Springing Forward: What to Do in OC in March

Spring is a wonderful time to be in Orange County. At The Kovacs Connection, we love where we live and love enjoying the events happening here. Here are a few things to consider in March:

The eyes of the world will turn toward Orange County on March 19th: specifically to San Juan Capistrano. Eyes will look to the skies to see the cliff swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano as reporters and tourists line the streets. You can hear mariachi music in the background, as well as the ringing of the church bells. You are in the midst of a colorful fiesta.

So What’s the Big Deal About the Swallows?

As legend tells it, Father St. John O’Sullivan, who was the pastor of Mission San Juan Capistrano from 1910-1933, was walking through town and noticed something that disturbed him. A shopkeeper was taking a broomstick and knocking down the mud swallow nests under the eaves of his shop. The birds were not happy, aggressively darting toward the shopkeeper and shrieking about the destruction of their homes.

“What in the world are you doing?” Father O’Sullivan asked.

“Why, these dirty birds are a nuisance and I am getting rid of them!” said the shopkeeper.

“But where can they go?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care, but they have no business here, destroying my property.”

“Come on swallows,” said Father O’Sullivan. “I’ll give you shelter. Come to the mission. There’s room enough there for all.”

The next morning, according to the legend, the swallows were busy building nests outside Father Junipero Serra’s Church.

Birds on a Mission

The mission’s padres observed that the cliff swallows returned every year on or about St. Joseph’s Day on the church calendar, which is March 19th. Thousands of orange-tailed migrants fly 6,000 miles from Argentina each spring to reclaim their former nests in the arches and walls of the mission. From the swallows’ perspective, it is ideal real estate in which to raise your young. Billions of insects, their primary food source were plentiful in the open fields and wetlands near the riverbeds. Mud was abundant, which was necessary to build their nests.

Times are Changing

With new construction near the mission, the swallows are making their homes farther from the center of town. Still, the cliff swallow is well loved and protected here by law as a bird sanctuary. Every year on October 23rd, the Day of San Juan, the cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano will take off for their wintering grounds back in Argentina.

March 15: The Ploughboys: Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton

Just before St. Paddy’s Day, a lively sing-a-long awaits at the Muckenthaler Culture Center. Traditional Irish drinking songs and shanties will provide for a sing and stomp along evening of music, revelry, whisky, and beer. Stainte’!

March 24: OCSA Gala

Every year, the Orange County School of the Arts hosts a fundraising gala to provide a tuition-free, donation-based arts program. Each year the black-tie gala has a theme, and this year we are going to the Big Easy! New Orleans-style theme gala will be all the rage, with student performances, an auction and gourmet dinner. Find your mask and join in the fun! Tickets can be purchased at www.ocsarts.net.

At The Kovacs Connection, we love Orange County and love the variety of events and opportunities to enjoy it even more. If you are ready to buy or sell your Orange County home, talk with us! We would love the opportunity to assist you!