San Juan Capistrano is known for its historical character, small-town charm, and equestrian lifestyle. What also makes our town stand out is the concept of community spirit, which is so pervasive throughout.
Whether it's our fine public and private schools, houses of worship, service clubs, , , or the many other organizations in town, “building community” is woven into the very fabric of our community.
Now, by “building community” I don’t mean actually building structures, streets or buildings. Community, as I am defining it here, means the spirit of the residents of our town and their identification, affiliation, and feeling of belonging to this special place known as San Juan Capistrano. There are four very important events taking place within the next few weeks, and I am inviting all residents to share in these opportunities for “building community.”
The first event is the 2011 San Juan Summer Festival on Aug. 20 at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.
. In celebration of , the festival will include a $35,000 Blenheim Summer Classic II Grand Prix, marketplace, petting zoo, roping clinic for kids, Jack Russell Terrier races and more.
The second event is the first West Coast Film Festival Aug. 21-25 at the featuring classics, documentaries and independent films.
This , organized by residents Robert Kline and his wife, Stephanie Heredia, will include Warner Brothers film greats and local filmmakers along with a sneak peak at a fall release, tribute to Gene Autry, and vintage Looney Tunes. Fraser Heston, son of Charlton Heston, will present a personal film about his father's role in Ben Hur.
The film festival will also celebrate and honor our City's 50th anniversary and our town's film heritage. The festival will open at noon Aug. 21 with a presentation from the Mary Pickford Museum. Mary was a silent-screen star who made many films including Two Brothers in San Juan Capistrano for producer D.W. Griffith. Detailed information is
available at westcoastfilmfest.com.
On Sept. 11, the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society will host its 25th annual barbecue at Amantes Camp.
The event, which attracts hundreds of people, is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the camp, on Ortega Highway about five miles from the 5 freeway.
This event started many years ago to honor the "old timers" in town and has grown into a time-honored ritual for its tasty barbecue, music and hometown community spirit. Cost is $20, and folks must make a reservation to attend. Information is available by calling (949) 493-8444.
In addition to celebrating, there is also a time to honor and remember. The City will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a Day of Remembrance memorial at .
This event begins at 8 a.m. and will include the ringing of the at 8:45 a.m., signifying the first attack on the south tower of the World Trade Center. The ceremony will also include a color guard; invocation by Msgr. Art Holquin; the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the national anthem.
Representatives from the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Orange County Fire Authority will speak, students will sing, and the Rev. Phil DeVaul will give the closing prayer.
I hope you will join me and many other residents at one or all of these events so we can continue to “build community” in our beloved San Juan Capistrano.