Goleta’s Fiesta Ranchera is back — but with a twist.
To kick off this year’s Fiesta event season, Old Spanish Days and the Goleta Valley Historical Society are presenting an “On the Go” version of the annual celebration, which will feature pop-up dance performances around Goleta as a way to thank the restaurants who have supported the event for many years.
The celebration begins tonight with live dance performances at Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant, 5764 Calle Real, at 7 p.m. and the Nugget Bar & Grill, 5687 Calle Real, at 7:30 p.m.
The fun will continue Saturday with a large pop-up flamenco and live music performance at the Camino Real Marketplace from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
David Bolton, the second vice presidente for Old Spanish Days, told the News-Press that instead of hosting a typical Fiesta Ranchera with food and cocktails provided by local businesses, the organization decided that this year it wanted to give back to restaurants by encouraging the community to dine out while enjoying live dance performances.
“We went full circle and wanted to give back to those businesses, which are the heart of Goleta,” Mr. Bolton told the News-Press Wednesday. “The event moves through Goleta with dance and song and encourages everyone to patronize the local eateries and breweries and shops throughout (the city).”
Just like in past years, dancers donning traditional flamenco dresses will perform to live music, showcasing some of the best dancing Santa Barbara has to offer, Mr. Bolton said.
“It’s the best of Santa Barbara dance. There’s many flamenco dance studios in town, and it really brings out youth, it brings out energy, it brings out traditions and it brings out generations,” Mr. Bolton said. “I think we’re going to see these performances really put smiles on people’s faces. People that have patiently waited 15 months to be able to once again enjoy Fiesta.”
After COVID-19 restrictions outright canceled Fiesta Ranchera last year, members of the Old Spanish Days board say they are ready to get back to hosting the events locals love.
“What we’re most excited about is getting to do our signature events this year,” Stephanie Petlow, la presidenta of Old Spanish Days, told the News-Press. “Everybody is ready to celebrate heritage, history and culture and enjoy good food. We are very pleased to be able to do more for our community this year.”
For more information on Fiesta Ranchera, visit goletahistory.org/fiesta-ranchera.