The bull baiting at Zapote began on schedule Thursday afternoon with an introduction by the San José mayor, Sandra García Pérez.
Accompanying her was a Roman Catholic priest who provided a blessing, an appropriate action for what was to come.
The first bull, El Mal Tallado, entered the ring about 3 p.m. The bull baiting will continue until Jan. 4. There was a full house Sunday. Spectators cheered as bulls ran down the toreros improvisados in the rondel or bull ring.
In the first hours, bulls managed to catch a handful of participants, but the Cruz Roja on duty at the bull ring said that the worst injury was just a bruised hip. The emergency clinic attached to the ring will have plenty of activity over the next 10 days.
The bull baiting at the festival in Zapote has competition this year at Pedregal, and both locations can be seen on the local television stations with Channel 9 covering the Pedregal action.
Organizers of the Zapote event are trying to be more creative, including putting a popular band on a flatbed and wheeling it into the ring.
Musicians played and sang while a bull chased toreros around the flatbed.
Organizers also presented two diminutive toreros to face a mere 200-kilo bull. The 3-foot toreros were bounced around a bit, but they did manage to pile on the bull and bring it to rest in the ring. Organizers have more unusual activities planned to keep the audience and the television crowd interested.
The Zapote Festejos Populares has free admission, but the bull baiting costs between 5,000 and 25,000 colons. There also are admissions charged for the carnival rides. And the food stands vary in price depending on the meal.
The municipality also presents the Tope Nacional today starting at noon.
The horse parade route begins at Plaza González Víquez and follows Calle 11 to Avenida Segunda and then to Paseo Colón. The parade ends at Calle 40 just east of the statue of León Cortés in Parque la Sabana.
Horse riders are paying 10,000 colons each to enter the line of march. In addition to horses and riders, there will be various horse-drawn vehicles and other attractions. The Tope pays tribute each year to the country’s agricultural heritage.