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Gianna Plaitano holds her pet guinea pig, Ballet, during last year's Kids Pet Parade. Photo by Brian Park
Gianna Plaitano holds her pet guinea pig, Ballet, during last year’s Kids Pet Parade. Photo by Brian Park

By Brian Park

The Fiesta Association has two events scheduled this month, leading up to the grand event, the 56th Swallows Day Parade.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, guests are invited to partake in an evening of food, drinks and entertainment at the Taste of San Juan. The event takes place at El Adobe de Capistrano Restaurant, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and brings together several local restaurants that will be offering samples of their finest dishes. Guests will then vote for their favorite food in different categories. Winners will be announced at the end of the evening.

Tickets for the Taste of San Juan cost $20 per person and can be purchased at the door. To purchase tickets in advance, visit the Chamber of Commerce, 31421 La Matanza Street, or attend any Fiesta Association membership meeting. Meetings take place every Wednesday until the parade, starting with social time at 6:30 p.m. The Fiesta Association meets in the Nydegger Building, located behind the Women’s Club at the corner of El Camino Real and El Horno Street.

On Sunday, Feb. 22, the family-friendly Kids Pet Parade returns to Los Rios Park.

Children of all ages are invited to dress up with their pets and enter into the parade. Ribbons will be awarded to all 1st-place through 4th-place finishers in several categories, including best team costume (owner and pet), best domestic or household pet, best barnyard or farm animal, best exotic pet and best bird. First-place winners will be given a $10 Petco gift card. The winner of the “Judges Choice” award will also be invited to take part in this year’s Swallows Day Parade.

The entry fee is $5 per category and includes one admittance into Zoomars Petting Zoo that day and a hot-dog lunch provided by Mission Grill. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the parade will go from noon until 2 p.m. A rain date for the pet parade has been scheduled for Sunday, March 2.

The 56th Swallows Day Parade will take place this year on Saturday, March 22. For more information on all events, contact the Fiesta Association at 949.240.6770 or visit

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