Mercado de la Guerra is making a comeback during the old Spanish days


SANTA BARBARA, California – A tradition from the old Spanish days is making a comeback following the cancellation of COVID-19 last summer.

Old Spanish Days officials rolled out a red carpet on the lawn in front of Santa Barbara City Hall to make the announcement on Monday afternoon.

“We are very excited to announce that the Mercado De La Guerra will take place this year,” said La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow.

The Mercado is open from August 4th to 7th.

“There will be food, entertainment and dancing and we are very happy that we can put the Mercado back together again this year thanks to the city, the district health department and everyone else who will work hard on it.”

El Segundo Vice President David Bolton said it was open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on traditional days, Wednesday through Saturday.

Bolton said it usually takes 5 months to plan, but thanks to Laura Abrignani, the committee co-chair, and others, they’ll get it done on time.

Spirit Ysabella Yturralde and Junior Spirit Savannah Hoover said they were excited to have a live audience.

During their audition, they were unable to dance in front of a crowd due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“To have an audience and a stage and really easy to get Fiesta going again, and it’s so exciting after so much has happened last year. I think that brings the community together,” said Yturralde.

Bolton said the footprint will be the same with around 20 stalls selling groceries and raising money for nonprofits.

The larger Mercado Del Norte in McKenzie Park will not take place this year. The organizers hope that people will experience the Mercado De La Guerra instead.

Another popular mercado hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Nopal St. in Santa Barbara will be returning, but church members said it will be a scaled-down version this year.

For information on the old Spanish days 2021, please visit

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