Will Santa Barbara's Old Spanish Days celebration go green?

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Families sell cascarones along sidewalks during Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days celebrations. Photo credit: Holly Chase

For nearly a century, Santa Barbara has celebrated its Spanish heritage through Old Spanish Days or “Fiesta.” This Wednesday, the streets will fill again with dancing, music, and parades.

Part of the festivities: cascarones, brightly decorated eggs filled with confetti and glitter. They're sold on the sidewalk and cracked on peoples’ heads for fun.

Those eggs make a mess, and for the last few years, they've come under scrutiny for their environmental footprint. Now city officials are asking vendors to avoid glitter and use biodegradable materials instead.


Institutional Ale’s new neon sign violates a State Street ordinance meant to maintain the historical feel of downtown, but the brewery intends to fight the ordinance. Photo credit: Doug Smith 

A new report focused on lower State Street says regulations should be more business-friendly if downtown hopes to grow. Case in point: City officials are cracking down on a neon sign at Institution Ale because it violates a city ordinance that requires neon signs to be at least 10 ft away from the windows looking out onto State Street.

Plus, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams may face Democratic challenger Laura Capps, following criticism over his connection to cannabis lobbyists.