Festival of the Swallows

Parade in San Juan Capistrano

The famous swallows return to nest in the walls of Mission San Juan Capistrano every year around March 19, the feast of Saint Joseph, after wintering in South America. Their flight covers about 7500 miles each way. The highlight of the month-long festival is one of the largest non-motorized parades in the country, which first took place in the 1930s.

Just off the parade route, visitors gather to eat, drink and listen to music at the outdoor mercado (market), held on a Saturday in mid-March.