San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Holiday Events for All, From Scrooge to Tico Tope

Here’s a calendar of multicultural holiday events to enjoy with friends and family:

“A Christmas Carol”: Based on the Dickens classic, adaptation by Paul Stebbings and Phil Smiththrough, original music by Tom Johnson, through Dec. 20, Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m., Teatro Dionisio, Café Britt, Mercedes Norte, Heredia, 2277-1500,

Oxcart Parade: Nov. 29, 9 a.m., from Paseo Colón along Av. Ctrl., San José.

Lighting of the Children’s Museum: Featuring 8,000 lights, concerts by the Colegio Metodista Choir and the University of Costa Rica Symphony Band, with fireworks, live nativity scene, Dec. 1, 6 p.m., Children’s Museum, San José.

Embrujarte Art Fair: Dec. 2-6, Avenida Escazú, next to CIMAHospital, Escazú.

13th Open-Air Art Fair: With approximately 300 artists, Dec. 2-6, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Plaza Roosevelt, San Pedro, 2280-9121, 8383-3518.

Lighting of Children’s Hospital Tree: Including some cultural events, Dec. 3, 6 p.m., National Children’s Hospital, Paseo Colón, San José.

“The Nutcracker”: Dec. 3-4 and 10-11, at 8 p.m.; Dec. 5-6 and 13, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Dec. 12, 11 a.m., with a solo performance Dec. 1, noon, National Theater, San José. Also, performed by Compañía Danza Libre, Dec. 3-5, 7 p.m.; Dec. 6, 5 p.m., Teatro de la Danza, CENAC, San José, 8994-1129.

Okayama Christmas Festival: Cultural events, food sales, souvenirs, Dec. 4-6, OkayamaPark, San Francisco de Dos Ríos.

Teletón: Proceeds support the National Children’s Hospital, featuring several national and international singers, bands, actors, dancers and other entertainers, 9 p.m. Dec. 4 through midnight Dec. 5, Palacio de los Deportes, Heredia. Donations can be made to Banco Nacional account 123452030-2, or by text message in amounts of ¢1,000 (dial 2030), ¢2,000 (2032), ¢5,000 (2035) or ¢9,000 (2039).

Annual Nativity Scene Contest: Deadline Dec. 5, register at Capilla Santa Lucía, 100 m north of main entrance to San Ramón de Alajuela cemetery, Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,, 2447-2381. Award ceremony with choir recital, Dec. 19, 5 p.m., church, San Ramón de Alajuela.

Tico Tamal Fiesta: 10,000 tamales given out free, Dec. 5, 10 a.m., La Sabana Park, San José.

Lighting of the Coca-Cola Christmas Tree: With concerts, cultural shows, Dec. 6, 6 p.m., opposite  the NationalGymnasium, southeast La Sabana Park, San José.

Avenidazo: An annual tradition of pelting confetti at passers-by on downtown San José’s Avenida Central. Includes cultural shows. Dec. 7-20, 6 p.m., Av. Ctrl., next to Radio Monumental.

Christmas Choir Festival: Dec. 7-9, 6 p.m., Plaza de la Cultura, San José. “Cats”: Broadway musical, Dec. 10-13, Palacio de los Deportes, Heredia, tickets at

Hanukkah Menorah Lightings: Dec. 11, 4:15 p.m.; Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 13, family program, 4 p.m., and lighting, 5:30  p.m.; Dec. 14-17, 6 p.m.; Dec. 18, 4:15 p.m., La Sabana Park, behind León Cortes statue, Ca. 42, Paseo Colón, 2296-6565.

Festival of Lights: Companies and organizations compete to construct the most elaborate illuminated float in a parade with band music, Dec. 12, 5 p.m., from the National Gymnasium, along Paseo Colón and Av. 2, San José.

Nativity Scene of Los Heraldos del Evangelio: 20-minute presentation of small figures in moving dioramas with special effects, Dec. 13-Jan. 10, Mon.-Sat., 3-7 p.m.; Sun., 3-8:30 p.m., Moravia, green house 200 m west, 75 m south of Club La Guaria main entrance, 2235-5410.

Gabriela Moreno Choreography Festival: Dec. 17-20, 8 p.m., National Theater, San José.

Zapote Traditional Fair: Rides, food, games, concerts, bullfights, Dec. 25- Jan. 3, Zapote.

Tope Horse Parade: Dec. 26, noon, Paseo Colón, San José.


–Sonia Cordero


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