Enlarged “Project Fiesta!” Exhibition at SB Historical Museum Celebrates 100 Years of Santa Barbara’s Fiesta

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of Old Spanish Days Fiesta with an enlarged, expanded version of its annual Project Fiesta! exhibition, opening July 12 and on view through November 1, 2024. For more information, visit

Encompassing two galleries, the centerpiece of “Project Fiesta! Centennial” is the largest grouping of annual Fiesta posters ever exhibited. Most posters are from the Museum’s Fiesta-related collection, the largest found anywhere, with several on loan from community members.

Footage of the very first 1924 El Desfile Histórico (The Historical Parade), also from the Museum’s collections, shows hundreds of riders on horses sporting gleaming silver trimmed saddles, interspersed by flower decorated horse-drawn carriages and wagons, and high-stepping “dancing” horses. A saddle adorned with Fiesta’s official crest is on view, along with another decorated with hand-tooled silver and semiprecious gems.

Also from the Museum’s holdings are photographs, film, programs, sheet music, costumes, and a large selection of festive commemorative badges produced each year beginning in 1926. Parade attire is exhibited, including antique clothing altered to be worn by descendants of some of the oldest Santa Barbara families.

“Fiestas from years past will be brought to life with a century of memories,” says Dacia Harwood, Museum executive director. “This not only commemorates the Old Spanish Days Fiesta centennial, but also salutes the thousands upon thousands of community members who through the decades have created the celebrations.”

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