Historical Society to hold fifth annual Fiesta Days on April 30

Bea Torres teaches Jack and Lily Markel, of San Juan Capistrano, the art of crafting homemade tortillas at last year’s Fiesta Days event. Photo: Allison Jarrell
Bea Torres teaches Jack and Lily Markel, of San Juan Capistrano, the art of crafting homemade tortillas at last year’s Fiesta Days event. Photo: Allison Jarrell

By Jan Siegel

One of the amazing connections that make San Juan Capistrano so special is the way that the ethnic cultures of our community come together.

There is no better place to witness this phenomenon than at the fifth annual Fiesta Days at the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society on Los Rios Street on Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This outreach program is free to the public.

Like in years past, Bob Minty will have a whaling exhibition, Bea Torres will demonstrate tortilla making, Lorie Porter will show her 1890s chore table, and of course, piñatas will be broken throughout the afternoon. Rag dolls, string art, shell bracelets, basket weaving and an array of games round out the activities planned for all ages.

This year we are adding an early California musical tribute. Throughout the day, Frances Rios will play 19th-century music at the Leck House. A preview of the upcoming exhibit on the 75th anniversary of Camp Pendleton will also be available for viewing at the Leck House.

Celebrating 25 years, Ballet Folklorico, under the direction of Marcella Moreno, will perform twice—the first performance will be at the Historical Society at noon, and the other will take place at the Montanez Adobe at 12:30 p.m., which will also be open for the day’s festivities.

At 1 p.m. a docent talk on the Rios Adobe will be narrated in front of the oldest residential home in California.

A local mariachi band will also perform on the Historical Society grounds.

Look out for other surprises to be revealed during the Fiesta Days event. It is a day of fun, adventure, and learning that you will not want to miss. Grandparents, parents and children can all participate in the activities that are planned.

Guests will also have the opportunity to see historical restoration in progress. The Silvas Adobe is definitely a work in progress and you can see the process of restoring an old building up close.

Spend a “Moment in Time,” while you take a step back in time at the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society on Sunday, April 30 and enjoy life like it was in this community over 100 years ago. Come and appreciate the cultures that make our community truly unique.

This is the start of National Preservation Week. As the oldest community in Orange County, this event is the perfect way to show appreciation for historical preservation.

Jan Siegel is a 28-year resident of San Juan Capistrano. She served on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission for 13 years and has been a volunteer guide for the San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library’s architectural walking tour for 18 years. She was named Woman of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 2005, Volunteer of the Year in 2011 and was inducted into the city’s Wall of Recognition in 2007.

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