I Madonnari is one of my favorite Santa Barbara festivals. This year I Madonnari, the Italian Street Painting Festival, celebrates its 25th anniversary. (The term I Madonnari comes from medieval itinerant artists who would recreate cathedral paintings at festivals and holy days, the most venerated image being the Virgin Mary, or Madonna) As always, it is held over the Memorial Day holiday at the Old Mission, the pavements of which are divided into 200 squares of "blank canvas" which have been purchased by local merchants to benefit the Children's Creative Project. Chalk artists from near and far choose their squares and paint a wonderful tapestry of color, whimsy and beauty. The artists will begin on Saturday, the 28th and almost all of the works will be completed by Sunday afternoon for judging. This year we'll also have live music and an Italian market featuring Italian cuisine and other goodies. How lovely to take a cool evening stroll around the Mission, watch the artists at work, and admire their paintings. Free.
Santa Barbara bed and breakfast.
Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper Bath Street Inn