Candlelit Remembrance Walk Scheduled for 1/9

Diogo Rodrigues Gonçalves

An evening candlelit walk from Lower Manning Park to All Saints-by-the-Sea will take place on Wednesday, to mark last year's fateful January 9. Again rain is in the forecast, but as of Friday it looked to be just a good chance for a third of an inch for the day, rather than anything like the deluge that unleashed the mountainsides in 2018, killing 23 people. Santa Barbara County's emergency center has sent out messages that the heavy rain anticipated for late Saturday does not threaten a debris flow.

The "Raising Our Light" walk for remembrance in Montecito is sponsored by the County of Santa Barbara's mental wellness department, in recognition of the need for "healing, hope, and light" to be shared as a community, said Suzanne Grimmesey, the department spokesperson. The assembly begins at 6 p.m., and a shuttle system has been developed to avoid parking issues. A number of speakers are scheduled at 6:30 p.m., including residents of Little Spanish Town, which suffered many casualties in the debris flow. The evening will end with a bell ceremony and a cup of hot soup at All Saints.

Parking at Manning and the Episcopal church is expected to be nonexistent or expressly limited to people with disability parking privileges. From 5 to 6 p.m., shuttles will leave every 15-20 minutes from: Music Academy, the Chevron on CVR at Butterfly Lane, Montecito Inn, Westmont at La Paz, Cold Spring School, Mt. Carmel, Valley Club, the Zoo, S.B. Junior High, and St. Joseph's in Carpinteria. Metropolitan Transit District will provide Route 14 buses leaving the Transit Center at 5:15, 5:30, and 5:45 p.m. from Santa Barbara. Route 20 buses from Carpinteria will transfer to bus 14 at the Montecito Inn. Returns are scheduled for all routes.

To receive information about the program on the night of the event, or updates regarding weather-related changes, text "SouthSBC" to 555-888.

Altogether, about 25 groups, agencies, and nonprofits have banded together for the march, which is expected to draw 800-1,000 people. The groups involved are: 805 Conservation Fund, All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church, Coastal Band of Chumash, Cold Spring School, Community Wellness Team / Long Term Recovery Group, Congregation B’nai B’rith, Cottage Health, County of Santa Barbara/Das Williams 1st District Office, Crane Country Day School, El Montecito Presbyterian Church, Habitat for Humanity, Institute of Collective Trauma and Growth, Jeannine’s, Laguna Blanca School, Montecito Community Foundation, Montecito Covenant Church, Montecito Fire, Montecito Shul, Montecito Union School District, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, Santa Barbara City College, the Montecito Association, and WEV: Women’s Economic Ventures.