Celebrate Guanacaste’s Annexation

July 23, 2004

LIBERIA is throwing its biggest party of the year and everyoneis invited. The Guanacaste capital city is celebrating the Annexationof the province to Costa Rica with its traditional Cattle FairExpoliberia 2004.A rainbow of entertainment is available to patrons of the fiesta,which started July 16 and runs through July 25. A horse parade isscheduled today at 2 p.m. in Liberia. Latin music lovers can enjoy aconcert by the Panamanian Group “Los Nenes,” and watch the CostaRican-style bull fights (in which the bulls are not killed) at 5 p.m.Tomorrow, farmers can bid on or sell livestock at a cattle auctionat 8 a.m. A horse contest will judge various Ibero-American horsesat 9 a.m. Music aficionados can listen to the tunes of Magic Juan at4 p.m.ON July 25, it’s dogs’ turn to shine as they show their best in theability and obedience competition at 9 a.m. While the animals at thedog show will be calm and composed, the opposite may be true atthe 11 a.m. adrenaline-pumping horse races.Attendees can’t miss tasting the food native to the area (it is consideredthe pride of the country). Try to watch the folklore dancesand keep your ears tuned for the marimbas.The celebrations are all part of the July 25 national holiday,which recognizes the day inhabitants of Nicoya voted to become apart of Costa Rica. The annexation of Nicoya is also known as theannexation of Guanacaste, because when annexed, the peninsulalocated on the northwestern end of the area was later placed in theprovince of Guanacaste. Formerly a part of Nicaragua, the residentsin the area voted in 1824 to join Costa Rica because of general discontentover the civil wars in Nicaragua (TT, July 25, 2003).NOW, residents of the area celebrate the annexation annually.And the Cattle Fair is not the only party reveling the holiday; visitorscan also enjoy the Cultural Week and Annexation Fair in Nicoya.The district is emphasizing cultural events, said MarialauraSalom, press officer of Porter Novelli (the company in charge ofpromoting the event for the National Institute of Tourism).Throughout the week, visitors can enjoy ballet, dances and folklorepresentations of national and international folklore groups fromCuba and Nicaragua after 5 p.m.“On July 23, people in Nicoya have a different celebration. Theyhold the Reinado del Maíz (corn beauty contest). Contestants willwalk along the streets with the tunes of a cimarrona and the danceof the payasos (people wearing masks),” Salom said.The crowning of the corn queen is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 24The Nayuribe Group will play experimental music during the ceremony.“LATER, Contradanza Trio will play the serenade for the queenof the fiestas,” Salom said. “Also, Lalo and Gilberto Rojas andArnoldo Gamboa will play some trova. And people will dance withVino Tinto Group as they add some Cuban flavor to the dancingnight.”The annexation party will end Sunday with a mascarade, a galaconcert by the municipal band and folklore presentations from Cubaand the Ticomex group.For more info on the Nicoya celebrations, call 256-0486. Formore info on Expoliberia 2004’s activity schedule, call 666-2469 or666-5505 or visit its new Web site at: www.liberia.co.cr

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