Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday Night Ride Goes to Dia de San Juan Fiesta



Photo from http://www.tucsonaz.gov/sanjuan/.

This Tuesday's ride took a somewhat dangerous route across Freeway to make a stop at Tucson's 11th Annual El Día de San Juan Fiesta, which "continues the tradition of celebrating the beginning of the "season of monsoon rains". I suppose it was apropos that we were showered with water balloons all throughout the ride.

In case you want a heads up for next year's date, it was celebrated on Tuesday, June 24, from 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at West Congress St. at the Santa Cruz River (south side, west bank).

The fiesta featured the Traditional Procession and the Blessing of the Altar. The public is welcome to join in the procession followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site.

El Día de San Juan Fiesta features charros and escaramuzas performing on horseback; mariachis, folkloricos, live music, games and activities for children and families, and booths and tables offering information on services available to area residents. Food and refreshments were sold and attendance was free.

The celebration of St. John's birthday was once one of the most important and colorful events in Tucson and the Southwest. It was brought to this region by the Spanish missionaries in the 1600s. Residents of Tucson's west side neighborhoods resurrected this tradition in 1998 and proudly continue a celebration that helps us remember the importance of water in our desert. St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, was asked that he help bring the rains so the crops would be plentiful. Legend says that on June 24, 1540, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez Coronado stood on the banks of the parched Santa Cruz riverbed and prayed for rain. It rained, and in an ardent declaration of faith, Coronado deemed that from that day forward the summer rains would come on the 24th day of June, and according to tradition, this begins the monsoon rain season.

El Día de San Juan is sponsored by a partnership of public, private, and neighborhood organizations.

Info from media contacts,
Lillian Lopez Grant, Chair: (520) 791-0925
Rose J Nenninger: (520) 573-7138
Carlos Romero, Ward 1: (520) 791-4040

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I wasn't aware of the importance of St. John the Baptisit's birthday for the Tucson community. However, I always wondered why Christian communitites didn't celebrate him more if he had such an important role in Jesus' life and the bible.

Thanks for the info!