San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Queen’s Birthday Party Goes Swinging ’60s

Flower power, Beatles wannabes, mods and rockers will be part of the scene at this year’s Queen’s Birthday Garden Party, to be held tomorrow at the British Embassy Residence in the western San José suburb of Escazú. British Ambassador Tom Kennedy, wife Clare and son James will open their home once again for some zany fun and games, with live music and entertainment from local schools and professional bands.

Although the 1960s may be a tad before many people’s time, the decade evokes a wealth of iconic images and musical innovation that should have everyone turning out in their version of bell bottoms, miniskirts or headbands and beads, ready to twist and shout for the day. Best-costume prizes will be awarded for both youngsters and adults.

Young partygoers will enjoy the regular range of attractions, including pony rides, games, face painting and a bouncy yellow submarine, while the more mature can reminisce over Pimm’s or a strawberry cream tea. Other traditional fare will include fish and chips, curries, hot dogs and the Cadbury chocolate stand. Opportunities will abound to spend tokens and perhaps come out winning with the “big prize” raffles, silent auction, tombola and lucky dip.

Proceeds this year will go toward reconstructing one of the schools destroyed in the devastating Jan. 8 earthquake in the Poás area, northwest of the capital. The British Embassy has been assessing which school can best be supported. As last year’s event raised more than $25,000 for charitable causes, it is hoped this year’s donation will go far toward making sure students from the affected area can resume their studies in the near future. An information stand will give further details at the event.

The event is open to all, so bring family and friends to walk down Abbey Road and be part of the hip scene, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Entry tickets at the door cost ¢2,000 ($3.50), ¢1,000 ($1.80) for kids under 12 and free for tots under 5. Ample guarded parking is available nearby. For information, call the embassy at 2258-2025.

–Vicky Longland


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