We all know that the swallows always return to San Juan Capistrano, but did you know that they are welcomed with an annual homecoming parade?
This year marks the 61st edition (which seems to imply that the locals only started parading for the little birds when Pat Boone started singing about them), and it holds the distinction of being the nation's largest non-motorized parade.
The parade marches directly through the downtown area (street closures are in effect by 10am) and is accompanied by an all-day mercado with a kids' play zone, entertainment, and more than 100 booths.
The parade takes place rain or shine. Free parking is available just off the I-5, with a $2 shuttle service to the parade.
Note that the annual celebration at the mission takes place on St. Joseph's Day, March 19, each year.