It’s the start of a new year, which means the Swallows Day Parade season, or Fiesta de las Golondrinas, is upon San Juan Capistrano.

For the next three months, the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association, a nonprofit organization, will host a variety of events, all leading up to the 61st annual Swallows Day Parade and Mercado Street Faire – one of the nation’s largest non-motorized parades – on March 23.

The Golondrinas festivities kick off Friday, Jan. 11 with the Fiesta Association’s membership and drive mixer at Bad to the Bone from 6 to 9 p.m.

And Saturday, Jan. 12, the Association will host a sign-up event to mark the start of the Hairiest Man Contest – a nine-week competition to see who can grow the hairiest beard. The sign-up event will be held at the Swallow’s Inn from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Fiesta de las Golondrinas is an annual event to celebrate the migratory return of the swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano on St. Joseph’s Day.

The Fiesta Association held its first weekly meeting of the season Wednesday, Jan. 9, as the group prepares for the coming events and parade. Until the parade, the group will meet every Wednesday at the Nydegger Building on La Matanza Street.

For more information and a full list of upcoming events, go the Association’s website.

Videos highlighting the Association’s past years’ events can be found on YouTube.

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