If you attend San Juan Capistrano’s 59th Swallows Day Parade on March 25, watch for an alpaca named Caramel.
The alpaca was the judges’ choice winner at the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association’s annual Kids Pet Parade held on Saturday. But as far as the pet parade’s announcer was concerned, there was a problem.
“I said I hoped it was a llama,” emcee Jim Taylor said. “Now my Dalai Alpaca joke sounds stupid!”
Whatever you call it, the winning pet and its team – Lauren Price, Emily O’Brien and Isabelle Cota – will be invited to appear in the Swallows Day Parade, as is the custom in San Juan.
But as a warmup for the parade, there are some other events in the making:
El Presidente Ball: 6 to 10 p.m. March 17 at El Adobe Restaurant, offering dinner and dancing and a best-dressed contest inviting western, Spanish, Mexican and early California attire. Tickets are $65 in advance, $75 after March 3 or at the door.
Fiesta Grande: 6 to 9 p.m. March 22 at the Swallows Inn, admission is $5 at the door, featuring award presentations for hairiest man (contestants with documented new beards), best existing beard, best existing mustache, best saloon girl, best outlaw, best western hat, and more.
Frog jumping contest: 4 p.m. March 24 at Mission Grill, featuring music, frogs and prizes. Just stop by.
Hoos’ Gow Day: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 24 in downtown San Juan, where friendly deputies in traditional western attire will seek out city slickers not dressed for the occasion and maybe, just maybe, dress them up with a noose or send them to “jail,” where bail is the purchase of a Fiesta Association souvenir, with proceeds benefiting the Swallows Day Parade.
Swallows Day Parade: The Fiesta de las Golondrinas Parade at 11 a.m. March 25, celebrates the annual return of migratory birds each spring to Capistrano from South America. It’s said to be one of the biggest non-motorized parades in the USA. Bring your camera.
The Mercado: On parade…