Under duress and with the Swallows Day Parade approaching, San Juan Capistrano Mayor Howard Hart issued a proclamation on March 7 officially recognizing the Fiesta de las Golondrinas period through April 30.
The recognition is retroactive starting from Feb. 1. Members of the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association, which organizes the parade and related events, playfully “threatened” Hart with a mock stick, part of a humorous annual tradition held before the parade to promote the event.
This year’s parade will be held on March 25, in Downtown San Juan, as usual. Actor Dennis Quaid will serve as grand marshal.
“March 19 is St. Joseph’s Day, and on March 19 of every year, the swallows return to Mission San Juan Capistrano from their winter habitat in Argentina,” Hart said when reading the proclamation. “The Fiesta de las Golondrinas celebrates the return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano, and the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association was founded to celebrate this occasion and preserve the historical significance, heredity, and tradition of San Juan Capistrano.”
Councilmembers wore cowboy hats on the dais as part of the celebration.
Other Fiesta de las Golondrinas events before the parade will include the El Presidentè Ball on Saturday, March 11, at El Adobe de Capistrano and the Fiesta Grandè at Swallow’s Inn on March 22. “(Since) you have given us the proclamation and designated us as the lead agency, I would like Ms. Fiesta Daniele Smith and Señor San Juan John Fischle to come up and present you with the very first 2023 commemorative belt buckle,” Fiesta Association President Jim Taylor said to Hart.