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4th of July in Santa Barbara

4th of July at Santa Barbara

4th of July at Santa Barbara

It’s time once again for Santa Barbara to don its red, white and blue colors and celebrate Independence Day in style.  This year’s festivities promise to be a good time for young and old alike, and include a pancake breakfast, Spirit of 76 parade, arts and crafts show along Cabrillo Boulevard, Fourth of July concert at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens and a spectacular fireworks display that will launch off West Beach.

Start the day with a hearty breakfast at the Montecito Firemen’s Association pancake breakfast. Pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice, coffee, and milk will be served by your local firefighters from 7:30 am to 10:30 am at the Fire District Headquarters located at 595 San Ysidro Road in Montecito. Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the door.  Proceeds will benefit the Montecito Firefighter’s Benevolent Fund.

Next up is the Fourth of July parade which is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Micheltorena Street and will proceed down State Street to Old Town Santa Barbara, concluding at Cota Street. If you don’t wish to secure a spot to watch the parade ahead of time along the route and hate fighting crowds, the organizers offer reserved seating. (link:

A free concert will take place at the Sunken Garden of the historic and picturesque Santa Barbara Courthouse.  Admission is free and the music is set to start at 4:30pm.  Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and enjoy a musical salute to American patriotism by the West Coast Symphony Orchestra.

After the concert, be sure to head down to West Beach for the fireworks display. Plan to get there early and enjoy the musical entertainment on the beach while securing the best “seat in the sand” from which to watch the fireworks.  The fireworks display is scheduled to start at 9pm and West Beach will be open for free public viewing.

And don’t miss the best parade of all, the post-firework walk up State Street. If you watched the fireworks on the beach, you’ll likely be walking back up State Street afterward to get to the remote place you had to park your car. Walking under the Highway 101 underpass in a huge crowd of people is quite a memorable experience in itself. 4th July fireworks

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2014 Summer Solstice Parade in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade

The Solstice Parade had it beginning in Santa Barbara in 1974 and has evolved into a parade of more than 1,000 parade participants, consisting of human powered floats, strange costumes and choreographed dance groups. Over the years it has developed into the second largest parade in Santa Barbara drawing crowds of over 80,000.
With the beautiful weather Santa Barbara has been having it seems like it’s been summer for two months already!

The official time of Summer Solstice is 4:30 Saturday morning.  But more importantly, the official time of the parade in Santa Barbara is at 12:00 Saturday.  The parade route starts at Cota and runs up State Street to Micheltorena.  Parade enthusists can follow the parade to Alameda Park where a full weekend of festivities will follow.

The Schedule of Solstice events are as follows:
Festival Main Stage – Alameda Park – Schedule for Friday June 20th, 2014

4:00 Art Cisneros, Chumash Elder, (Invocation)
4:15 Iridescence: A MermaidTribe (Presents “Mer Theatre”
5:00 Milo Destanovski & Friends (Macedonian Folk)
5:50 SB Dance Arts (Hip Hop Performance Group)
6:45 RemJ (Michael Jackson Impersonator)
7:30 Raw Silk w/ Leslie Lembo (SB favorite band reunited for Solstice 2014!) (soul/funk/jazz)


Festival Main Stage Schedule for Saturday June 21st, 2014


12:00 Ulysses S Jasz (New Orleans Dixieland Jazz)
1:00 The Kinds (Rock/Folk Alternative)
2:00 Cornerstone (Reggae)
3:00 David Courtenay and the Castawaves (West Coast Roots/rock/ reggae)
4:00 Area 51 (soul/funk)
5:15 Camille Umoff Band (Pop/Rock)
6:00 Grooveshine ( Funk Reggae Groove)
7:00 Tommy and The High Pilots (Alt. Rock Pop)
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4th of July in Santa Barbara

4th July fireworksHappy birthday, America!  With July fast approaching, it is time once again for one of Santa Barbara’s most beloved and anticipated celebrations – Santa Barbara Symphony’s  free 4th of July concert followed by fireworks at the beach.  ­This year celebrates the 22nd annual July 4th concert at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens.  The Santa Barbara Symphony and the Santa Barbara Choral Society will perform a variety of patriotic favorites, light classics and a touch of jazz, including “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strike Up the Band,” an excerpt from Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “Victor’s Tale” from the movie, The Terminal, “Riding Home” and others. The concert will also feature the world premiere of “Santa Barbara Song” by Peter Clark. The concert is scheduled to start at 5pm and it is free to the public.  The entire community is encouraged to attend this patriotic event and to bring picnic dinners and lawn chairs. A spectacular fireworks display over Santa Barbara Harbor will round out the day’s festivities.  The fireworks display is scheduled to start at 9pm, but there will be activities throughout the day at West Beach for the entire family.  Be sure to get there early for optimal viewing or better yet, enjoy a sunset dinner on Stearns Wharf and stay for the fireworks.

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Summer Solstice in Santa Barbara

Solstice chairSummer Solstice DancersHappy first day of summer!  And what a beautiful morning it is in Santa Barbara!

Santa Barbara is a very unique city in its location with south facing beaches, and its idyllic weather patterns, thanks to the surrounding mountains and ocean.  But nothing makes it more unique than its own Summer Solstice Parade. This year’s celebration starts with the most unusual foot powered parade you may ever see. A cross between New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, Rio’s Carnival, with a touch of Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade, the whimsical, wacky, fun, colorful parade will start at noon on Saturday June 22 and travels up State St. between Cota Street and Micheltorena Street.  There is a festive party immediately following at Alameda Park, just two blocks off State Street on Micheltorena. There will be bands playing, people dancing, drums booming, and of course beer and wine for those wishing to partake.

Don’t miss this great Santa Barbara parade – it is guaranteed to be a fun party!

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Summer Solstice Parade in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Summer Time Fun!

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade 2012

It’s that time of year again!  Time to celebrate the longest day of the year at Santa Barbara’s annual Summer Solstice Parade!  On Saturday, June 23rd Santa Barbara will once again host the largest single-day event in the county, attracting crowds of 100,000 or more.

This year’s parade has “Fantasy” as its theme and will feature Fantasy-inspired extravagant floats, whimsical costumes and creatively choreographed dancing ensembles.

Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice Celebration has been deemed a combination of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, Rio’s Carnival, with a touch of Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade thrown in for good measure.  The unique people powered parade commences at noon on the Saturday closest to the longest day of the year.  The nearly two hour long parade starts at Cota Street and winds its way up State Street, finishing at Alameda Park shortly after 1pm – with the fun just beginning!  Bands are scheduled to play throughout the day into the evening hours, and again on Sunday.

If you are new to the area, this is one Santa Barbara celebration that you will not want to miss. The Solstice parade is second only to the Santa Barbara Fiesta parade in size and will be a memorable part of your visit to the area.

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Santa Barbara Christmas Parade

Don’t miss the Santa Barbara Christmas Parade this Friday, December 2, 2011.  The downtown parade starts at 6:30 on Sola Street and travels down State Street to Cota. Unlike the Fiesta Parade, the Christmas parade is a much smaller, casual and more of a local small town parade.  This years parade theme is Holiday Dreams.

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