PHOTOS: American Colony celebrates US Independence Day at annual picnic
July 4th was sunny and bright – perfect for a giant, U.S.-style picnic. Hundreds of people converged on the Cervecería Nacional on the outskirts of San José to attend the 54th annual Fourth of July Picnic, a Costa Rican tradition since 1961. The crowd was a mix of U.S. citizens and Tico guests, who meandered from Pepsi kiosk to yogurt stall to the Nathan’s Famous hot dog tent, eating and chatting and savoring the perfect weather.
Established by the American Colony Committee, the picnic is an opportunity for U.S. expats to socialize and celebrate U.S. independence. The picnic is also a venue for local businesses and organizations, from Prisma Cosmetic Dentistry to the American Legion.
The activities could have been plucked from a Norman Rockwell painting: There were balloon tosses, gunny sack races, a hot dog eating contest and a petting zoo. A cheerleading squad flipped acrobats in the air while square dancers do-si-doed nearby. Cover bands played classic rock on the main stage. The Imperial beer flowed liberally.
All activity stopped so that the organizers could say a few words, including U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Gonzalo Gallegos. “It’s fun being American,” said Gallegos, who added that his family is originally from Mexico. “That’s a part of being American that I enjoy the most. We like to have fun.”
In addition to old-fashioned fun, attendants sang along to the Costa Rican and U.S. national anthems, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and watched three U.S. Marines raise the flag. The ceremony ended with the arrival of “Uncle Sam,” who waved from the main stage, leapt into the crowd, and was swarmed with amateur photographers.
Here are some snapshots from Independence Day morning.
You may be interested
U.S. donates $16,000 to help Costa Rica improve environmental reportingThe Tico Times - January 25, 2020
A donation from the U.S. Department of the Interior will help Costa Rica's Environment Ministry (MINAE) receive and track environmental…
In Davos, tourism industry promises less plastic and more sustainabilityPol Costa / AFP and The Tico Times - January 24, 2020
Faced with the tons of disposable plastic used by hotels every year, the CO2 emitted by airplanes or the overcrowding…
Meet Costa Rica’s newest NASA figure: Luis Diego Fonseca FloresBruce Callow - January 24, 2020
Costa Rica may be small, but its people are achieving great things. In this story, contributor Bruce Callow shares an…