Special Events in Santa Barbara

Human Rights Film Festival
Between April and May, the Santa Barbara Human Rights Film Festival is held. Each evening, two films focusing on global social justice and human rights issues are shown. Topics covered in these films include past and present international events, global health issues, and the emotional journey of those returning from the battlefields. The screenings are held in the Pollock Theater, housed in the Carsey-Wolf Center on the UCSB campus.

California Wine Festival
Mid July brings the annual California Wine Festival. Held in the East Beach section of Santa Barbara, this three-day festival is a wonderful exhibition of local wineries and their products. Wine seminars and tasting events are held during the festival, and local restaurateurs showcase some of their best selections. Live music provides the perfect backdrop to this well attended event. Specialty products such as cheese boards, glassware and hand carvings are also on display by the respective vendors.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta
Old Spanish Days Fiesta comes around every August. This non-profit organization, whose mission is to preserve the area's diverse heritage, sponsors this eight-day festival. Visitors from near and far, as well as area locals, are treated to the traditions of the Spanish and Mexican people who settled this beautiful community. Dating back to 1924, the fiesta has been a celebration of their culture. A parade full of colorful floats, and participants dressed in ethnic clothing fill the streets. A marketplace is also set up. Booths sell food and merchandise, and the proceeds are returned to the sponsoring charities.

Harbor and Seafood Festival
Each October, Santa Barbara hosts the Harbor and Seafood Festival. Scheduled to correspond with the area's lobster season, this festival is a seafood lover's delight. Attendees are bombarded with all types of fish and seafood fare, from live lobsters to fish tacos. Enticing thousands to come and sample products from local fisheries, this event is truly mouth-watering. Educational lectures on the ocean environment are held. There are also sing-a-longs and crafts for individuals and families to enjoy. Live music events round out the day's entertainment.

Parade of Lights
Towns often host special events around the holidays, and Santa Barbara is no exception. Early December brings the Parade of Lights. Snow is trucked in and the songs of the season can be heard on the City Pier. Of course, Santa pays a visit, while thousands cheer on a parade of boats dressed in the holiday theme. A beautiful fireworks display follows, to the delight of all the spectators.