FOR 5-year-old Ellie Wakefield, the pony rides and games at the Queen’s Birthday Party celebrations at the residence of the British Ambassador on April 17 were not the only reasons she was excited to attend the event.
“I have the same name as her,” she said while waiting for her umpteenth turn at a pony ride around the complex. And in a few months, she’ll even be visiting one of Queen Elizabeth II’s castles in England.
More than 1,000 people filled the gates of the compound in Escazú, thousands of miles from Great Britain – children played games while adults listened to music, danced, watched performances, ate food and socialized.
“IT’S becoming a more well-known event,” said Ellie’s father, John Wakefield, a member of the organizing committee.
“We want it to become a recognized big, social, charitable event.”
Sponsors and volunteers organized the event to help support underfunded Costa Rican schools.
“A lot of people gave an awful lot to make this possible,” Wakefield said. “And just about everything is donated.”
Clouds and the threat of rain at the daylong event only personified the typical average England summer day, shouted the town crier, played by Joseph Loveday in an over-sized hat bearing England’s flag.
OTHER reminders of the overseas country were evident at the event with British flags displayed throughout, classic England-made cars exhibited and even a fancy hat contest.
“It’s a good family day,” said Michael P. Forbes, a donator and proprietor of Big Mike’s. Forbes volunteered at the Tombola booth, where children fished for a ball out of container and the number inside corresponded with a pre-determined prize – resulting in a winner every time.
“One kid won a can of tuna four times and he was so happy. Just watch their faces,” said Forbes, finishing his sentence with a big grin.