San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Queen’s Birthday Party Will Rock You

The ninth annual Queen’s Birthday Garden Party, in honor of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, will be celebrated tomorrow on the grounds of the British Embassy Residence in the western San José suburb of Escazú.

Each year’s festivities have a different theme; this year, come prepared to groove to the beat of classic rock ’n’ roll, and enjoy the “best of British” in music, food, beer, games and fun-filled entertainment for the whole family.

Some turn up to replenish their stocks of Marmite, mint sauce or custard powder at the “London Calling” British produce table, or taste a Boddingtons or Guinness beer from the “Whisky in the Jar” bar. Others sample the home-baked cakes and scones at the “Sweets for My Sweet” tea tent or grab a plate of authentic fish-and-chips. The “Glastonbury” main stage and lower pool venue will host a range of entertainment, including local school bands, rock and folk music, magic show, Scottish country dancing, fancy dress parade and the big-prize raffles. Regular favorites such as the silent auction, tombola, lucky dip, pony rides, bouncy castle and helter-skelter will also be in full swing.

Rock ’n’ roll costumes are encouraged, with prizes awarded for best getup. And while you’re rockin’ and rollin’, you can feel groovy knowing every colón you spend goes toward Costa Rican schools in need. Last year’s event, which drew a record crowd of 1,200, raised $19,000 toward reconstruction of the school at Vara Blanca, which was devastated by the January 2009 earthquake in nearby Cinchona, northwest of the capital.

The fun starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Admission costs ¢2,500 ($4.80) for adults and ¢1,000 ($1.90) for kids under 12 (free for under-5s). Ample guarded parking will be available nearby. For more information, call the British Embassy at 2258-2025.

–Vicky Longland

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