San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arts Festival Flies South

Like the many snowbirds who flock to the country this time of year, this year’s National Arts Festival is heading south.

Alternating between San José and a different city annually, this year’s eighth edition of the festival will take place in the Southern Zone. San Isidro de El General’s Central Park will host most of the events for the festival, which kicks off today and runs through April 4. Tonight’s big concert features performances by well-known Tico artists Humberto Vargas and Leo Rojas, Escats and Malpaís.

The Osa canton will serve as an additional “invited venue,” and a “Caravan of the Arts” will pass through the communities of Laurel, Buenos Aires, Golfito, San Vito, Ciudad Neily and Ciudad Cortés in order to bring the festival to a broader audience, organizers said.

Taking as its symbol the mysterious stone spheres that embody the region’s indigenous heritage, the festival will also showcase environmental themes and will host 2,000 artists and nearly 150 shows. With works of art, crafts, dance, theater and cinema on tap, organizers promise something for everyone.

Osa Mayor Alberto Cole hailed the festival for bringing the spotlight to the arts and culture of Costa Rica’s south.

“It is very valuable to promote exchange, brotherhood and cooperation among artists of diverse origins, through collaboration among the cantons, mayors, public institutions and private enterprise,” Cole said.

“The biggest beneficiaries of this project will be the artisans, the local talent, the creatures of culture in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica.”

For a full schedule of events, see the Calendar pages, or visit for more information.


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