Community Partners Help Keep Santa Barbara Santa Barbara ™ Partners

Bits from a Barstool…

This date in Santa Barbara History, 1969… the Great Santa Barbara Oil Spill.

Seen Around TownMagellan’s Travel Supplies is opening a store in Loretta Plaza, while Open Air Bikes has moved out of the “dead area” on lower State Street due to higher rents.

Changing of the guard… according to Alexa Rankings, has passed as the most popular website in Santa Barbara.

A run on handles… the soft launch of the Santa Barbara View, or Blog 3.0, saw an unexpected run on premium user names Thursday. Loyal Blog readers registered in bunches to secure their desired handles.

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Shelter From the Storm

Guest Essay by Jennifer Ferraez

There was a time, not too long ago when during a storm a stranger at the door would be welcomed for the night with a dry place to sleep and wait out the storm. Hospitality would be extended merely because this was another human being longing for a basic necessity. A space would be found. This is the way it always was.

Somewhere between here and there, this practice began to change. Doors were no longer opened. They must be trying to sell something out there in the rain. They may take me hostage. God know what they might do! Have we really become such a fear driven society? Much of the media only reinforces our anxieties—generalizing, dramatizing, instilling panic and suspicion. Has our genetic makeup been altered so drastically, or have we merely forgotten how good we really are? Somewhere, deep within us, we must know that our worst fears are not actually true.

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Make Santa Barbara a Wireless City

Austin, Baton Rouge, Orlando, and Fresno are some of the cities in the United States with extensive public wireless high-speed Internet coverage… it’s time for Santa Barbara to become a wireless city as well.

The City Council needs to give back to a battered business sector by providing free wireless Internet access throughout the city so that anyone with a computer and wireless access device could log in. Wireless access points should be mounted on light poles throughout Santa Barbara to provide coverage, which would allow an opportunity for small-business users to dramatically increase their productivity.

Laptop computers and smart phones have becoming basic appendages for people and advances in technology have made setting up wireless community networks easier and more affordable. Plus, Santa Barbara is a town to enjoy outside and a wireless city would be a boon for tourists – not to mention citizen journalists!

Citizen Journalism

Registered users can post directly to the Santa Barbara View.
Citizen journalism is the concept of members of the Santa Barbara community playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information. Citizen Posts will appear on every page of the View and are for registered users who wants to write up a post about anything Santa Barbara. You can use the Citizen Posts feature to pen a commentary, submit breaking news, offer a restaurant review, or to promote an event.

Citizen journalism is changing the way everyday news is reported and the way information is disseminated. So become a registered user and share your voice.

Annual Events Calendar

January 1 Hang Gliding and Paragliding Festival
January 2 Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count
Whale Watching (through March): boat tours in the Santa Barbara Channel
Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Santa Barbara International Orchid Show: a blooming horticultural happening.
Santa Barbara Whale Festival: celebrate cetaceans of all shapes and sizes.

Santa Barbara Arts Festival: two weeks of art exhibitions, music, theatre and dance.
Santa Barbara Kite Festival: Fly high on blustery March winds at beautiful Shoreline Park
Lompoc Spring Arts Festival: enjoy antique vehicles, great entertainment, inspired art and add a little spice with a sanctioned chili cookoff.
Santa Barbara County Vintner’s Festival: enjoy the fruit of the vine in nearby Santa Ynez Valley.
Earth Day Celebration:  festivities at the courthouse, learn how to help the environment.
Presidio Days: Celebrate Santa Barbara’s birthday and multi-ethnic origins at his El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park
Santa Barbara County Fair & Expo: Ranch, farm, commercial and education exhibits, plus an amusement park with all the rides and attractions at Earl Warren Showgrounds

Santa Barbara Cinco de Mayo Festival: mariachi music, folk dancing, food and fun.
I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival: chalk paintings on the pavement in front of Santa Barbara’s Old Mission, Memorial Day Weekend
Children’s Festival: A day of family fun at Alameda Park, complete with sports, crafts, bounce houses, food, music and entertainment.

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade: party every minute of the longest day of the year with whimsical costumes, music and dance, a post-parade gathering at Alameda Park, plus an evening event at the Sunken Gardens.
Semana Nautica: Santa Barbara’s summer festival of sports—on land and in the water.

Santa Barbara French Festival: Francophiles revel in two days devoted to the far-reaching culture of France. Enjoy everything from French bread to a French poodle parade.
Independence Day Parade and Concert:  show your patriotic spirit at the parade in the morning, then head over to the Sunken Garden at the County Courthouse for the Santa Barbara Symphony’s musical salute to America. Finish the day with fireworks at East Beach.
Santa Barbara Greek Festival: Be Greek for a weekend with food, music and dancing.

Old Spanish Days (Fiesta): Five-day festival celebrating Santa Barbara’s heritage.  Parades, dancing, concerts, costume parties and more authentic food that you can imagine!

West Beach Music & Arts Festival

California Avocado Festival: Holy guacamole! Carpinteria serves up an awesome assemblage of avocado appetizers and more.
California Lemon Festival: it’s a sweet weekend dedicated to the lovely lemon; music, entertainment and every lemon concoction under the sun. Artwalk: Annual festival of art featuring the work of ourstanding regional artists, along with food, entertainment and artist demonstrations at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
Santa Barbara Harbor and Seafood Festival Meet local fishermen, enjoy fresh lobster, crab, prawns and sea bass; cooking demonstrations and live musical entertainment.

Christmas Parade: celebrate the holidays with local bands, floats and a special appearance by you-know-who…
Yuletide Boat Parade: Local sailors decorate their watercraft for holiday fun

Festivals and Annual Events

A full calendar of events, complemented by the temperate climate, attracts visitors all year long. In Santa Barbara, the challenge isn’t finding something to do; it’s choosing from a dazzling array of activities.


On New Year’s Day, enjoy the color and freedom of the hang-gliding festival at Mesa Flight Park, and on January 2 join other bird-watchers at the annual bird-count, one of the biggest in the nation. While sitting indoors in the dark sounds antithetical to everything about Santa Barbara, there’s one time each year when it’s de rigueur—in late January/early February, when Hollywood’s elite, movie-lovers and star-watchers gather for the famed Santa Barbara International Film Festival that attracts more A-List celebrities every year—and has become a preview showcase of Academy Award nominees.

Springtime blooms in Santa Barbara with the arrival of the annual Earth Day celebration in the place where the environmental movement was born. Following the disastrous 1969 oil spill in local waters, Santa Barbara’s collective consciousness about protecting the earth led the nation—and continues to work toward creating a sustainable community.

Photos from 2010 IMadonnari
Coverage of 2010 Wine Festival

Memorial Day brings I Madonnari, an inspired chalk-painting festival held on the grounds of the Old Mission. Summer fun kicks off with the inspired creativity of the Solstice Parade and weekend celebration of life when all of Santa Barbara dresses to a different era and dances to a different drummer.

Preview of 2010 French Festival
Preview of 2010 Greek Festival
Coverage of Fiesta Ranchero, 2010

The long-running ethnic festivals at Oak Park bring out the Francophile in everyone during the French Festival, and all the flavor and festivities of the Mediterranean to Pacific shores for the Greek Festival. The color and excitement of Old Spanish Days, also known as Fiesta, stretches for four days and nights, and all over town to the delight of visitors and (most) residents alike. It’s probably the only place in the U.S. where distinguished citizens are expected to overindulge in an amazing array of traditional Mexican foods, show up in costumes throughout the week, and everyone has a bit of confetti in their hair—from a crushed cascarone, a colorful, confetti-filled egg, traditionally made and sold by children.

Loath to let go of summer, visitors and locals alike continue to delight in outdoor festivities.  They catch hot licks at Mission Canyon’s Santa Barbara Bowl, an outdoors venue that remains pleasant into autumn. In October, festivals celebrate the avocado in Carpinteria, the lemon in Goleta. Art-lovers stroll along lovely Mission Creek for the annual Art Walk on the grounds of the Museum of Natural History.

Home for the holidays—Santa Barbara style—means a flurry of unique activities: an ocean-going parade of lights, the traditional Una Pastorela re-enactment of the Christmas story at the Presidio, the State Street and Milpas Street Christmas parades, the crèche with live animals at the Mission, and even a winter solstice observation.