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Rising COVID-19 Numbers On Central, South Coasts Lead To Additional Changes To Region's Largest Community Celebration

Santa Barbara's Old Spanish Days opening ceremony, La Fiesta Pequena, will still take place at the Santa Barbara Mission Wednesday, but it won't be open to the public. This photo is from the 2020 virtual Fiesta events.

Old Spanish Days opening ceremony won't be cancelled, but it will not be public event.

The current surge in COVID-19 cases on the Central and South Coasts had led to more big changes to one of the region’s largest community celebrations.

Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days is this week. Safety concerns had already led to the cancellation of the celebration’s two major parades, as well as the two outdoor foot and entertainment marketplaces.

Now, there’s word that while the opening ceremony at the Santa Barbara Mission will still take place Wednesday night, it will no longer be a public event. La Fiesta Pequna traditionally attracts thousands of people who come to see dancers and singers perform on the steps of the mission. And, the event known as Noches de Ronda has also been cancelled. It's normally three nights of performances in the Santa Barbara County Courthouse's Sunken Gardens.