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GOINGS ON / SANTA BARBARA : Feathers to Fiesta : Sea mammals, classical music, art and culture are on the weekend agenda in Santa Barbara.


Looking for a reason to drive to Santa Barbara this weekend? Try dancing feathers, mammal art or Fiesta. The next few days will be loaded with a variety of things to see and do.

In keeping with the American Indian theme of its recent programs, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will show the film "Dancing Feathers" today at 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

It is the story of an Indian girl, Tafia, who is asked to perform the traditional Jingle Dance at a powwow. As the performance time nears, Tafia starts to have doubts about herself as an Indian and it is up to her grandmother to teach her about the powers of the dancing feathers.

The film will be shown in the museum's Farrand Hall, 2559 Puesta del Sol Road. The movie is free with admission to the museum: $3 adults, $2 teen-agers and seniors, and $1 children. For more information call 682-4711.

Photographs by Peter Howarth, director of the Marine Mammal Center of Santa Barbara, are among the paintings and photographs featured in the Fourth Annual Marine Art Show. The show (and sale) will run through Sept. 25 at the Cabrillo Arts Center.

In addition to Howarth's photos of sea life in the Santa Barbara Channel, photographer Eric Martin will show his shots of marine mammals living in the western United States.

Local artists being featured include Bud Bottoms, Glenna Hartmann, John Iwerks, Larry Iwerks, Marilyn Makepeace and Margy Gates. The Arts Center is on Cabrillo Boulevard at East Beach. Proceeds from the sale of any items will benefit the Mammal Center.

The Festival Orchestra at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West will perform Richard Strauss' "Alpine Symphony" and Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" in its season finale Saturday at the Lobero Theatre. Jeffrey Tate, principal conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, will be the guest conductor for the evening. Tickets are $15. Call the Lobero Theatre Box Office at 963-0761.

It's Spanish Days Fiesta time in Santa Barbara, which means just about every public event taking place over the next five days has Fiesta in its title. Here are the core events of this traditional celebration of Spanish culture, which began yesterday:

* El Mercado de la Guerra and El Mercado del Norte: These marketplaces, featuring Spanish and "Mexican-American" food, crafts and entertainment, will be open daily. The former is at de la Guerra Plaza, the latter at MacKenzie Park at Las Positas and State streets.

* Fiesta de la Communidad: Latin American music, art and dancing will be presented daily at La Casa de la Raza, 601 E. Montecito St. Admission is free. Call 965-8581.

* Fiesta Stock Horse Show and Rodeo: This professional-amateur rodeo will be held daily at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Admission is $6 (general) and $4 (children under 12). Box seats are available for $15 and $12. Call 967-6331.

* Carnival: There will be carnival rides and games, nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight, at La Playa West parking lot. The lot is near the Santa Barbara City College football field off Shoreline Drive. Admission is free.

* Noches de Ronda: Beginning at 8 p.m. tonight, through Saturday, there will be Spanish music, dancing and singing at the Sunken Gardens at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Admission is free. The courthouse is at 118 E. Figueroa St.

* El Desfile Historico Parade: On Friday at 1 p.m., the Old Spanish Days Parade will start at the west end of Cabrillo Boulevard and head to the beach side of State Street, up State Street to Sola Street.

* El Desfile de los Ninos: The children's parade, with its participants in traditional costumes, will be held Saturday starting at 10 a.m. It will begin on Victoria Street and head down State Street to Ortega Street.

* Tardes de Ronda: Here's another event starring the boys and girls of Santa Barbara. On Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., the children will put on a variety show at the courthouse Sunken Gardens. Admission is free.

* Concert: The West Coast Symphony Orchestra will give a concert Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the courthouse Sunken Gardens. The program will include Mozart's Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" and his "Sinfonia Concertante" for violin and viola in E-flat. It will also include Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 in F Major. Antoinette Lopez's Spirit of Fiesta Dancers will perform at intermission. Admission is free.

For more information on any of these events, call the Old Spanish Days office at 962-8101.

Santa Barbara's Museum of Art is continuing its exhibition of works by leading Mexican artists of the 20th Century. The work on display is part of the museum's permanent collection. Artists represented in the show include Carlos Orozco-Romero, Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo. The exhibit will continue through Aug. 30. The museum is at 1130 State St. For more information call 963-4364.

On the subject of continuing exhibits, Peggy Wirta Dahl is the featured artist at Santa Barbara's Ro Snell Gallery through Aug. 29. Dahl's oil paintings on linen are part of a series of geometric abstractions that she has developed over several years. Some of the pieces in the show were included in last year's "Santa Barbara Artists II" exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The Ro Snell Gallery is at 926 Chapala St.

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