Today Desamparados hosts Carnaval Nacional 2013

The center of daytime diversion moves to Desamparados today for the Carnaval Nacional 2013.

The canton picked up the event when San José allowed the traditional Dec. 27 event to lapse eight years ago.

The grand parade usually ties up traffic for the afternoon, but few mind because this is another big show with clowns, macacaradas, bands and even antique cars. The parade route is about two kilometers from the southeast corner of the Colegio Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados to the Villa Olímpica

The sponsors are the Asociación Cívica Desamparadeña and the municipality’s office of culture and tourism.

The Fuerza Pública said that 590 officers will be on duty along with the dog unit.

If last year is any indication, the biggest crimes they will confront are public drinking and small-time drug use.

Some 22 persons were detained last year, and 10 faced allegations of violation of the liquor laws. Some of these were minors. Five persons were held for being rowdy.

Nearby Aserrí is the home of the mascarada tradition, so plenty of these large, papier mâché figures will be in the parade.

The Cruz Roja said it was setting up 10 aid stations along the route. More than 100 workers. mostly volunteers, will be on the job at 10 a.m., two hours before the start of the carnival parade.

Last year the aid agency treated more than 60 persons and sent six to the hospital.

The weather is expected to be low on clouds and high on sun, so the Cruz Roja is urging carnival goers to wear hats or carry sun umbrellas. They also urged spectators to abstain from alcohol.

As the parade terminates, the bulls will be providing a spectator sport in Zapote, the location of the 2013 Fiestas. Plenty of carnival watchers will be heading that way.

The Costa Rican bullfights so far have not caused any fatalities, although a handful of participants met the wrong part of the bull.

A couple were thrown in the air, and one landed briefly on the back of the bull.

This is the event when perhaps 200 individuals enter the ring to tease and taunt a 500-kilo bull. There are shows at 3 p.m. and at 8 p.m. Some are televised.

Inspectors from the Ministerio de Salud checked out the food vendors at the Zapote fairgrounds Thursday. They took food samples for analysis and also checked the hookups for cooking gas.  There were no closures.

There is a heavy police presence in Zapote, too.

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