Swallows Celebration in San Juan Capistrano

SWALLOWS DAY: Unless a landmark happens to be a zoo or an animal park, it doesn't tend to have much association with the animal world. Oh, perhaps on occasion a hawk will build a nest atop a skyscraper, or a dog will become the friendly symbol of an old hotel. But Mission San Juan Capistrano has a very famous be-winged friend in the swallow, a bird that has become as symbolic of the town as the mission itself. And when do the swallows return to the village? Around St. Joseph's Day, goes the legend, which is on March 19.

SWEET REVELRIES: The Swallows Day Parade is on Saturday, March 26, but the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano will celebrate on Saturday, March 19. On the schedule: music, school performances, swallow info, and the legendary ringing of those massive, majestic bells. How famous are the mission's heavy, heavily photographed ringers? Well, they're cited in the old song "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano." As Californians, shouldn't we all know a refrain or two from that particular tune?

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