The American Colony Committee is collaborating this year with Avenida Escazú for a July 4 celebration. That means the traditional morning picnic will not take place.
The news came in a letter to picnic patrons. These are the individuals and firms that have donated money or products to the picnic in years past. In a separate email, Margaret Sohn, co-chairwoman of the celebration, said that no donations will be collected this year.
“We do plan to return to the morning event next year and hope our patrons will continue their support,” she said.
“After our successful 50th picnic celebration in 2010, the American Colony Committee decided the time had come to do some much needed brainstorming and basically re-engineer the picnic with the objective of improving the event and making it financially more sustainable,” said the letter to patrons.
“During this process we were approached by the management of Avenida Escazú, with a proposal to collaborate on a special celebration they are organizing for July 4th, 2011. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the cultural element of this program which will be held on Monday, July 4, at Avenida Escazú from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. And, best of all, the celebration will include fireworks, which have always been at the top of our wish list!
“The event is open to the public with plenty of activities for all ages, including lots of live music. There will be a parade down the avenue complete with Uncle Sam, a playground, magicians and clowns for the children. There will also be the square dancing that you can join in on as well as the traditional patriotic ceremony.”
The picnic in the past was held in the morning to avoid the probable afternoon rains. It has been held at the grounds of the Cervercería de Costa Rica west of San José. The picnic has been the major gathering place for U.S. expats in Costa Rica. Some come from distant communities just for the picnic.
However, there have been criticisms that only U.S. citizens and immediate families were permitted to attend. The reason was that free food and beer were part of the attraction. Lately the committee has been charging a small admission fee.
Nationality will not be a factor this year, since the letter said that all are welcome. Avenida Escazú is south of the Autopista Próspero Fernández and the Hospital CIMA. It is an upscale shopping area with office buildings and other attractions..