Festival de las Artes will host a large turnout this weekend

Only a few days remain before bands pack up their instruments and painters take down their works at the international Festival de las Artes. But before the citywide art festival can shut down Sunday, another large turnout of locals came out to support the artists on Thursday.

The afternoon lineup featured talents in puppetry, dance, and storytelling that were set up from the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud to Parque Sabana and some public spaces in between.

At Plaza de la Cultura a crowd of about 100 people surrounded the Always Drinking Marching Band as they played. The brass-heavy group from Barcelona has been together for 15 years, touring the world and entertaining walk-up crowds from Hong Kong to Norwich, England. The award-winning band is known for playing energetic gigs on the street.

Just as they were finishing, the waving crowd demanded for an encore, chanting otra until the group obliged with another dance-prompting tune. Always Drinking Marching Band is scheduled to play again today for the last show at 4 p.m. on the main stage in Parque la Sabana.

Thursday the stage was colored over with the brilliant red dresses and long legs of the dancers from Grupo Merecumbé San Ramón.

The local merengue group displayed talented and deep dimensions of choreography during its well-attended performance.

Doubling as students and performers, the group is part of a nationwide dance institute with locations spotted throughout Costa Rica.

On top of their performances. Grupo Merecumbé also offers private classes, workshops, and conferences.

At the Galería 1887, puppet master Francisco García del Águila showed off a few of his creations to a group of schoolchildren on a field trip. The Spaniard’s exhibit, “El desván de las ilusiones mágicas” displayed 24 of his puppets that were made with an impressive range of form and color. The collection included glove puppets, finger puppets, and Muppet-style puppets best known from Jim Henson’s iconic characters like Kermit the Frog.

The weekend schedule provides a host of opportunities for locals to see something brand new or that they may have missed earlier. As always the festival’s hub of Parque la Sabana will still host an international sampling of artisan vendors, interactive games, mazes, and concerts.

There are flamenco shows on Saturday and Sunday from both Spanish and Costa Rican acts. Saturday also includes the much anticipated performance by Coro Pyatnitsky, the folk group representing the festival’s honor country of Russia.

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