Fun and free in Costa Rica: Día Nacional del Boyero (The Oxcart Parade)

February 27, 2018
2 Comments

Multicolored carts line up on the streets outside the church in San Miguel de Escazú as the oxen that prepare to pull them stamp and snort. Real-life cowboys and cowgirls gear up for the parade up to San Antonio de Escazú. This is Costa Rica’s traditional showcase at its best. The Oxcart Parade on Sunday, March 12, is vibrant, festive and absolutely free.

Adora-bull.

Ilana Long/The Tico Times

Local cow herders drive their oxen down from the surrounding hillsides or bring their livestock in trucks into Escazú to participate in this annual affair, coming from as far away as Cartago and Grecia. These are the same oxen they use to plant and sow the fields and farm the land.

Like papa, like son.

Ilana Long/The Tico Times

For the viewers who line the streets, this is a chance to get a glimpse at intricately painted carts made nearby in the mountain town of Sarchí. Be prepared to stand along the crowded sidewalks and enjoy the clanging and drumbeats of the marching bands and the larger-than-life, wildly dancing puppets that represent figures from local folklore.

Hey! Where's his hand?!

Ilana Long/The Tico Times

Each year, my kids and I marvel at the majestic, matched sets of oxen that team up to pull the carts. Men, women and children drive the colorful and detailed wooden carretas. My family and I march up the hill behind the parade, giving the bulls a wide berth and watching out for the land mines of cow pies.

Painted oxcart wheels spin like colorful pinwheels.

Ilana Long/The Tico Times

Inevitably, one of us ends up buying a cowboy hat off a street vendor and for a few minutes, we bask in the fantasy that we are all actually cowboys. Wear your plaid shirt to fit in.

Choosing the right cowboy hat is a must.

Ilana Long/The Tico Times

The parade begins at 9 a.m. near the San Miguel central park and continues until the cows come home.

My hubby Steve poses as a rootin' tootin' cowboy.

Ilana Long/The Tico Times

In this column, adventurer, author, teacher and parent Ilana Long explores fun things to do in Costa Rica that cost absolutely nada. Contact her at ilanalong@hotmail.com

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Slothy Sunday: Just hanging out
Sloth Sundays
13 views
Sloth Sundays
13 views

Slothy Sunday: Just hanging out

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 26, 2019

Last week, Denise Gillen, a sloth nanny from the Toucan Rescue Ranch, shared the story of Bon Jovi, a sloth…

Twice as nice: Güity wins second gold at Grand Prix
Costa Rica
17 views
Costa Rica
17 views

Twice as nice: Güity wins second gold at Grand Prix

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 25, 2019

A day after he placed himself atop the world rankings with his time in the 200-meter T64 at the 2019…

Costa Rica obtains $500 million from CAF for fiscal support
Costa Rica
45 views
Costa Rica
45 views

Costa Rica obtains $500 million from CAF for fiscal support

AFP and The Tico Times - May 25, 2019

The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) on Friday granted a $500 million credit to Costa Rica to support the…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!