Fiesta, or Old Spanish Days, is Santa Barbara’s 88 year-old tradition of celebrating its Spanish heritage. For 5 days, always the first week of August, our laid back beach town turns into party central. The sounds, colors and energy on the streets are impossible to translate in words or pictures so maybe these colorful flowers say it best. My favorite part of fiesta is the equestrian parade and this year I decided to focus on something different – its flower arrangements.
The parade is the one of the largest equestrian events in the West. If you like beautiful horses, riders and carriages, then this is the spectacle for you. Carpinteria, just 10 minutes to the south, is one of the major flower growing regions of our country. There are greenhouses and growing fields for miles which is lucky for us because some even sell their blooms at our farmers market. And that is why every carriage and wagon has such elaborate floral displays – this area is considered a “flower basket”.
You’ll see lots of sunflowers, larkspur, roses, lilies, orchids, delphinium, liatrus, mums and gerber daisies. Buckets and buckets of flowers arrive to the Carriage Museum the day before the parade and volunteers work through the evening to get these all done. The carriages are beautiful on their own but these flowers adorning them … it’s the icing on the cake.
Next up for Flower Friday: Santa Barbara Flowering Trees
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