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Photo: Andrea Swayne

By Allison Jarrell

Each year, January brings ambitious resolutions, new beginnings and, if you live in San Juan Capistrano, the start of the Fiesta de las Golondrinas season.

The San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association is set to kick off the 2017 Swallows Day Parade season with a membership mixer on Jan. 13, as well as weekly meetings beginning Wednesday, Jan. 4.

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.

The Fiesta Association meets once a month during the off-season. Jan. 4 marks the beginning of the group’s weekly meetings to prepare for each upcoming event and, of course, for the grand finale—the 59th annual Swallows Day Parade on March 25.

This year’s parade theme is “Destination San Juan: A Fiesta for Everyone!” The Fiesta Association recently announced that the 2017 Parade Grand Marshal will be Steve Nordeck, owner and manager of the Swallow’s Inn and El Adobe de Capistrano.

Meetings take place every Wednesday at the Nydegger Building, located at 31421 La Matanza Street in San Juan Capistrano. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for socializing and refreshments, and meetings run from 7-8 p.m. On Jan. 4, food will be provided by The Vintage Steakhouse.

The Fiesta Association’s first event of the New Year will be a mixer and membership drive on Jan. 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Vintage Steakhouse, located at 26701 Verdugo Street in San Juan Capistrano. Tickets are $20, which includes a buffet-style dinner and dessert station with a no host bar. Fiesta members can renew their membership at the event, and new members will receive free entry to the mixer. For more information or to volunteer at the mixer, email Leanna Bradshaw at

Upcoming Events:

Membership Mixer
Friday, Jan. 13, 6-9 pm
The Vintage Steakhouse, 26701 Verdugo Street
$20 (Bring a new member and receive a gift)

Hairiest Man Sign-Up for Fiesta Grande
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2 p.m.
Swallow’s Inn, 31786 Camino Capistrano
$5 sign-up fee

Taste of San Juan
Thursday, Feb. 9, 6-9 p.m.
San Juan Hills Golf Club, 32120 San Juan Creek Road

Kid’s Pet Parade
Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Feb. 25 rain date)
Los Rios Park, 31747 Los Rios Street
$5 pet entry fee

El Presidenté Ball
Friday, March 17, 6-10 p.m.
El Adobe de Capistrano, 31891 Camino Capistrano
$65 dinner, dancing, live music

St. Joseph’s Day/The Return of the Swallows**
Sunday, March 19
Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Highway

Fiesta Grande
Wednesday, March 22, 6-9 p.m.
Swallow’s Inn, 31786 Camino Capistrano
Must be 21 years old

Hoos’Gow Day and Frog Jumping Contest
Friday, March 24th, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The streets of San Juan Capistrano

59th Annual Swallows Day Parade and Mercado
Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Downtown San Juan Capistrano

For more information on future Fiesta Association events or on becoming a member, visit or follow the association on Facebook at

**Event hosted by the Mission

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