The vibrant beats of African drums and lively calypso music will fill the streets of Limón on Thursday, August 31st, as the city’s beloved Grand Gala Parade returns for the first time since 2019. The parade is the highly anticipated final event of the Limón 2023 Afro Costa Rican Culture Festival, closing out Costa Rica’s Historic Month for People of African Descent on a jubilant note.
Starting at 11:30 AM from Asís Esna Park, the parade will wind through the heart of Limón, passing by cherished landmarks like the Casa del Dominó, Hotel Puerto Limón, and Soda El Patty before concluding at the Big Boy Stadium. Along the route, revelers dressed in dazzling traditional outfits will dance and sway to the festive rhythms. Colorful floats decorated with floral arrangements, flags, and symbols of African heritage will roll down the streets.
According to Marcelle Taylor Brown, president of the Civic and Cultural Ethnic Black Association of Limón and lead organizer of the event, this year’s parade promises to be an exceptional celebration after its two-year hiatus. “We’re back with more enthusiasm, more mystique and, above all, with an Intangible Cultural Heritage declaration that forced us to redouble efforts to make an incredible show,” said Taylor Brown.
Declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly in 2022, the Grand Gala Parade has become a cherished tradition for Limón’s residents. Beyond the dazzling spectacle, the parade honors the enduring influence of African culture and traditions that remain woven into the fabric of modern Limón.
“This activity has transcended borders and has positioned Costa Rica as a country of cultural excellence worldwide,” Taylor Brown commented, noting its significance amid the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent from 2015-2024.
As the month dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Afro-Costa Ricans draws to an exciting finish, all are welcome to experience the magic of the Grand Gala Parade. The Civic and Cultural Ethnic Black Association of Limón invites everyone to join the festivities and celebrate the rich diversity that makes Costa Rica proud.