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No rain, but a flood of family fun for El Dia de San Juan

There was no rain, but the 17th year of El Dia de San Juan Fiesta did bring family fun to Tucson on Tuesday night at Mercado San Agustin, on the West Side.

The fiesta traces its origins back to the local legend of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who prayed to San Juan (St. John), the patron saint of water, on the banks of the Santa Cruz River in 1540. The next day, on St. John’s Day, the rains came, said Lizette Matus, vice president of the committee that organizes the event.

Tuesday's fiesta began with a procession, including participants carrying a statue of St. John, which was brought to the stage and then blessed in hopes that rain will be plentiful this year.

“It doesn’t smell like rain yet, but I am convinced that if we stay out here and party long enough that within a few days we will get that rain that we always so much need to keep this desert beautiful,” said Mayor Jonathan Rothschild after the procession.

The free fiesta had food, games, vendors and live music. However, this was the first year that there were no cowboys and horses to put on a show. This was due to the price of insurance needed to cover such a performance, Matus said. She added that they are trying to bring them back in the future.

Ana Karina Angulo, along with her two small children and husband, was one of the many fiesta goers Tuesday night.

Her family comes for the “Mexican culture” aspect of the event, Angulo said. She added her children really enjoy the music and food and that they plan on coming back every year as long as they are in Tucson.

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Ryan Revock/TucsonSentinel.com

Roman Talavera, 11, swings at a piñata on Tuesday at El Dia de San Juan Fiesta.