, is now in its 85th year, and has been a community tradition for generations of children. Each year, new families join families who have proudly participated in the Children’s Fiesta Parade for more than five generations.

Children enjoy the parade so much, says Anita Ho, who has been instrumental in its coordination for over 30 years, because "they get to do something the children in Santa Barbara did a hundred years ago. It's part of the tradition their parents and grandparents might have participated in. Some families even come back to Santa Barbara to keep the tradition going after they've moved away."

Above: Children enjoying the Children's Fiesta Parade, circa 1954.

Parents, families, and friends create and decorate their own floats, carts and wagons for their children. There are no motorized or battery-operated vehicles used in the parade; only foot power is allowed. Children and parents typically dress in colorful Spanish and Mexican costumes, often bringing chickens, goats, ponies, dogs and other small animals with them to add to the fun. An entry can be one family of three, a family of siblings and all the cousins, an entire neighborhood, dance schools or special clubs or groups. There is room for every child in the parade, and there is no cost to participate.

The public is invited to view this delightful parade on Saturday, August 8 starting at 10:00am on State Street at Sola Street; the parade ends at State and Ortega Streets, where each child participating will receive an ice cream treat.

The Children’s Fiesta Parade is funded by a generous grant from the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation; the ice cream is provided by MarBorg Industries. Photos of last year's parade are available online on the Parks and Recreation Department's Flickr stream at

How to Sign Up

Families wishing to participate must fill out a sign-up form and return it by Friday, July 3. Please print the forms and return them by placing them in the front door mail slot at the Parks and Recreation Administrative Offices at 620 Laguna Street (cross streets are Ortega and Cota), or fax them to (805) 564-5480. Sign-up forms are available in a number of ways:

Digital Forms

In English:
In Spanish:

Sent by Email

Send an email to Natalie Uribe at if you have questions or are not able to download the forms from the above links and would like them emailed to you as attachments.

Printed Forms

Forms are available at the Parks and Recreation Administrative Offices located at 620 Laguna Street. If you have questions or require more information, please call (805) 564-5418.

Social Media Updates

Stay informed and join the City’s Facebook Event to get the latest Children’s Fiesta Parade details and connect with others attending the event.

Press Contacts

Anita Ho,
Summers Case,

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2018
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