San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Queen’s Birthday Party to Benefit Costa Rican Schools in Need

BUCCANEERS will be climbing therigging at the British ambassador’s residencetomorrow, but there will be treasureaplenty for all comers. A confirmed highlightin the yearly events calendar, theQueen of England’s charity birthday gardenparty – this year with a “Pirates andParrots” theme – has become a majorattraction for the whole community.Anglophiles pining for delicacies suchas Marmite, Weetabix or baked beans willbe able to browse the Olde Corner Shoppefor authentic British goods (bring yourrecycled grocery bags to fill with purchases),or try their hands at the tombola andsilent auction tables. Raffle winners willhave a spectacular choice of prizes, frominternational airline tickets, luxury hotelstays and top restaurants to beautymakeovers, golf and sporting days.English garden parties conjure upvisions of hats; if you don’t have one,don’t worry. Pretty, theme-decorated strawhats will be on sale alongside commemorativeT-shirts. Wandering the grounds,participants will be able to buy homemadejams and chutneys, enjoy strawberries andcream or cakes at the English Rose TeaGarden, and swill some reviving grog orEnglish ale at the Pirates’ Inn, whilewatching a packed program of entertainmenton the central stage.In keeping with the year’s theme,Monty Python look-alikes will be doingsilly nautical skits, and naval chanteyswill be sung by choirs from the Britishand Country Day Schools.Next to the pool, bangers and mash,hamburgers and Asian delicacies from TinJo will be just a cutlass away, along withlive bands, keelhauled in for the day, toprovide music for dancing away calories.The energetic will be able to pull withthe tug-of-war teams, follow the flingsduring the Scottish dancing or swab a wetsponge at your favorite “love-to-hate”victim shackled in the stocks. If it allsounds like too much to remember, theTown Crier will keep all informed withthe classic “Oyez! Oyez!” as she patrolsthe decks.All nationalities are welcome to walkthe gangplank to a full array of activitiesfor the whole family. Young (and young-at-heart) visitors are invited to costume upand take part in the “best-dressed buccaneer”competition; face painting, coconutshy, lucky dip and bat-the-rat will also beon the junior menu. Pony rides will makethe rounds and might be useful whilesearching for hidden plunder followingthe Lost Treasure Map. Maybe one of thereal parrots brought in for the day willknow where “X marks the spot,” andshare the secret.Hosted by British AmbassadorGeorgina Butler at the embassy residencein the western suburb of Escazú, the eventwill take place tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3p.m. Admission is ¢2,000 ($4.25) foradults, ¢1,000 ($2.15) for children and freefor under-fives. Tokens can be bought fordrinks, meals and games. Like last year,proceeds will go to Costa Rican schools inneed. Ample parking will be provided.

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