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Swoon for monsoon at El Dia de San Juan Fiesta

After a brief teasing rain two weeks ago, Tucson's June heat has hit hard. But as the humidity also rises, there is relief in sight. And that means it's time to celebrate the monsoon at El Dia de San Juan Fiesta on Wednesday evening.

According to local legend, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado stood on the banks of the Santa Cruz and prayed to San Juan (St. John) for rain in 1540. 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 18th 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 Wednesday, 5-10 p.m., at the Mercado San Agustin on the West Side.

The fiesta will begin with a procession, featuring an antique statue of San Juan Bautista, starting from the Luis G. Gutierrez Bridge — which carries Cushing Street across the Santa Cruz River — and then moves 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 Bellas Musicales.

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Molly Baker/TucsonSentinel.com

Los Charros performs traditional mariachi songs for the crowd at El Dia de San Juan Fiesta, 2013.

If you go

  • What: El Dia de San Juan Fiesta
  • When: Wednesday, 5-10 p.m.
  • Where: Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento — just west of Interstate 10
  •  The procession starts from the Luis G. Gutierrez Bridge at 5 p.m.