Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Mission San Juan Capistrano Kicks Off Christmas with Capistrano Lights!

Capistrano Lights at Mission San Juan Capistrano

The jewel of California’s missions, Mission San Juan Capistrano will kick off its 30 day Capistrano Lights nightly Christmas tree lighting programming with a special Opening Night event on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Opening Night requires a special ticket to attend. 
During opening night, guests can enjoy the beautifully decorated historic grounds which also includes 10 community Christmas trees decorated by local community groups such as Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo and the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society.
As Mission San Juan Capistrano guests enter the grounds, they will receive a special candle to place within the Ruins of the Great Stone Church to make a personal prayer or wish for the coming year.
Guests attending Opening Night can visit and take “selfies with Santa” in the Mission’s 18th century historic Sala building, meet Mrs. Claus, view the Mission’s beautiful 10’ tall LED Christmas wreath, decorate and eat holiday cookies, enjoy holiday musical performances from professional mariachis, Dicken’s era-carolers, a harpist and even beatbox performers. Guests can enjoy the large-scale nativity located in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church as well as watch as the Mission holds its first official Christmas tree lightings of the season at 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Additionally, 3:16 Bakery Shop and Las Golondrinas Mexican Food will be onsite selling savory and sweet tamales and beverages.

Mission San Juan Capistrano’s pastor, Reverend Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan will give the two readings of the First Christmas as part of the evenings’ tree lighting ceremonies.

“We are thrilled to bring the community, the newly formatted Opening Night of Capistrano Lights which includes an additional tree lighting, and one additional reading of the First Christmas, and performances by the well-loved acapella and beatbox group, The Filharmonic performing holiday music along with The Goode Time Carolers” said Mechelle Lawrence Adams, Executive Director of the Mission.
Capistrano Lights officially begins with Opening Night and ushers in 30 more evenings of Christmas tree lighting ceremonies from December 8 through January 6. On selected weekends in December, the Mission will also offer winter crafts, “selfies with Santa” and Mission themed holiday crafts with local partner AR Workshop.
For additional information or to purchase tickets for Capistrano Lights Opening Night on December 7 or the nighty tree lighting from December 8 through January 6, visit

Member pre-sale begins online on Monday, October 28 at 9:00 a.m. and general public sales begin on Friday, November 1 at 9:00 a.m.
Located in San Juan Capistrano’s Historic Downtown just four miles from the stunning coastal cliffs of Dana Point in Orange County, Mission San Juan Capistrano is an 18th century world-renown California mission known for its swallows, gardens, and historic Serra Chapel. The Mission’s impressive grounds and remarkable architecture are a compelling setting in which visitors can learn about the region’s cultural roots, take inspiration from its spiritual significance, engage with local traditions, or explore both permanent and traveling exhibits of original artifacts that bring its history into the present. 
Founded on November 1, 1776 by Saint Junípero Serra, who was canonized as a saint in 2015, Mission San Juan Capistrano is known as the “Jewel of the Missions” because of its Great Stone Church ruins. The seventh of nine missions founded by Serra (of a total 21 California missions established by Spain), it is Orange County’s only mission and is considered the birthplace of the region.
To learn more about Mission San Juan Capistrano visit

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