SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Old Spanish Days Parade is Friday but preparations have already begun. Groups are adding the finishing touches to their floats at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum, getting ready for the big day.
“Having grown up in Santa Barbara and having seen fiestas for so many years what I really like about this float yard and the floats is the participation of so many local organizations,” said David Bolton, Old Spanish Days’ Division Chief for External Relations. “So many local non-profits, and so many groups coming together with a great attitude, creative spirit and really trying to make this parade as best as possible for the community.”
During the parade, Suzi Calderon Bellman plans to honor her cousin Madeline, who was the first queen at the 1924 Fiesta Parade.
As a descendant of some of Santa Barbara’s original families, Suzi is happy that the parade honors Santa Barbara’s past. She got some of her family members together to build a float along with the California Mission Foundation.
“We had a great time. I got to introduce everybody. And they didn’t know who each other were but now they know each other. They’re really friendly. They’re positive people, positive descendants of Santa Barbara.”
Kristin Kinney needed multiple 10-hour trips to bring her horses and wagons from Arizona. Her horses prepare for the parade by taking a ride around town to stretch their legs.
Kinney hasn’t missed a parade in 17 years, and she says it’s the people that keep her coming back.
“Love the people!” Kinney said. “I have friends at the Carriage Museum here…all these guys are great, so that’s why I come. For the people.”