San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

50th-anniversary 4th of July picnic all set for Sunday


Come celebrate the United States’ birthday with thousands of other U.S. citizens and an endless supply of hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn and beer.
The American Colony Committee will host its 50th U.S. Independence Day picnic Sunday at the fairgrounds of the Cervecería Costa Rica in Alajuela, northwest of San José. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and costs $5. Anyone with a U.S. passport and his or her immediate family (spouse and children) will be admitted to the festival. Susan Tessem, president of the American Colony Committee, said the organization expects 4,000 guests this year.
Tessem said the 50th anniversary celebration means a lot to the committee.
“I think everybody feels that way: ‘My God, 50 years, that’s a long time,’” she said.
She’s planning to bring back the brass marching bands that participated in the first picnics. Also, for the first time the event will be held on a Sunday. In the past, the Cervecería would not agree to host the event on weekends, as it was too costly for the company to close down the fairgrounds for the two days required to set up and to hold the event, Tessem said. But the company made an exception this year for the celebration’s 50th anniversary, a gift for which Tessem is extremely grateful (TT, June 18).
Other traditions on tap for the Fourth of July include a batting cage, carnival games, face painting for children and horseshoes. The winner of the horseshoes competition wins a bottle of scotch (provided they’re of age).
At 10 p.m., everything comes to a pause and the morning’s most patriotic event – the flag-raising ceremony – begins. The ceremony is sandwiched between short speeches by guests, music from the University of Costa Rica Symphonic Band and competitions such as three-legged and sack races. Everything is designed to make sure U.S. citizens abroad enjoy a well-rounded Independence Day.
What: American Colony Committee’s 50th Fourth of July picnic
When: Sunday, July 4, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Cervecería de Costa Rica picnic grounds in Alajuela. Take the Intel/Cervecería exit from the highway toward the international airport from San José. A shuttle will take guests from the parking area to the fairgrounds entrance.
Cost: $5 (free for children 5 and under)
For further information, call 2228-9167 or 2288-4850.
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