Experience Old Santa Ynez Days

Zack Garhart
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As summer rolls around, Santa Barbara and the surrounding communities become home to several festivals and celebrations. Old Santa Ynez Days is one of the more unique experiences in Southern California, and this is how to enjoy it to its fullest.

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Experiencing Old Santa Ynez Days

Step Into the Action

Taking place over the weekend of June 21st – June 23rd, Old Santa Ynez Days kicks off with a big party on Friday, June 21st. The celebration starts with a pig roast, libations, and a dance party with music by Victoria Bailey and her band. For bluegrass and country music lovers, this is a perfect way to kick off what is going to be an action-packed weekend of dancing, music, and delicious food.  Tickets for the party are $75 for the general public.

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The Parade and Rodeo

Celebrating their 60th anniversary, the Old Santa Ynez Days Festival is going all out this year. From pony rides to tortilla tosses, the second day of the festival will have a little bit of everything for guests. Saturday morning kicks off with a grand parade, and few things beat a parade in the summer. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will feature wagons, horses, and floats of all kinds. Local vendors and boutique owners will be in attendance, featuring artisanal and craft products from the area. Additionally, there will be free carriage rides throughout town, giving you a chance to experience Santa Ynez like a true local.

Things really start to heat up once the rodeo kicks off. Rodeos are a heart-pumping, one-of-a-kind experience, and this is one you don’t want to miss. Held over two days, the rodeo will feature the talents of local cowboys and cowgirls and plenty of broncos and bulls. On-site, there will be food vendors, music, and local crafts. Tickets to the rodeo are $35 for a single-day admission or $60 for a two-day pass. Saturday’s main event starts at 3:00 p.m., and on Sunday the main event starts at 2 p.m. With how popular the rodeo is, it’s best to arrive early so that you can grab good seats and settle in for a day of action.

Getting to the Festival

By car, accessing the Old Santa Ynez Days is easy. Located roughly 30 miles from Santa Barbara, the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum is a short car ride away. For travelers visiting Santa Barbara without a car, we suggest grabbing a few friends and booking a ride share out to the festival. This is a fast and economical way to access the festival.

Once you arrive, take some time to check out the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. This part of California is known for its world-class wineries and agriculture. With ranches filled with horses and other wildlife, driving through Santa Ynez Valley is worth your time on your visit. Additionally, the town of Solvang is nearby. Considered the “Danish Capital of America”, visiting Solvang is a fun way to spend an afternoon.

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Interested in seeing more of the Santa Ynez Valley? Watch this video!

After experiencing Old Santa Ynez Days, head on over to our Santa Barbara Beach Hostel. We offer clean, affordable accommodations and a great social atmosphere for travelers.

Before booking, join our Traveler’s Club! This is a great way to save money on all future bookings at ITH, and it is free to sign up. 


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