New business owner Margarita Aragón is preparing her stand inside a long white tent on the sidewalk along Calle 19 at Parque Nacional. Her business sign, Metamorforseando, is hanging, and her allotted space is covered in blue material with blue butterflies that represent the famed Costa Rican morpho.She is one of the business owners who have the opportunity to show their products to thousands of potential customers. Ms. Aragón sells organic beauty and hygiene products such as natural oils, creams and deodorants. Her opening day secret: Business debuts at a three-day summer festival in the heart of San José. Ms. Aragón is one of more than a 100 vendors who are participating in the ninth annual Festival TransitArte El Arte Está En La Calle. The event kicks off today at 6 p.m. and ends Sunday evening.
The festival this year is dedicated to Ciudad Cádiz, Spain, for the bicentennial anniversary for the foundation of the Courts of Cádiz, and the Constitution of 1812, according to the festival Web site. The Constitution of 1812 was Spain’s first. It is nicknamed La Pepa because it was established on the day of Saint Joseph. Pepe is the diminutive of San José. There is no correlation between the saint’s day and the name of the Costa Rican capital.
Like most of the Central American countries Costa Rica was once ruled by Spain and became independent in 1821.
San José is now the host of this festival that brings national and international cultural and artistic experiences through food, dance, workshops, art, literature, a fashion show, and vendors.The Festival TransitArte takes over various different public spaces in downtown San José including certain parks and streets. The following are some of the locations where the festival activities will take place:
Parque Morazán is the place to enjoy concerts, exhibitions and art installations. This is the location where one of two big stages are located.
The little plaza of the Orden de Malta is a small space on the northwest side of Parque Morazán where an exhibit will promote animal welfare. There will also be pet adoptions available.
Parque Jardín de Paz is the location for a food court with all the vendors for a gastronomical experience. There will also be a stamp exhibit by the Museo de Filatelia de Correos de Costa Rica.
Parque España has a literary theme with the Sistema de Bibliotecas Municipales. Books of all types will be on display and will be available for purchase. There will also be small concerts, readings, and a fashion show in this area. The small boutique, Eñe, across from the park is celebrating its sixth anniversary Saturday with a fashion show featuring only Costa Rican designers.
The Paseo de Las Damas and Calle 15 is in the hands of the Comité Cantonal de Deportes de San José. This is the sports area where participants will exhibit their skills along these streets. Different types of sports from gymnastics to boxing to more urban sports like skateboarding will be featured. The British Embassy has also taken space on these streets for a photography exhibit Juegos Londres 2012- Un viaje por el deporte. This is to promote the Olympic games in London this year.
Parque Nacional is the host of Mercado de la Artesanía y la Expresión or “Artisan and Expression Fair” where more than 100 vendors will participate. This is also the location of one of the two giant stages.
The full program is available online. Those interested in times and the line-up can either show up at one of the parks because the schedules for that location are posted or they can visit the official Festival TransitArte blog http://culturamsj.blogspot.com.