At the Festival Espanol being hosted by the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library on Saturday, you'll be able to check out rarely performed Andalusian music and dancing while sampling food and crafts from all regions of Spain.
Amid the displays of Spanish ceramics, icons, enamels, silver and damask will be booths offering paella, empanadas and other examples of Spanish regional cuisine. Food prices will range from $2 to $5; proceeds will benefit El Circulo Espanol, a local Spanish culture organization.
"Last year's festival was a big hit," says library director Jose Aponte, "and this year we are fortunate to have a unique addition," Coro Rociero, a 25-member Andalusian folk troupe that will perform the traditional songs and dances of the annual Rocio Festival, a 500-year-old event that combines the colorful Christian, Arab and Gypsy traditions of Andalusia.
The popular event, held at Pentecost in the tiny town of El Rocio, attracts a million pilgrims every year for three days of revelry and religious devotion to the Blanca Paloma (White Dove), a statue of the Virgin Mary that graces a tiny church in the salt marshes of the Guadalquivir River.
"Even frequent travelers to Spain have yet to witness the Rocio Festival, because it takes place in a village and not a major city," Aponte said. "Saturday's festival will give us a chance to see a re-enactment of events rarely performed outside of Spain."
What: "Festival Espanol: A Celebration of the Culture of Spain."
When: Saturday, June 20, at 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: San Juan Capistrano Regional Library, 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano.
Whereabouts: Take the Santa Ana (5) Freeway to Ortega (74) Highway. Exit west on Ortega. In downtown San Juan Capistrano, turn north on El Camino Real. The library is just past the mission, near the corner of El Camino Real and Acjachema Street.
Wherewithal: Admission is $2. Food prices will range from $2 to $5 and will benefit El Circulo Espanol de Orange County.
Where to Call: (714) 493-3984.