El Dia de San Juan Fiesta Returns to Mercado San Agustin

June 19, 2012

El Dia de San Juan Committee invites the public to the 15th Annual El Dia de San Juan Fiesta on June 24 from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. at the Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento, just off Congress, west of Interstate 10.

The Fiesta will feature a procession, live music and dance, food and arts & crafts vendors, games and activities for children, free water and watermelon slices. Local Tejano favorite Olga Flores con Grupo Alma y Corazon is the featured artist.

Free and open to the public, the Fiesta is non-alcoholic and boasts a family-friendly atmosphere.

Longtime West Side resident, Josefina Lizárraga, a small business owner and community volunteer, will be honored this year as La Reina de La Fiesta. In addition to helping customers honor important milestones in their lives through her floral shop, West Boutique Florist, Señora Lizárraga volunteers her time with the Dia de San Juan Fiesta Committee. She is passionate about sharing the cultural traditions of Southern Arizona and Mexico.

El Dia de San Juan honors the Saints Day of St. John the Baptist, and has been celebrated by families living on the West Side for a century.

Local tradition hails St. John the Baptist as the one who brings the rains, kicking off the monsoon season in the Old Pueblo. In recent years the Fiesta has begun with a procession from the west bank of the Santa Cruz River, which displays an antique statue of San Juan Bautista. Prayers from several cultural traditions are offered.

Following the procession, the Fiesta goes into full swing on the lot at the southeast corner of Congress Street and Avenida del Convento.

Entertainers, including dancers, singers, and Escaramuzas (a women’s precision horse riding group who perform in traditional Mexican attire), will perform throughout the night.  In keeping with the theme of the monsoon season and renewal, free water bottles are provided to Fiesta attendees.  In addition to the food, arts & crafts and games booths, local community agencies will also offer tables with resource information.