Summer Color In Santa Barbara

Vendors selling cartons of colored eggs lined State Street.

For months the women patiently opened the tips of eggs letting the yolks and whites dribble out.  They carefully cleaned, then painted the shells, before filling them with confetti and covering the hole with tissue paper.  These were not Easter eggs.  The women prepared them for LA FIESTA.

The official name was Old Spanish Days.

But in mid-summer, everyone in Santa Barbara called out “Happy Fiesta” and asked whether your outfit was ready for the celebrations.

Created in 1924 by a city council trying to attract tourists to Santa Barbara, the festival honors the area’s Spanish and Mexican history.

Religion and culture are mixed together for five days of parades, church services, dancing, eating, drinking and shopping for all things Mexican.

Mexican Ponchos labeled with favorite team colors

Even Hello Kitty gets a little jalapeno.

Men dressed in their black mariachi uniforms can be seen carrying their vihuelas along the crowded streets.

A colored version could be found in the market.

But I thought the people having the most fun were the locals who planned and practiced all year for La Fiesta.

And anyone who loved cracking eggs on their friends’ heads.



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