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By Brian Park

Reata Park and Event Center. Photo by Steve Breazeale
Reata Park and Event Center. Photo by Steve Breazeale

A pair of grand opening celebrations highlight the upcoming weekend in San Juan Capistrano.

On Saturday, May 31, the city will host a dedication ceremony for the new Reata Park and Event Center, located at 28632 Ortega Highway. The event will include live entertainment, dancing, a petting zoo, pony rides, exhibits and tours. The celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to attend.

The 12-acre park features recreational space, an equestrian staging area, space for weddings and group events, a network of paths and trails and a restored historic structure that will serve as a welcome center.

On Sunday, June 1, the Friends of the Library is set to unveil its new bookstore—simply dubbed “The Bookstore”—at the San Juan Capistrano Library, located at 31495 El Camino Real. The event begins with the Friends’ annual meeting at 1 p.m., followed by a performance by Mariachi for All. At 2 p.m., the Rev. Monsignor Arthur Holquin from Mission Basilica will lead a dedication ceremony and the Chamber of Commerce will organize a ribbon cutting.

From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Friends will also be hosting their 30th anniversary Pearl Jubilee Gala and Concert fundraiser. The Saddleback Big Band, a 17-piece orchestra, will be performing for guests. Tickets for both the gala and concert cost $75 and $20 for just the concert. They can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 949.218.4512. For more information, visit

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comments (1)

  • Melodee Warner

    I’m the great granddaughter of Joe W. Tow who worked and lived on Mission Viejo Ranch. Because of my health, I was unable to attend the dedication ceremony. Could you please send me any pictures and or articles of the day. I know my mother Barbara Critchlow was thrilled she could be part of it. Thank you, Melodee Warner.

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