San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Flamingo/Potrero News

A grand party was held Jan. 14 in honor of Perla for her 80th birthday, featuring a surprise video made with photos of Perla collected from over the years in Potrero and a chorus line of the “Perlitas” singing “We Love This Bar.” Jack Wormenhoven led the singing of “Happy Birthday to Perla.” Musicians performing in Perla’s honor included Carlos López and drummer Mathieu Groulx, with guest Donnie Walsh of Downchild Blues Band. Later, Carlos was joined by singer Sabrina Paton and then guitarist Brent Sabo. Las Tropicales closed the evening. Perla prepared the main course, and others brought side dishes to share.

Chuck Jackson of “Canada Live” performed Jan. 31 at the Terraza Italiana in Surfside. Two days before, the Happy Snapper was packed with locals who came to listen to Chuck and another well-known Canadian, Donnie Walsh; they brought the house down.

Mardi Gras events this weekend: tonight at 7 p.m., Luis Chacón and his magical saxophone at the Happy Snapper; tomorrow at 5 p.m., a drag race with women dressed up as men and men dressed up as women (it’s as wild as it sounds!) at the Mariner Inn, and at 7 p.m., Bob Benjamin at the Happy Snapper; Sunday (Valentine’s Day) at 7 p.m., the Leatherbacks at Marie’s Restaurant in Flamingo, Luis Chacón at the Happy Snapper in Brasilito and Don Carlos at Marco Polo Italian restaurant in Potrero.

On Fat Tuesday, Feb. 16, “Queen Marie” arrives from the Isle of Mirth at 3 p.m., and the real festivities begin! The parade starts in Potrero and ends up at Marie’s Restaurant at La Plaza in Flamingo. Amberes Restaurant traditionally hosts a fabulous party for kids featuring prizes, clowns and a magician. The fun starts at Marie’s at 5 p.m. with the Comparsa Calypso Band, followed by the Electric Storm. Then it’s back to Amberes for the closing party.

This is the sixth year of the Mardi Gras celebration in our area. Every year the floats increase in number and get bigger and better, and we raise more money for local causes. We have a different king or queen each year, but we are always guided by the real King and Queen of Mardi Gras in Flamingo, Sjon and Jamie Harless.

–Babe Hopkins

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