The Fiesta de las Golondrinas is an outgrowth of a school carnival in the 1930’s which was held to celebrate the return of the swallows. Subsequently, the carnival became a local equestrian parade. The Fiesta Association began as a committee of the San Juan Capistrano Business Council, which was later known as the Chamber of Commerce. Original events consisted of an equestrian parade, a trail ride, and a western dance. Various activities have been added and dropped over the years, but the parade continues on. Eventually, the parade became such a large production that the Fiesta Committee (now Association) assumed its own identity. The Swallows Day Parade is now one of the nation’s largest non-motorized parades and draws interest worldwide.
Since 1987, a number of other civic organizations have joined with the Fiesta Association to form a month long celebration known as the ‘Fiesta de las Golondrinas.’ The many events scheduled for this time of the year pay tribute to San Juan Capistrano’s unique Spanish and western heritage. Due in part to the enormous city growth since its incorporation in 1961, the Fiesta Association has played a leading role in helping many of our newer residents assimilate into our western style community. In 1995, the City of San Juan Capistrano appointed the Fiesta Association as the lead coordinating organization with approval rights for all Fiesta de las Golondrinas events.
It is the Fiesta Association’s hope that newer residents will come to appreciate San Juan Capistrano’s long and interesting history as Orange County’s oldest community by attending and participating in the various Fiesta events.
San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association, with its ever-growing membership, is open to anyone interested in being part of a dedicated group of people who are still making history in San Juan Capistrano.