San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Palmares Fiesta Begins This Week

BULLS, beer, amusement park rides, discos,concerts, horses and a Latin-style carnaval arerevved up for party-goers for the next two weeks atPalmares 2005.Judging by the high jinks of years past, includingsardine-can discos, hordes of teenage barflies anddrunk-driving accidents galore, it might not be thefamily event that it touts itself to be. But the fiesta’sorganizers, the Palmares Civic Association, said lastweek they have taken the problems the event hassuffered into account and have worked out someremedies, including better parking, emphasis onusing buses and shuttles to cut down on drunk driving,watered-down drinks and asking the bartendersto look out for drunks.This year’s party has attracted internationalmusical talent with groups from Panama andColombia, and will include new additions to the listof spectacles including an international horse show,a boxing tournament, and a mountain bike race formen and women. Organizers expect a turnout ofmore than 1.5 million people, and will have 450police on hand at all times, with more during peakweekend hours.Palmares is about one and a half hours west ofSan José.Festivities began Jan. 12 and will continuethrough Monday, Jan. 24. For complete scheduleinformation, visit the Web site

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