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Where to Get Your Cowboy On

A Lake Forest shop outfits San Juan Capistrano and beyond.

Lake Forest and San Juan Capistrano may be 9 miles apart, but for two months of the year, they are bound together.

Through the love of all things cowboy.

In February and March of every year, the town of San Juan Capistrano celebrates the famous swallows’ return with a long stream of Western events, culminating in the Swallows Day Parade, believed to be the country’s largest non-motorized parade.

One favorite event, Hoosegow Day, city residents and visitors get thrown in jail if not decked out in Western wear.

Well, somebody’s gotta outfit 'em.

Enter Lake Forest’s Boot Barn, a proud sponsor of all things Swallows and the events’ organizers, the Fiesta Association. 

“They gotta get their black and white,” said assistant store manager Karen Reed, speaking of the association members’ “uniform.”

The best-sellers are the leather vests, she said.

Every February, the store overstocks on traditional Western clothing, extra hats, Colonel Sander’s bowties and more, said Thomas Huaracha, in charge of inventory for the store. The goods are placed right up front so Swallows celebrants can find them easily.

Between the Swallows events – called La Fiesta de Las Golondrinas in San Juan – to the Stagecoach country music festival in April, Boot Barn keeps busy tying local suburbanites to the past, Huaracha said.

Here are some upcoming events for La Fiesta:

Fiesta Grande

Wednesday, March 20
6-9 p.m.
The Swallows Inn

Hoosegow Day
Friday, March 22 
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
All around town

55th Swallows Day Parade & Mercado Street Faire
Saturday, March 23
Parade - starts at 11 a.m. and Mercado - 9a.m. – 5 p.m.

Mark @ SJC Chamber March 18, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Boot Barn is a great store and its awesome that they are supportive of the Swallows Parade and Fiesta. For those looking to shop in SJC, there are some great options as well. American Horse Products (located in the Capo Home Center) and Ortega Tack & Feed (next door to Bad to the Bone BBQ) both have good selections, friendly service and allow your tax dollars to stay in the community. Happy Swallows Week, everyone!
Clint Worthington March 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Ortega Tack and Feed does an outstanding job !
Penny Arévalo March 18, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Hi guys! We're not taking away anything from SJC stores.This article's primary publication is Lake Forest Patch (and your comments appear there as well). I crossed it to SJC Patch given the connection. Happy Swallows!

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