Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Show Must Go On: Fiesta Still Scheduled for August

El Presidente Anthony Borgatello told the press the other day that Old Spanish Days will certainly live to see another day. I don't think anyone thought otherwise but this is after The Big Dog Parade and the Black and Blue Ball have been cancelled recently due to the recession. Cut backs? Definitely, but the show will go on.

At the press conference, Erin Graffy de Garcia went to great pains to show the good economic effect of Fiesta on local business saying it's the local Mom and Pops that seem to do best. I hope she's right as it is hard to believe considering the preponderance of chain stores and restaurants that inhabit Santa Barbara and the many business that have shuttered their doors this year. The cost benefit analyses of Fiesta seem relative to what is spent but what is interesting is the assumption that there is a psychic benefit of having a citywide party in August. It's like we need some kind of good news in these times and I guess we do.



Anonymous The Egg and Us said...

Tax and fine the egg confetti sellers for the massive amounts of clean-up and unreported income that has drastically changed fiesta these past few years.

4/04/2009 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Night cap said...

Fiesta needs to be daytime activities only. The costs of security at night outweigh any community benefit. In fact, the little extra money made by the non-profits in the evenings could be donated by the city in saving all those extra security costs.

It is time to defuse Fiesta and get it back to just a loca, family, civic festival and not the area gang war magnet doldrums it has become. No one I know goes to Fiesta at night anymore.

Add up how much extra income the non-profit booths make at night, particularly the downtown ones and see what the ratio is to the huge amount of extra security these night events now require. Pull the plug. It ain't worth it.

4/04/2009 9:56 AM  
Anonymous I'm so relieved.... said...

Democrats have the real world to deal with in Santa Barbara.

Republicans have Olde Spanish Daze.

4/04/2009 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Cruel Hand Uke said...

For me, Fiesta stopped being something interesting a LONG time ago. When I was a lil' Santa Barbarian (think paleolithic), the only thing I dreaded about Fiesta was the thought of excessive force being utilized in the cascarone ritual. The smell of tortillas in the air still gets me though as I long for safer times in my home town.

4/04/2009 3:39 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

I would appreciate the Chamber and non-profits who profit from Fiesta tone it down to a Parade with a few performances and dances at the Lobero and Granada. Dancing on the steps of the Mission is sacrilegious. Downtown State St is like a siege with several peace officers per block. It doesn't seem like a community event to me. Mackenzie park is now too busy. Spread the wealth (or lack of it) to the Mesa Shoreline Park of LaCumbre Plaza.

4/06/2009 6:42 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Gee, here's a thought, maybe if there weren't so many hotels, they'd have a higher occupency. Fess finally figured it out after wasting county and city resources on his ill concieved grab for gold.

Or maybe he didn't want to compete with the three hotels foisted on The Good Land by the idiots at COG and Kristen's frothing hoard...

This town is lousy with do gooder non profit orgs that don't seem to be doing much good.

Most locals I know aren't interested in $20 door fees and $8 Tecates for the privledge of being pack like sardines if you can even get in.

Fiesta at the Aculpulco was a great way to party till the bubble bursrt by over promotion.

Let the city take out ads in the LA Time and Ventura Star saying Fiesta in cancelled and then we can sneek it back in for the locals at the last minute (wink wink)...

4/06/2009 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Do locals still go to fiesta? I haven't for years. Too many tourists. Too many people. Besides, it's not about Santa Barbara's Spanish roots. It's Mexican.

4/06/2009 3:18 PM  
Anonymous First do no harm said...

Local do-gooder non-profits exist like most NGO's to support the executive directors full employment. Only by growing more problems do they keep justifying their continued employment.

To solve any problems would end up eliminating their own jobs. Time to take a long hard look at these insatiable and unproductive beasts that have worsened the quality of life in our community.

They need to stop getting a free feel-good pass because they have done nothing to improve anything but their own employment security.

How much money has been dedicated in this town towards reducing gang crime and what have been the results? How much money has been dedicated towards the homeless crowd and how much has that helped? Which disease that always brings out the glitterati at lavish fundraisers ever got cured?

The whole thing is bogus. Stop feeding these beasts until you can see proof of actual results besides maintaining their executive director and staff salaries.

4/07/2009 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anne Ominous said...


It isn't Mexican, either.

It's an American party. It's a party based on twisted notions that rich (generally white) people have about a fantasy history.

And really, it's not much of a party, either, is it! No. It's a collection of events. The public ones are too crowded to enjoy. The private ones are so full of themselves that barely anyone can enjoy them, save those who get off on believing they gave more money to whatever than whoever.

Fiesta sucks. My only regret is being unable to escape to elsehwere this year.

4/07/2009 2:01 PM  

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