San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Christmas festival at the Children’s Museum draws 10,000

Fireworks, a Christmas musical and a rock band enthralled Costa Rican families Wednesday night, as thousands of spectators filled more than two blocks around the Children’s Museum on the northern edge of downtown San José.

The Chidren’s Museum celebrated its 13th annual lighting of the “Castle of Dreams.”

Families crammed in front of the castle-like façade of the museum, many parents hoisting smaller children on their shoulders. Streets vendors meandered through the crowd with Santa hats, lighted bracelets and balloons.

A rock band opened the festivities and gave way to a musical that focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Actors sang and danced on a stage in front of the museum’s entrance, using wires to pull some up and down the roof. A projector bathed the museum’s wall with changing images for the play’s scenes.

In the story, Mugrón, an insect-like villain, stole the presents and cake of the Children’s Museum’s mascots Museito and Museita. As the two lamented their ruined Christmas party with their friends, Costa Rican singer-songwriter Martín Valverde, playing himself, arrived with a lesson on Christmas spirit. Valverde said they must not hold on to hatred of Mugrón.

“If you want God to forgive you, first you must be able to forgive,” Valverde said.

At the play’s conclusion, Valverde persuaded the villain to give up his Grinch-esque plans to prevent lighting the castle, and the first fireworks launched behind him to joyous cheers from the crowd.

“Today we finish a work of more than six months of preparation,” museum director Fabiola Rodríguez said in a statement. “And we feel truly happy and emotional about the power to give this activity to thousands of families.”

Contact Corey Kane at ckane@ticotimes.net5

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