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Bring on the rain at El Dia de San Juan Fiesta

The humidity is beginning to rise, and if you breath deeply you might just catch the scent of rain in the air. Yes, Tucson, it's almost time for the summer rains. And that means it's time to celebrate the monsoon at El Dia de San Juan Fiesta.

According to local legend, in 1540, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado stood on the banks of the Santa Cruz and prayed to San Juan (St. John) for rain. The following day was St. John's Day and it rained. Although the National Weather Service has set June 15 as the start of the monsoon for record-keeping purposes, June 24, the Feast of St. John, has long been considered the start of the rainy season in Tucson.

For the 17th year, Tucsonans are invited to carry on the tradition of ushering in the rainy season at El Día de San Juan Fiesta, which will take place Tuesday, 5-10 p.m., at the Mercado San Agustin.

The fiesta will begin with a procession along the west bank of the Santa Cruz River with an antique statue of San Juan Bautista, and then move to the Mercado for live music and dancing, food, arts and crafts, and games and activities for children.

Entertainers will include Gertie & the T.O. Boyz, and Mariachi Viva la Mujer.

In order to create a family atmosphere, no alcohol with be available at the Fiesta, but bottled water will be provided for free.

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Molly Baker/TucsonSentinel.com

Los Charros performs traditional mariachi songs for the crowd at last year's El Dia de San Juan Fiesta.

If you go

  • What: El Dia de San Juan Fiesta
  • When: Tuesday, 5-10 p.m.
  • Where: Mercado San Agustin, 885 W. Congress — just west of Interstate 10.

*Service dogs only