It’s time for ‘Fiesta Under the Big Top!’

The gyroscope will be back this year! Photo by Mike Clary

The gyroscope will be back this year! Photo by Mike Clary

Fiesta Day weekend has arrived, and with it a few important reminders for those who are driving or parking in the vicinity of the parade route and Lodge grounds within the next few hours. These are especially important to know for residents who are expecting guests.

Street Closures

Today, May 22,  and Saturday, May 23 (the day of the event), there will be street closures and extra traffic throughout the day. There will be no parking from midnight to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23 on the following streets:

  • Canyon Lake Dr. North, from Steel Head Dr. to Canyon Club Dr.
  • Canyon Club Dr. and Lighthouse Dr.
  • Parade line-up streets, which are Yellow Feather Dr., Mayflower Dr., Spray Dr. and Smugglers Point Dr.

There is no parking at the Lodge after midnight tonight, May 22. Only vehicles with designated parking passes, handicapped placards and golf carts will be allowed past the corner of Canyon Club Dr. and Lighthouse Dr., after the parade. These vehicles must park in designated areas. If possible, please use the shuttle service to help with traffic.

New this year, on Saturday, May 23, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., Canyon Club Dr. will be one-way traffic only, heading towards the Lodge. Also, Lighthouse Dr. will be one-way traffic only heading away from the Lodge (towards Vacation Dr.)

Parade Reminders

  • Parade lineup will begin at 7 a.m. on Canyon Lake Dr. North at the four parade stations; Yellow Feather Dr., Mayflower Dr., Spray Dr. and Smugglers Point Dr.
  • All streets along the parade route will close at 8:30 a.m. and the parade will begin at 9 a.m. (see for a map of parade detours).
  • Those who have guests coming should ask them to arrive before 8 a.m. to avoid the above street closures. It is suggested they use North Gate or Main Gate to access the community. If arriving after the parade is over (approximately 10:30 a.m.) all the gates and streets will be open.
  • Spectators can walk up the sides of all parade streets to watch the parade.
  • No “day-of” registration for the parade will be allowed.


Parking is not available on the Lodge grounds, so parking near the Lodge is usually congested. To help with that situation, the Association offers a shuttle bus that starts up after the conclusion of the parade and runs until approximately 4:30. Shuttle stops are at Gault Field, Sierra Park, Holiday Harbor, Blue Bird Hall, East Port and the intersection of Canyon Club and Lighthouse Drives.

Fiesta Under the Big Top

This year’s theme is “Fiesta Under the Big Top,” and the Fiesta Day Committee has gone all out to give it a circus feel.

After the parade, head to the Lodge grounds and Sunset Beach, where the “Main Event” will include more than 100 vendors selling food, merchandise and services, along with DJ music, and a variety of entertainment acts under the Big Top and roving throughout the grounds. There also is a Kid Zone with giant bounce houses and prize drawings.

The Lighthouse Restaurant will have multiple bar stations offering drink specials and selling iconic Fiesta Day Margarita Cups for $13 and refills for $3.50.

The day begins with families and friends lining the parade route on Canyon Lake Dr. North and Canyon Club Dr. as dignitaries, clubs, organizations and businesses parade past on everything from convertibles and bicycles to golf carts, horses, and towed boats and trailers. Candy is usually in great supply, so kids will want to bring a bag for collecting as it’s thrown from passing cars.

Those who are in the parade love seeing the big smiles and crazy costumes and signs spectators bring, so residents should start thinking now about how they can attract some attention – especially from the photographers.

Word is getting out for parade-goers to hold up signs to honor the memory of U.S. Marines Sgt. Eric Seaman, who died in a Pendleton-based helicopter crash in Nepal last week while delivering humanitarian aid to earthquake victims. Eric’s in-laws live in Canyon Lake.


Although it would be helpful for organizers and save time for participants to register ahead of time with forms provided at, last-minute participation will be acceptable in two Fiesta Day Contests:

  • The Bicycle Decorating Contest has two categories: “Youth 12 & Younger” and “Adult 13 & Older.” Winners in each category will receive $25 and a 1st place ribbon; 2nd and 3rd place ribbons also will be awarded. This contest is sponsored by ShowCal Skiers.
  • The Cardboard Boat Challenge also will have two categories for which prizes will be awarded: “Youth 12 & Younger” and “Adult 13 and Older.” Boats must be made of corrugated cardboard and duct tape only. Prohibited construction and/or decorating materials include wax-coated cardboard, glue, paint, markers, resin, epoxy, caulk, sealers, metal, plastic, wood, foil, pipes, foam, floats, tubes, tires, balloons, compressed gas, etc. There are more rules like this on the application form. Pre-registration is recommended. The application form is available on the POA website. The entry fee is $5 per Youth Boat entry, $10 per Adult Boat entry.

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Donna Ritchie