Crowds pray for rain at annual El Dia de San Juan fiesta

Published: Jun. 25, 2017 at 12:36 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:14 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - On Saturday night dozens of people gathered for the annual welcoming of the Monsoon. It's the celebration of El Dia de San Juan held near downtown Tucson. 

"I would love the rain right now!" attendee, Ana Karina Rodriguez said.

"I want it to rain wherever it is in Pima County!" Richard Elias, Pima County Supervisor District 5, said.

Grupo Caotlicue members wore elaborate costumes.

"The feathers represent antennas they help us send our prayers out," Angelique Alvarez, Grupo Caotlicue leader said.

They waved incense and danced in a procession from Mission Gardens to Mercado San Agustin, to invite the rain to come and drench Tucson. The group held a special prayer to St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water.

"Saint John the Baptist because we are celebrating today, his birthday," Father Showrinarra said.

This ancient tradition almost didn't happen this year, because of the lack of funding but attendees were happy to see the community rally over the past few months to help pull it off.

"People who are conscious about making sure the festivals that are important to us still happen," Elias said.

The fiesta also marks the start of the monsoon. So, will the prayers help? Some attendees said it hasn't worked so well in the past.

"I think in those 100 years we had two rains only, but we're very optimistic about it" Josephina Lizarraga said.

Overall though folks are hoping their prayers will be answered and the rain will come.

"To give us all a little rest from this bad heat!" Elias said.

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