This weekend will be a big one for culture with the II Festival Nacional e Internacional de Folclore being presented in San José.
The festival attracts a number of local dance groups, and also visitors from México, Colombia, El Salvador and Perú, according to the sponsor, the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.
Presentations also are planned for Friday in Ciudad Quesada de San Carlos and Sunday in Limón.
For those unable to attend those days, there is a cheese festival Sunday in Santa Cruz de Turrialba where dancing and other entertainment groups are scheduled.
The Saturday festival will be in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura, the culture ministry complex east of Parque España. The program runs from 9:35 a.m. to 7 p.m. and admission is free. The event is to mark World Folklore day.
Groups from Puntarenas, Desamparados, Guápiles, Naranjo and San Ramón are scheduled to perform in the morning with music by cimarronas, the traditional street bands, and mascaradas, those larger-than-life figures.
At noon there is a cumbia workshop and instruction in Mexican and El Salvadoran dances. At 1 p.m. there is a workshop showing how to make traditional clay masks. These are free, too, the ministry said.
Daniel Díaz Benavides, an anthropologist with the Escuela Nacional de Folklore de Perú, will be making a presentation at 1:45 p.m. on folk dancing.
Visiting groups include Los niños bailan en Colombia, whose members are between 7 and 11 years, and the Ballet Folclórico Opico of El Salvador.
Both the Ballet de la Escuela Superior de Artes of Veracruz, México, and Ballet Folclórico Opico close the festival with performances starting after 6 p.m.
At last count there were 13 Costa Rican music and dances groups that will be performing throughout the day, including some that are well-known.
The presentation Friday is at 12 p.m. in Ciudad Quesada and Sunday, also at 2 p.m., in the Casa Cultura de Limón.
The cheese festival, Domingo Cultural Quesero, also has a full program of music, dance, cooking workshops, traditional games and even visits to a dairy farm.
The hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the community’s salón comunal.
This event also receives support from the culture ministry.
The workshops include such specialties as making chicharrones de queso.
The Asociación de Productores Queseros de Santa Cruz also has scheduled a discussion of the legal ramifications of the use of the name Turrialba cheese.
An added attraction are 15- and 8.7-kilometer runs that begin at 8 a.m. Organizers said they expect 200 participants this years.
The course is through the countryside.