San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Guy Fawkes Day Celebrated in Jacó

The British tradition of Guy Fawkes Day was celebrated last weekend for the 14th consecutive year at Hotel Club del Mar in the beach community of Jacó, on the central Pacific coast. Revelers of all ages included those from Great Britain and the Commonwealth, as well as some North American and European friends.

 Also known as Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5, is celebrated throughout Britain to mark the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. In 1605, Guy Fawkes, Britain’s most notorious traitor, masterminded a plan to blow up the English Parliament during the reign of King James I.

Thirty-six barrels of gunpowder were secretly stored in the cellars of the houses of parliament, but were discovered before Fawkes and his 13 conspirators could carry out their evil deed. Since then, the capture and execution of Fawkes and his cronies have been commemorated throughout Britain with fireworks, bonfires and the burning of an effigy of “The Guy.”

This year, Guy Fawkes revelers in Costa Rica were delighted to welcome recently appointed British Ambassador Tom Kennedy, his wife Clare and 7-year-old son James. The event was hosted by Hotel Club del Mar owner and Brit Philip Edwardes and his dedicated staff, who did a superb job throughout the weekend.

“Accolades must go to John Wakefield, whose organization of this weekend has been extraordinary as always,” Edwardes said.

Saturday morning kicked off with the famous cricket match played on the beach between the British Embassy team and the “Others.” Rain never stops play, but the tide can alter scheduling.

After a tough match, the much coveted “Ashes,” a calabash gourd containing the ashes of the first “Guy” burned on this auspicious occasion in 1993, was won by the British Embassy team.

In the afternoon, Rhonda Scott and Lambert Grijns won the dart tournament by the pool, always a popular event. As soon as darkness fell, everybody gathered by the beach for a barbecue dinner and a magnificent fireworks display. A huge bonfire built from palm fronds went up in flames, with, as tradition has it, the elegantly dressed “Guy” perched on top, atoning for his sins before being burnt to a cinder.

On Sunday morning, the horseshoe tournament on the beach was won by Ed and Maria Dobler, who showed great pitching strength and keenness of eye. After a curry lunch, people bade farewell, promising to return next year for what has become a much enjoyed and cherished tradition, thanks to Hotel Club del Mar and John Wakefield and his team.


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