Howdy Boot Barn buddies! I had the opportunity to join the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association this year and boy am I glad I did! The Fiesta Association is an independent, entirely volunteer-driven, non-profit organization with approximately 300 members. The association’s main purpose is to organize and hold several events throughout the year to the people of San Juan Capistrano and the surrounding communities.
The main event – the big daddy of them all – is the annual Swallows Day Parade. This event gained fame from the yearly return of the Swallows to San Juan Capistrano. Fiesta de Las Golondrinas, or the Festival of the Swallows, is tied to the legendary return of the swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano on St. Joseph’s Day, March 19. The square-tailed cliff swallows traditionally spend the summer in San Juan Capistrano and leave in late October to travel 6,000 miles to spend the winter in Goya, Argentina.
While I was joining the Fiesta Association, our CEO Patrick Meany had decided to sponsor the Fiesta Association posse and lend Boot Barn’s face to the parade. This fortunate coincidence made my choice to join that much more fun because I could help with the association’s events and spread the Boot Barn love.
The posse is made up of Fiesta Association volunteers that ride in the parade and represent the hundreds of volunteers that contribute to the event’s success. I was honored to ride as a part of the posse this year. For years, I have been a spectator and enjoyed the food, music and fun that fills the streets after the parade. And now, I plan on being an active participant for years to come.
The Fiesta Association’s posse group rides in black and white traditional western wear. I took this opportunity to buy a pair of black Q Babies and pulled up my black Ariat boots. Our very own Boot Barn Johnny from Norco hooked me up with a long sleeve white Wrangler shirt that he embroidered with our Boot Barn logo on the back and the right sleeve. Along with my black Stetson, I almost felt like a rodeo queen… Almost.
I started the day at 6:00 AM at the kick off pancake breakfast and then grabbed my radio and headed to the VIP parking area. I had a lot of fun working the VIP Parking, and danced to the country music in the parking area while no one was looking. Who wouldn’t have fun working the VIP parking listening to Jason Aldean?
When all the streets in town were closed, it was time to ride so I headed through town and found my horse, Spanky. Spanky was a little obstinate and could have used a little spanking so his name fit him perfectly. I kept thinking to myself, “Of the approximately 435 horses in the parade, how did I end up with Spanky?” It didn’t take to long for me to feel comfortable in the saddle again and Spanky and I became good buddies.
Riding through the streets of San Juan Capistrano, a town that I have always loved will live on as one of my favorite memories of all time. The crowd was wonderful and the faces of the children were unforgettable.
I was proud and honored to ride as a member of the Fiesta Association and proudly displaying the Boot Barn logo. Thanks to my San Juan Capistrano family and my Boot Barn family, I felt like the rodeo queen if even for a couple hours. I encourage all of you to seek out an event in your community and get that fabulous feeling. Hope to see ya’ll at the Fiesta de Las Golondrinas next year!