San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Carnaval to Fill Streets of Limón through Oct. 16

REGGAE, calypso, karaoke, dancing and parades will fill the streets of the Caribbean port city of Limón today as the city kicks off its 56th annual Carnaval celebration, an extravagant 10-day party that draws thousands of visitors every year.Falling within the week of both Columbus Day, Oct. 10, and Cultures Day, Oct. 12, Carnaval displays the vast cultural wealth of Costa Rica through the presentation of concerts, sporting events, parades and art exhibits in one of the country’s oldest and most diverse cities.This year, Limón citizens and visitors will also be honoring the life of Carnaval founder and beloved Limón community leader Alfred King, who passed away in May (TT, May 20). King, originally from the Caribbean island of Antilles, started the Limón Carnaval as a way of sharing the music, dance and traditions of his African ancestors.Made internationally popular by the 1947 Cesar Romero film, “Carnival in Costa Rica,” the event offers visitors and residents the opportunity to experience firsthand the sounds, tastes and sights of the country’s largest party until Oct. 16, when the skies of Limón will be illuminated by a fireworks show to conclude the fiesta.For a complete listing of events, times and parade schedules, see the Calendar pages.

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