Saturday, March 24, 2018

Swallows Day Parade

Happy Swallows Day 2018!

For the last thirty years we’ve lived here, and the seventeen years before when we spent weekends here, we have assiduously avoided San Juan Capistrano on Swallows Day. Larry doesn’t like crowds. We’ve never had kids in the parade. Although friends have marched, we have never even seen it—until today.

Larry was asked to take pictures of the group from Community Presbyterian Church where we were members for well over forty years. The church will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, and they are trying to get out the word.

They arranged for a wagon with large banners to carry those who were unable to walk the whole parade route. Another large group walked. Larry followed the group, going back and forth from the wagon to the walkers taking photos. I decided to go along with Larry at the last minute. I figured I’d wave them off and then walk around town until they came back.

However, the group organizers wanted the wagon to be full, so I was invited to ride along.
I loved seeing all the great costumes of the various groups. The local Acjachemen (Juaneño) Indians in their native costumes represented the first people of this area well. The costumes of the Mexican Chinelo dancers were the most colorful I saw, and there were lots of them.

The traditional riders’ groups, mounted color guard groups (two of them), the Marines from Camp Pendleton, groups representing the mission itself, the local theater, and several local schools, as well as marching bands created a delightful mix of sights and sounds.

Okay, I’ll admit I had a great time. I don’t think I need to do it again, but we’ll see next year.

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