Lonely Planet Writer

Swallows’ return heralds arrival of Spring and a big party in California's San Juan Capistrano

It’s a herald of Spring’s arrival and one California town puts on a big party to welcome back its swallow population as it returns from wintering in South America.

Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano
Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano Image by Loco Steve / CC BY 2.0

San Juan Capistrano, between Los Angeles and San Diego, sees thousands of the birds at this time of year and tomorrow the town will hold its annual Swallows Parade. Dating back to the 1930s, the parade is the highlight of a weeks-long series of events and involves horse-drawn floats. A fair also takes place and visitors can take a peek at the Mission San Juan Capistrano church which includes the Serra Chapel, dating to 1778 and the oldest building in California.

Read more: swallowsparade.com