San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

4th of July Picnic Draws Thousands

THOUSANDS of U.S. citizens vacationingor living in Costa Rica attended theAmerican Colony Committee’s annualU.S. Independence Day picnic July 2 at theCervecería Costa Rica in Alajuela, northwestof San José, and celebrated with family,friends, live music and lots of free hotdogs and beer.Attendees wore patriotic T-shirts, festiveface paint and even red, white and blueberets, while lounging on the grass, eating,square dancing, tossing water balloons andplaying volleyball and football.Approximately 3,500 people attendedthis year’s picnic, according to RocíoMadrigal of the American Colony Committee.Though this number is down fromlast year’s estimated 5,000, Madrigal saidthe warm appreciation expressed by attendeesthis year was “something special.”“This is the biggest American festivalwe have seen (outside of the UnitedStates),” said Brian Simmons, who haslived in various countries outside of theUnited States for the past four years. “It isa great privilege. Just because we are livingoverseas, we don’t miss out on all the festivitiesand the sense of patriotism that is inthe United States.”Susan Tessem, 25-year resident of CostaRica and president of the American ColonyCommittee, was glad to lead the committee’sefforts to organize the 45th U.S.Independence Day picnic in Costa Rica.“Everyone comes out with their kids…It’s like a real American fair, and it’s justnice to do once a year,” she said.As in previous years, the celebrationwas made possible through the combinedefforts of American Colony Committeemembers, 300 volunteers and the donationsof generous companies and individuals.

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