Santa Barbara Obon Festival

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The Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara will be having its first obon festival in 24 years on Saturday, July 20, from 1:00PM – 6:30 PM. We are trying to gauge how much interest there would be in chartering a bus through Nada Bus. The bus would leave the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple at 12:00 noon. After the obon, departure from Santa Barbara would be around 7:00 PM for return back to VHBT before 10:00PM. Cost would depend upon the number of passengers. If we fill the bus to capacity (49 riders), the cost would be $26.78 each. For 40 passengers, the cost would be $32.80 each. If we don’t get at least 40 passengers, we may invite members of WLA Buddhist Temple to share the bus.

If you are interested in taking the bus to Santa Barbara, please contact Ido Masako by July 3rd. If there is enough interest, then the bus will be booked.

Following is the information regarding the Santa Barbara Obon:

Thank you for your interest in the Santa Barbara Obon. We hope to see you on Saturday, July 20!

I have attached an updated schedule of Obon Celebration events to be held at the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara for your information.

2013 Santa Barbara Obon Schedule

Festival entry is free of charge. Food, beverages and tickets for carnival games with prizes will be available for purchase.

After 12:45 p.m., the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara parking lot will be cleared for foot traffic and dancing. Some street parking will be available in the neighborhood around the temple and arrangements have been made for festival parking at the Franklin Elementary School, near the temple. Here is the address and a link to a map for parking at the Franklin School:

Franklin Elementary School (map)
1111 East Mason Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Parking is limited in Santa Barbara, so carpooling is encouraged. If you are planning to charter a bus please let us know in advance, so we can help you coordinate parking.

We are still in need of volunteers to help out on the festival day, particularly in the areas of parking direction and clean-up. No experience is necessary and sign-up can be done online at

Thank you for your support as we revive this wonderful tradition in Santa Barbara!

In gratitude,

Rev. Henry Toryo Adams
Supervising Minister
Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara
1015 East Montecito Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93103