By Allison Jarrell
The San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association is kicking off the 60th annual Swallows Day Parade season with a membership mixer on Jan. 12.
The all-volunteer nonprofit organization hosts an array of events each year during the three-month Fiesta de las Golondrinas, which leads up to the Swallows Day Parade and Mercado Street Faire—one of the nation’s largest non-motorized parades. Fiesta members play a critical role as leaders and organizers of the parade and the season’s events.
The Fiesta Association’s Jan. 12 mixer and membership drive will take place at Trevor’s at the Tracks, located at 26701 Verdugo Street in San Juan Capistrano. Tickets are $25, which includes a buffet-style dinner and dessert station with a no host bar. Fiesta members can renew their membership at the event, and those who choose to join the association will receive free entry to the mixer. Membership is $20 for individuals and $30 for family/business membership.
The Fiesta Association is also holding weekly meetings each Wednesday to prepare for upcoming events and, of course, for the grand finale—the 60th annual Swallows Day Parade and Mercado on March 24. Meetings take place at the Nydegger Building, located at 31421 La Matanza Street in San Juan. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for socializing and refreshments, and meetings generally run from 7-8 p.m.
This year’s parade theme is “Diamond Trails & Swallows Tales.” The Fiesta Association announced in October that the 2018 Parade Grand Marshal will be Steve Oedekerk, a Hollywood director and comedian who lives in San Juan and is known locally for his continued work with developers to bring a boutique Kimpton hotel—the Hotel Capistrano—to the downtown area.
On Jan. 13, the Fiesta Association will hold “Hairiest Man” sign-ups from 12-4 p.m. at the Swallow’s Inn, located at 31786 Camino Capistrano. There’s a $5 sign-up fee to enter the facial hair-growing competition, which includes a shave. After nine weeks, the hairiest man will be announced at the annual Fiesta Grande on March 21.
For more information on future Fiesta Association events or on becoming a member, visit www.swallowsparade.com or follow the association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SwallowsDayParade.
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