Well, if you have ever lived in or been a visitor to San Juan, especially during the month of March, you most likely have seen a group of people who have discovered how to escape the mundaneness of everyday life. Dressed in western attire from the 1860’s to present, in the signature colors of black and white, this group known as the Fiesta Association, exists solely to preserve the celebration of the return of the swallow’s to San Juan Capistrano.
The San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association is a group of well over 200 local volunteers. Our main purpose is to raise enough money throughout the year to present the Swallows Day Parade to the people of San Juan Capistrano and surrounding communities. The fame of this event has reached all parts of the world.
We are easily recognizable, especially during Fiesta Events. Our “deputies” wear the distinctive black and white western-style outfits with the one-of a kind deputy badge. Many of us wear very large western-style guns on one, or sometimes both, hips. And of course, the traditional black hat, vest and boots. You must be a member to be a Fiesta deputy, but you can be a member without having to be a deputy.
The Fiesta brings many events to the community such as Kids Pet Parade, El Presidenté Ball (a great night to drop inhibitions and dress up in terrific outfits), the rip-roaring Hoos’Gow Day where the Fiesta has license to throw you in their hoos’gow if you are not dressed western, sporting facial hair, or if you look cross-eyed at them. All these events are held to help raise funds to pay for the biggest event in San Juan – the Swallows Day Parade. Many people mistakenly believe the parade is funded and put on by the city. Nope, it is those folks in the black and white dress of the Fiesta Association.
They are people who saw Fiesta members having such a good time bringing all the aforementioned events to the community, or those that love to preserve the history of the swallow’s return (which is older than the city itself) or people who want to belong to an organization that is famous worldwide for presenting one of the largest non-motorized parade in the U.S.A. To be a member, you do not have to live in San Juan – some of our members come from as far away as Germany and Peru, nor do you have to like country western music or dance. Seriously, the Fiesta Association welcomes all who want to be a part of history, of community, and the “family” of volunteers that works hard putting on the Swallows Day Parade, and having fun!
We welcome you to the Fiesta de las Golondrinas and all of its happenings. The Fiesta Association and all of its events are open to everyone … so stop by and become a Fiesta Association member and help in presenting the Swallows Day Parade.