Expat committee eliminates free beer and hot dogs for July 4

The expat Independence Day celebration being held in conjunction with Avenida Escazú will not have the free hot dogs and donated beer this year as was the case in other years.

Instead, these holiday staples will be for sale.

The American Colony Committee announced last monththe changes for this year. In the past, the celebration was a morning picnic with sponsors paying for the bulk of the expenses. Recently the committee began charging an admission.

The free beer was an attraction, but last year it also attracted Tránsito officers who were checking out picnic goers as they left the Cervercería Costa Rica grounds west of San José.

So organizers said Thursday that hot dogs and beer would be available but for a price. That is in part because Avenida Escazú, a shopping location, is taking the lead and has opened the event to everyone. Free beer and hot dogs were the reasons that the committee restricted access to the picnic in years past to U.S. citizens and close relatives.

The picnics were supposed to be mainly for children to show those growing up in a foreign land what a real July 4 celebration was like. But some expats, mostly unattached men, got a little sloppy with the free beer.

The event this year will start at 3 p.m. Monday, July 4. The program will continue through 8 p.m. with traditional fireworks, something the committee had not been able to provide during a daylight event. Avenida Escazú is south of the Autopista Próspero Fernández and the Hospital CIMA in Escazú.

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