Tuirrialba-Siquirres festival is one of many events

Cruz Roja bull: Would you get in the ring with this guy?

The weather institute is predicting a windy but mostly dry weekend for the Festival Nacional de las Artes in Turrialba and Siquirres. That is one of the many events expats can choose.

More than 2,000 artists will produce 350 events over the two-week run of the festival.

Turrialba is just 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of San José and the two festival towns are just 45 kilometers (28 miles) apart.

President Laura Chinchilla will inaugurate the event at 7 p.m. today in the Boulevar Jorge de Bravo in Turrialba and later deliver a speech at the botanical gardens of the Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza nearby.

The festival has a Web page with the schedule of events.


Puriscal is in the second weekend of its festival. A tope or horse parade is planned for Sunday. Friday there is the Festival Ranchero at 7 p.m. and a concert Saturday at 8 p.m. The horse parade is at noon Sunday with bull fighting a la Tico at 5 p.m. There also is a bull fighting event Monday night. These are the events where groups of men and women share the arena with a fighting bull and with predictable results.

More bullfighting

For those who cannot get enough of bullfighting a la Tico, the Cruz Roja is sponsoring an event Saturday at the rondel at the Zapote fairgrounds in east San José. This is a benefit for the rescue agency. The sponsorship is a bit ironic because it is the Cruz Roja that usually attends those beaten up by bulls at similar events all over the country. The entry fee is 7,000 colons or about $14 to watch the mayhem.

Gallo pinto

Sunday is the Día Nacional del Gallo Pinto 2011 and the traditional Costa Rican dish for 5,000 persons will be prepared in Paseo Colón. The sponsor is the Maggi food company that also will be launching its new Sazón y Amor spice for gallo pinto, the rice and bean dish. The company also will be handing out samples. The food will be ready about 1 p.m., the company said, but raffles and other events begin at 10 a.m.

Benefit for Japan

The Japanese Embassy, the Asociación Japonesa en Costa Rica and the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud are organizing Día Arigato: Ticos por Japón, a fundraiser for the disaster-struck nation.

It will be Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura just east of Parque España on Avenida 7 in San José.

Japanese cuisine will be available as will displays of other Japanese arts, such as calligraphy. There also are concerts planned by national groups including the Orquesta Sinfónica of the national music system from Desamparado and the Big Band. Entry is free.

The money collected is to go to Japan via the Cruz Roja.

Symphony orchestra

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional opens the new season tonight at 8 p.m. with a repeat performance Sunday at 10:30 a.m., both in the Teatro Nacional.

The invited conductor is Daniel Nazareth, an Indian accountant turned conductor who worked with Leonard Bernstein and Seji Ozawa. The guest violinist is Erez Ofer, who has been first violin with a Cincinnati, Ohio, quartet since 2002. Ravel’s “Bolero” is on the program

Poás festival

North of Heredia the communities of Fraijanes, Poasito and Varablanca, plus the Parque Nacional Volcán Poás have joined together for a fiesta that starts today. This is the area that was hard-hit by an earthquake Jan 8, 2009, and has been hard hit with recovery efforts and difficulty with tourism since. The event is in the Centro de Atención Integral Turístico in Poasito.

Most of the stands will be by local groups promoting their tourism, such as trail rides, canopy tours, sport fishing and visits to the volcano.

Another Saturday in the city

Saturday there will be more activities and music at parques España, Morazán and the Centro Nacional de la Cultura. This is the fifth edition of ¡Enamorate de tu ciudad! that is designed to draw residents to the parks. The event opens at 11 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m.

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