Three-day weekend features Alajuela parade Monday

This is a three-day weekend with the bulk of the celebration centered in Alajuela Centro, the home of Juan Santamaría, the hero of the Batalla de Rivas 160 years ago.

Each year the municipality hosts a big parade to honor the hero and the Costa Rican victory in the battle against elements of the forces of filibusterer William Walker.

The parade Monday begins at Parque Juan Santamaría and the line of march ends at the Fuente de la Libertad.

Santamaría, a drummer boy, is credited with torching an enemy stronghold. He died in the process, but the battle turned the tide against Walker’s imperial plans.

The weather is predicted to be windy but with little precipitation in the Central Valley, so expats should consider wearing a hat and using sunblock.

The Alajuela celebration already has started with a craft fair that will last the entire week.

The Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría in Alajuela plans to inaugurate “160 años de libertad” Monday at 10 a.m.

The exhibition consists of five art works relating to the country’s efforts against Walker, known as the Campaña Nacional de 1856-1857. The exhibition runs until July 3.

At 2 p.m. after the parade and speeches, the museum has a musical program planned.

More music will be in Parque Juan Santamaría with marimbas at 6:30 p.m. and dancing to the Lubín Barahona orchestra at 7 p.m.

Monday also is a legal holiday with obligatory pay for workers and double time for those who do work, according to the Ministerio de Trabajo.

That means many Central Valley residents will be headed to the beaches and mountains again today for perhaps the last long weekend before the arrival of the rainy season.

Despite the holiday many retail outlets will be open Monday.

There are two expositions not related to the holiday. Expoviajes begins at 1 p.m. today at the  Hotel Wyndham San José Herradura. The travel show runs through Sunday.

Expo Agua 2016 also is being held today at the Antigua Aduana on Calle 23. Participants will be marching down Avenida Central to the Aduana this morning in advance of the 10 a.m. official opening. This is put on by the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the state water company.

Also at the Antigua Aduana this morning the  Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud will inaugurate the expositon “Yolanda Oreamuno, Centenario 1916-2016.” That is at 8:30 a.m. She is one of the better known 20th century Costa Rican authors.

Saturday the big event is in Vásquez de Coronado where the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura is putting on its Feria Internacional de Comidas Típicas starting at 10 a.m. The organization promises typical Latin American foods from at least 16 different food stands. The location is 600 meters northeast of the Ipís de Guadalupe intersection adjacent to the local Caja clinic. More information is HERE!

The Alajuela statue of  Juan Santamaría

The Alajuela statue of Juan Santamaría

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