Santa Barbara has a rich history of outdoor festivals celebrating various cultures. Through the years, in addition to Old Spanish days there has been the Greek Festival, the Italian Festival, Jamaican Festival and so many more. In 1988 long time Santa Barbara resident and Francophile, Steve Hogerman, turned his passion for all things French into the Santa Barbara French Festival.
Incorporating food, entertainment, arts and French themed vendors the Festival grew to be one of the largest of the Santa Barbara cultural festivals. Bringing the Festival to life each year is a huge undertaking and after helming the ship as largely a solo operation for more than 20 years Steve began looking for someone to take over and carry on the legacy of this great community event.
In 2011 the Festival actually had a one year hiatus, but in 2012 Center Stage and Speaking of Stories stepped forward to bring it back! The two local non-profits bring their theatrical and performance knowledge to the operation and things have been going strong ever since. You can still see Steve Hogerman each year hosting the performances on the Moulin Rouge stage and manning his Journeys to Hidden Provence Booth.
All proceeds from the Festival now support Center Stage Theater and Speaking of Stories, forming a strong foundation for their annual fundraising efforts.