SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara's Old Spanish Days will have a western feel to it this year.
El Presidente Josiah Jenkins says this year's theme will be "Vaqueros y Vaqueras." or "cowboys and cowgirls."
Many of the traditional performances will take place during the event from July 31 through August 4. This year, however, Jenkins says some of the dances will be changed to reflect the theme.
In speaking with some of the coordinators, "They want to freshen things up. Keep the interest. Keep everything going forward," said Jenkins.
Before becoming El Presidente, Jenkins served in many other capacities with Old Spanish Days since he joined the committee in 1976. He is often seen at the Earl Warren Showgrounds during the events, where the Fiesta Stock Horse and Rodeo take place.
At a kick off event in the Carriage Museum, Jenkins was joined by Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and Goleta Mayor Roger Acevas.
Old Spanish Days is the biggest celebration of the year in Santa Barbara. It brings thousands to the area for music, dancing, parades, food, and many traditional performances. Nearly all of the events are free.
Fiesta www.sbfiesta.org began in 1924. It's one of the largest regional festivals in the country and is said to feature events with more horses and carriages than any celebration in the U.S.
Throughout the celebration local residents and visitors often greet each other with a loud, " Viva la Fiesta!"