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The Capistrano Dispatch

The J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center opens the gates for its 38th annual BBQ and Family Faire on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. The family gathering brings together over 1,500 attendees in an equestrian setting nestled against the hills of historic San Juan Capistrano. Those attending will be Shea Center riders and their families, donors, sponsors, community and business leaders, volunteers, equestrian professionals and the general public.

Again this year, the Montage Laguna Beach joins the event in preparing and serving a “barbecue-western” meal. In the early evening, guests can win family faire prizes in games of skill, including ball tosses, a strength-tester bell ringer and the popular mechanical bull. Children in attendance will also enjoy face painting, a country faire “tattoo” parlor and more. Over 300 valuable items and unique experiences will be offered in live and silent auctions.

There will be rider demonstrations and the “Parade of Stars” of over 60 therapy clients and their families, who will move through the dinner guests to standing applause. The evening’s featured rider will be Kevin Whitney, 27, who came to The Shea Center through the Long Beach Veteran Affairs Spinal Cord Injury program, following a parachuting accident. His experience as a recovering patient, and his time at The Shea Center, have led him to pursue a medical degree at California State.

Returning this year is one of the BBQ’s most popular hosts, Shawn Parr. Known as the ambassador of country music, Parr became a Shea Center friend as a top-rated D.J. on KZLA and KKGO Los Angeles. Today he lives in Nashville, where he hosts a nationally syndicated country music show, Nash Nights Live. Country dance band Swing Shift will help carry the party into the night.

General admission is $55 for adults and $30 for seniors 55+, children 13 and under, and persons with disabilities. A family pack, for two adults and two children, is discounted to $155.  For more information on sponsorships or to purchase tickets, call 949.240.8441, ext. 135, or visit www.sheacenter.org/events. The J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center is located at 26284 Oso Road in San Juan Capistrano.

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