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San Benito
February 28, 2024

Bonfire, winter solstice traditions return to San Juan

San Juan Bautista will have a tradition-packed weekend.

First on Friday night, the San Juan Bautista Service Club is hosting its annual Community Bonfire at 10 San Jose St. near the Mission parking lot and Community Center area.

According to an announcement, Santa will arrive at the bonfire by way of fire truck, and there will be free photos with jolly old St. Nick. The event is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., with the bonfire being lit at 6:15 p.m.

The following morning at sunset is the annual Winter Solstice celebration at the Mission. There will be a Native American ceremony outside the Mission before residents gather in the church for the lighting of the tabernacle.

This will be the 23rd straight year that Old Mission San Juan Bautista will hold a ceremony to honor the Winter Solstice illumination. On the darkest day of the year, sun shines through the front of the church onto the tabernacle of the 222-year-old mission.

See 2018 videos from both events below by Kollin Kosmicki: