SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Ten days after Old Spanish Days Fiesta left State Street in Santa Barbara, some of its remnants remain on downtown sidewalks.
By now, locals are used to the lingering confetti in the weeks following the annual party, but some business owners are now complaining that the city has taken too long to clean stained sidewalks.
Santa Barbara's Downtown Organization works to keep the busy corridor clean, and said Wednesday that normal morning power-washing will resume Thursday morning at 5 a.m. in order to clean stained sidewalks on State Street.
Crews usually power-wash sidewalks in the early morning hours, but delays during and after Fiesta have left those sidewalks less pristine than some locals are used to seeing. Some downtown businesses reached out to the Downtown Organization about the delay.
"It's about a two-week wait," Kate Schwab of Downtown Organization said. "We can't do any power-cleaning when the vendors are set up on the sidewalks. And then about a week after the actual event is over, we have to get rid of all the confetti from the sidewalks before we can power-wash because that would have been a big, mushy mess."
But after the all-clear to clean last week, the city's power-washing machine broke. And sidewalk spills that are usually washed away each morning have since built up.
"Coffee spills, soda spills, ice cream spills," Schwab said. "It happens all throughout the year, but certainly during Fiesta when there's more street traffic, sidewalk traffic. That's when it happens the most."
One longtime resident told our newsroom this is the dirtiest he's seen the sidewalks in 50 years.
Yet several businesses say they have not noticed a real difference.
"I just narrowly missed Fiesta," says Noah Dentzel, founder and CEO of Nomad Goods on Ortega Street, near State. "But when I came back, I thought it was so cleaned up, I kinda forgot that it had just happened. So it seems pretty good to me."
The Downtown Organization also plans to re-mulch landscaping on State Street in September, meaning leftover confetti should be moved out in favor of fresh mulch in the planters.