Celebration of Día de Independencia really starts today

Fuerza Pública officers got a head start on Independence Day celebrations Tuesday when they hosted bands from schools all over the central canton of San José. The event was in Hatillo and also featured traditional dancers. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Ingrid Luna

The torch of liberty is on its way from Peñas Blancas, and it is expected to reach San José in time for a 6 p.m. ceremony at Parque Central. The president and her cabinet will await the flame at 8 p.m. in Cartago, the former capital.

The legal holiday is Thursday with parades and demonstrations of patriotism, but the holiday really starts tonight.

Firemen will be carrying their own torch starting at 4 p.m. when a team of runners leaves the central offices at Avenida 3 at Calle 18 at 4 p.m. The firemen will pass through stations in Barrio México, Tibás and Guadalupe. At each stop a community program is planned with marimba, mascaradas and cimarronas, the street brass band. The runners will end up in Barrio Lujan in time for the 6 p.m. singing of the national anthem and a parade of children with their faroles.

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones is starting its celebration even earlier. The agency announced that the central offices and the 32 regional ones would be closed both today and Thursday. Staffers are celebrating the Día del Personal Electoral as well as the Día de la Independencia.

Most government offices will be closed just Thursday, but many workers are planning a four-day weekend. Tourism
operators are promoting various packages to attract vacationers. The U.S. Embassy as well as most other foreign embassies will be closed Thursday.

The Fuerza Pública held an early event in Hatillo Tuesday where school bands were invited and competed. There was a parade and a patriotic ceremony as well as dancers.

President Laura Chinchilla will be on the road today. She will be inaugurating the Colegio Técnico de Dulce Nombre de Cartago in the afternoon followed by a similar ceremony at the Casa del Agricultor en Tierra Blanca on the road to Volcán Irazú.

She will be cutting a ribbon at the Escuela León Cortéz C. in Cot at 3:45 p.m. That will give her time to join in singing the national anthem at the Museo Municipal in Cartago and observe and perhaps participate in a parade of children with their faroles, the homemade representations of 19th century street lamps by which Costa Ricans are said to have read the message that liberty from Spain has been proclaimed in Guatemala City, the regional seat of government.

The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública will celebrate the 190th anniversary of independence in Dulce Nombre, Coronado, where some 400 confiscated weapons will be destroyed under the supervision of the Dirección General de Armamento. That is at 7:30 a.m. today.

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