Swallows Day Parade

The Swallows’ Day Parade Is Coming

Each year on St. Joseph’s Day, tiny swallows begin to arrive at San Juan Capistrano after winging hundreds of miles from Argentina. To celebrate these world-famous birds and the colorful history of the city, San Juan Capistrano rolls out the largest non-motorized parade in the nation and holds a fabulous street fair with more than 175 vendors. It’s a true California experience that shouldn’t be missed.

This year, the 56th annual Swallows Day Parade and Mercado will be held Saturday, March 22. The parade begins at 11 a.m., but plan to arrive early to avoid the street closures that start at 10 a.m. Before and after the parade, visit the Mercado to eat, drink, and shop.

Freeway construction at the Ortega Highway (74) and the I-5 Interchange may make traffic a mess. Why not take Metrolink?  All the events are within easy walking distance of the Metrolink station.

Stroll Through the Mercado

The Swallows’ Day Mercado is a colorful street fair and marketplace with more than 100 booths where you can eat, drink, and shop. It will be THE place to be after the parade. Listen and dance to the live music of The Working Cowboy Band, a traditional country music band. You’ll find a variety of booths where you can grab a bite, and take the kids to the family entertainment and kids play zone in the Historic Town Center Park.

Ride Metrolink FREE!

Join us for a kick off celebration at the Tustin Metrolink Station on Saturday, March 22 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Arrive early and be one of the first 50 visitors and receive a free Metrolink roundtrip ticket to San Juan Capistrano. Enjoy live music by Headshine and free refreshments sponsored by Nothing Bundt Cakes. Bring a non-perishable donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank for a chance to spin the prize wheel for some great prizes. The train for San Juan Capistrano departs Tustin at 9:46 a.m.

The Tustin Metrolink Station is located at 2975 Edinger Avenue, Tustin, CA 92780.

Save With a $10 Weekend Pass

Getting to San Juan Capistrano is simple and inexpensive from many places in southern California. For only $10, a Metrolink Weekend Day Pass provides unlimited travel on Saturday or Sunday wherever Metrolink travels. Just pick up a Weekend Day Pass at the ticket vending machine at your closest station and get off at San Juan Capistrano.

How to Get There By Train

To the Swallows’ Day Parade

  • Board Metrolink Train 660 or 859 at the station nearest to you.
  • Arrive at San Juan Capistrano station.
  • From the station, walk to the parade and Mercado in the Town Center Park, on El Camino Real just off Ortega Highway.
  • The Swallows’ Day Parade begins promptly at 11 a.m.; hours for the Mercado street fair and marketplace are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Getting Home

Returning Home

  • Walk back to the San Juan Capistrano Metrolink station.
  • Take Metrolink Train 667 or 860 from San Juan Capistrano to stations north and east.