In order to help San Juan Capistrano celebrate National Historic Preservation Month in May, local docent Helen Gavin donated a potential brochure design to be used during the city’s related activities.
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the San Juan Capistrano Cultural Heritage Commission accepted receiving a design from the Docent Society, which will be printed on a postcard stock on two sides. The city manager has offered to provide $500 from his department budget to cover printing expenses, according to an agenda report.
This year’s celebration will take place on a Saturday in May, possibly May 6, similar to the previous year’s event.
The San Juan Capistrano Docent Society has offered to assist with this year’s celebration, which will include tours of and historical talks about the city’s adobes in the downtown area. Adobes that will be featured include the Blas Aguilar Adobe behind Swallow’s Inn and the Montanez and Silvas Adobes, both on Los Rios Street.
“What I did was take the information from the brochure last year and just tried to put the same information, similar ideas, so we have a map on one side with all the adobes color-coordinated to the map,” said Gavin, who is president of the Docent Society, of her proposed brochure. “The other side was just the schedule of events for the day.”
Sponsor logos will also be placed on the brochure. Specific brochure details for a final design may be revised from Gavin’s sample, and a final design will be approved by the city manager’s office before May.
Commissioner and local historian Jan Siegel said brochures can be placed at the downtown train depot.
“People getting off the train always come and look to see what’s going on,” Siegel said.
Volunteer assistance from the Docent Society was previously discussed and accepted by the Cultural Heritage Commission in January.
The Cultural Heritage Commission also formed an ad hoc committee on Tuesday, consisting of Commissioner Lori Porter and Commission Chair Ann Ronan, which will organize the coming celebration.
Porter said they had trouble getting information out last year about the Historic Preservation Month festivities.
“I was supposed to get input. I never got any input from anybody,” Porter said. “What happened last year is we, evidently, didn’t have a plan to get the brochures out.”
Porter and Siegel had previously distributed brochures to local businesses and places to drum up interest in the event, Porter said.
“We’ve always had wonderful turnout,” Porter said. “Whatever happened last year, happened. It’s over with. I don’t want to see that happen again, ever. I worked super hard last year, and we didn’t have the turnout that we should have.”
Ronan said the ad hoc committee can handle event marketing and ensure adequate attendance.
Siegel said the issue in 2022 was “everybody was coming out of COVID.”
“It was an experiment as to how people were going to come out, and we really didn’t know,” Siegel said. “I think this year, we’re back to a more normal type of people coming out and doing things within the community. I don’t think we should dwell too much on last year as to what went wrong, because it was a unique experience with the COVID situation.”
Similar to last year’s festivities, there will also be an essay contest for young students on San Juan Capistrano history. Winners will be announced during the event.