While many students return home for the extended break, those who stay in Santa Barbara will have plenty to keep them busy this summer.
With events like Old Spanish Days, Independence Day celebrations, and a community bike ride, the city of Santa Barbara offers endless activities for visitors and local residents alike in the upcoming months.
Now just over a week away, the city’s Fourth of July celebration is sure to excite. For the night of the Fourth, Santa Barbara will host a 1500-shell fireworks display, starting at 9 p.m. The show, set to last 22 minutes, will take place over West Beach in downtown Santa Barbara.
In addition to fireworks, there will be the Spirit of ’76 parade down State Street beginning at 1 p.m. and a free performance by the Santa Barbara Symphony at 5 p.m. in front of the courthouse.
Fourth of July is not the only reason to celebrate this summer, however. The annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta in August is expected, as always, to be a citywide party.
Popularly known as Fiesta, the event celebrates Hispanic culture and history and includes Mexican-American foods, music, dancing, live entertainment, carnival rides and even a rodeo, not to mention ample amounts of alcohol. There will also be an equestrian parade, which Fiesta organizers claim to be one the biggest in the country country.
Now in its 85th year, Fiesta has become a mainstay of Santa Barbara summers. According to Jennifer Jimmerson, Director of Public Relations at Old Spanish Days, Fiesta is a great way for Santa Barbara residents and new freshmen at UCSB to learn about the city.
“It’s a community feel… people just want to share and welcome people that are from out of town,” Jimmerson said. “If [new students] come to Fiesta for the first time ever they will never forget it.”
Fiesta will last from Aug. 5 to 9 and take place at De La Guerra Plaza, MacKenzie Park, and other locations. Show organizers expect attendance of up to 100,000 people per day.
While the Fourth of July and Fiesta may be the biggest events of the summer, Santa Barbara has a number of other activities for locals to enjoy.
UCSB biking enthusiasts may want to look into Bike Moves, a monthly community bicycle ride in downtown Santa Barbara. Organized in part by John Hygelund, a Santa Barbara local and avid bicyclist, the Bike Moves ride will begin downtown and wind toward the beach.
“The ride is meant for anyone, but geared to younger fun loving people,” Hygelund said. “The goal of the ride is just to have a good time downtown, meet some new folks, and just keep things fun for everyone.”
Bike Moves meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. on the corner of Cota Street and Anacapa Street, and finishes on Stearns Warf.
Artists and lovers of the Santa Barbara coastline might also consider going to the More Mesa Paint-Out later this month. Held by the More Mesa Preservation Coalition, the Paint-Out will raise money to protect the last stretches of undeveloped coastline in urbanized Southern California. The event will feature area painters at outdoor art galleries, live music and docent-led tours.
Event organizer Bonnie Freeman said the event is highly anticipated by local artists.
“This is the first time this type of event is being held,” she said. “Many of the painters involved have painted out in the mesa and told me they were waiting for something like this to help preserve the mesa and were excited when they were called to participate.”
The Paint-Out will be held at 5200 Austin Rd. in Goleta on June 27, beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets are $30 each or $50 per pair.