• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

A weekend of festivities in the central valley

March 12, 2010

The metropolitan area was alive with festivals this weekend as the country entered the hottest month of the year. In San José, artists celebrated the Festival de Verano de Transitarte, a three-day event with activities in parks throughout the city.

Children bounced on inflatable play structures, bands performed in front of engaged audiences and restaurants passed out corn-the-cob and tamales.

“It´s an event that unites all the artistic disciplines,” said Sugey Coto, who promotes cultural activities for the San José municipality. “We have dance, theatre, music, design and literature. It´s a good range for all of the family.”

Escazú, a town just west of the capital, responded with their own line-up of activities, including a parade of oxcarts from the center plaza to the mountain side district of San Antonio, an arts and crafts fair and live music.

“This is a very important celebration. It´s the day of boyeros (oxcart drivers) in Escazú and in many parts of Costa Rica, but especially here,” said 12-year-old Pablo Sandí as he led a team of oxen up the hill. “It means a lot to us, the people from the country, because we can show what we do every day.”

For those who missed the weekend´s festivals, there´s more next weekend. The oxcarts will reappear at an event in Cartago scheduled for Sunday, March 21, and San José will host the third annual gallo pinto festival, an event that celebrates the dish of rice and beans that has become a national symbol. Last year, the festival cooked up the biggest dish of gallo pinto Costa Rica has ever seen, which served 50,000 people.

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