Local Summer Festivals

LEAH URZUA

Staff Writer

Santa Barbara is known to have many fun, action-packed summer festivals. This summer is your chance to attend one of these great festivals happening. The Womens Literary Festival is a festival that is actually happening the weekend before school is out. This is for those who are interested in listening to the different stories that women writers tell. Besides some well known and not as well-known women writers, this festival strives to promote reading, diversity, and social justice. It will take place at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Each speaker will share for 45 minutes and possibly do a Q & A session afterwards. There are breaks for the attendants to go check out the books of the authors for purchase. They can even have their book signed. Then final presentations and conclusion. The price is $65 per person.

Ocean Awareness Festival, on June 8, starts off at 9am for a beach clean-up. Afterwards, festivities are rewarded at the Ty Warner Sea Center with booths, ocean crafts, and more! It is important that we take the time to care for our beaches and protect the ocean for the future.

The Live Oak Music Festival takes place at Live Oak Camp near Cachuma Lake. Mainstage music and performances are the focus in this festival.Throughout the day starting at 8am on June 14th until June 16th, musicians all over the U.S. and the globe will play music. It ranges from traditional, folk, bluegrass and gospel, to blues, jazz, classical and world music, and touching most genres in between.It is a rare happening and a great opportunity to come hear these amazing performances. Tickets are onsale now at liveoakfest.org.

The Summer Solstice Parade was originally created as a birthday celebration for Michael Gonzales 39 years ago. It then joined with the Summer Solstice Music Festival and thus the display of floats, giant puppets, creative costumes, and colorful masks with more than 1,000 diverse participants. Every year, the parade and festival has a theme that they use to brighten the festival; this year the theme is “creatures”. It is the largest arts event in the Santa Barbara County attracting thousands of visitors each year. The festival opens on Friday, June 21 at 4:00pm; the mainstage performances will be at Alameda Park. The parade starts at noon on Saturday at Cota St., winding up State Street, and ending at Micheltorena.

The Fourth of July Parade is as American as apple pie; it is not a day to be forgotten. Santa Barbara residents cherish this special parade that celebrates the document that gave America its rights and responsibilities as a whole— The Declaration of Independence. The grand parade starts at one in the afternoon on Micheltorena Street and finishes at Cota Street.

What do poodles, crepes, and french songs have in common? They are all going to be at the Santa Barbara French Festival this year. Instead of going to France this summer and spending a fortune, let France come to you. There will be delectable fresh bakery breads, classic crepes, quiches, Moroccan, Cajun, and so much more. Expect performances such as recitals, folk music and dancing, French Chansons, etc. Take a walk through arts and crafts vendors, face painting vendors, and beautiful clothing vendors. Explore the neat culture that the French Festival has to offer at Oak Park during the 13 and 14 of July.

On July 13 at Leadbetter Beach, the Pacific Pride Foundation is hosting its sixth annual Pacific Pride Festival where lesbians, gays, transgenders, queers, and people who love peace and unity are all invited to celebrate. This festival is put on by an all-volunteer committee. Their hope is to bring together the community and show people that it’s ok to be different and that is what makes everyone unique. All proceeds go to the local LGBT programs and the Pacific Pride Foundation. This event is open to all ages.

Another fun festival is happening at Oak Park on Saturday, July 27 to Sunday, July 28. The Santa Barbara Greek Festival is and has always been a big hit to all ages. Come and take advantage of free greek dance lessons, eat some flaky pastries, and hear traditional Greek music played with greek instruments. The festival starts at 11am and ends at 7pm on both days.

It is August, summer is drawing to a close and you yearn for one more fun celebration that can make a great summer ending. If this is you, take your last chance and celebrate the Old Spanish Days during the week of July 31 to August 4. There is so much history crammed into this week that attendants feel as if they are back in the nineteenth century. Numerous places all over town are hosting events in honor of fiesta such as El Mercado de la Guerra across from City Hall, flamenco and fiery dances held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens, Horse and rodeo show at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, the Saturday Children’s parade, and so much more.

“The solstice parade is so much fun,” said sophomore Maddy Craig. “My favorite part is the after-party at Alameda Park.”

This summer will not go by with dullness with all these festivals. Attend these exciting festivals and celebrations that the city of Santa Barbara has to offer. 

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