11 AM SATURDAY, MARCH 23
The San Juan Capistrano Swallows Parade, Mercado Street Fair and Market Place are an eclectic, entertaining and colorful combination of cowboys, music, Mexican dancers, music, pirates, music, food & drink and more music. Held annually this is a great item for your weekend calendar.
After the parade check out the Working Cowboy Band at the Street Fair or wander over to the infamous Swallow’s Inn, and listen to the Family Style band at one of Orange County’s top rated Dive Bars.
WARNING: Nearby streets will be closed at 10 am so if you are driving, plan to arrive early or be swallowed up in traffic on your way to the Swallows Event. This is a very popular happening. Traffic at the I-5/Ortega Highway intersection is the worst in OC on a good day. It will be extremely difficult to deal with traffic and find a place to park.
Take the Train- last year I jumped on the Metrolink ($10 for a weekend pass) that drops you off right in the middle of the festivities. The train can be picked up at Buena Park, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin, Irvine or Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo. I prefer the big Irvine Station at 15215 Barranca Parkway, just north-east of the Spectrum with tons of free parking.
Take the 13 minute ride that leaves Irvine at either 9:58 or 11:48. The return flight leaves San Juan Capistrano at 11:54 , 1:62 or 8:03 for a ride back to where you started.
Actually I’ve decided to take the 6 minute ride from the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo station on the west side of the Avery exit off the I-5.
Amtrak offers additional times on the same tracks but charges more.
For official event info-