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A chili festival, an ultra-marathon, and other happenings around Costa Rica

Atenas Chili Fiesta

It’s the tastiest fundraiser of the year, and the chili competition is naturally the main draw. But you can spice up your Atenas Chili Fiesta experience with hot dogs, live music, horse shows, and pony rides. Things get especially hot when Latin Grammy-nominee Tamela Hedström takes the stage at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit Hogar de Vida, a refuge for at-risk children.

Atenas Chili Fiesta takes place Feb. 8 in and around Sabana Larga arena, Atenas. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Donations encouraged. Info: Event website.

Ultra-Marathon Arenal Volcano

Do you have what it takes to run 115 km? No? Well, good thing there are also 20K, 10K, and 5K races for new and experienced trail runners.

The Arenal races take place Feb. 7 in La Fortuna. Registration $30-120. Info: Costa Rica Race website.

Music: Koto Concert

Music prodigy Yumi Kurosawa performs the “koto,” a traditional, harp-like instrument, as a special guest of the Japanese Embassy.

Concert takes place Feb. 8 at The National Theater, downtown San José. 5 p.m. Free. Info: National Theater website.

Music: Avanti Luz

Funky jam-band Avanti Luz lights up the Backyard Bar in Jacó.

Concert takes place Feb. 7 at Backyard Bar, Jacó, Puntarenas. 5:30 p.m. Free. Info: Backyard Hotel website.

Film: Cinema Cycle

Slowly but surely, seriously bicycling is picking up speed in Costa Rica. The “Ciclo de Cine” celebrates two-wheeled conveyance with the second in its film series, “Still We Ride,” about the controversial Critical Mass movement in New York City.

“Ciclo de Cine” takes place Feb. 10 at Museo Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia, Barrio Escalante. 5 p.m. Free. Info: RedCultura.

Music: Perrozompopo

Nicaraguan rock musician Perrozompopo plays his concert, “Estas Son Las Canciones Que Más Me Gustan” (“These Are the Songs I Like the Most”) at Jazz Café.

Concert takes place Feb. 6 at Jazz Café, San Pedro. 10 p.m. 5,000 ($10). Info: Jazz Café website.

Theater: “I’m Not Going to Carry This Corpse”

Teatro Arlequín presents a deadly new comedy of errors, written by Luis Daell Barth.

“Este Muerto no lo Cargo Yo” continues through March 22 at Teatro Arlequín, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: Theater Facebook page.

Theater: “The House of the Spirits”

Isabel Allende’s masterpiece comes to life during this stage adaptation by U.S. playwright Caridad Svich. After last year’s extremely successful run, Teatro Espressivo revives the Spanish-language production for a second round.

“La Casa de los Espiritus” runs Jan. 15 – Feb. 15 at Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡10,000-15,000 ($20-30). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Cirque du Soleil

The mind-blowing avant-garde circus arrives in Costa Rica with its latest production, “Corteo.”

“Cirque du Soleil: Corteo” continues through Feb. 8 at Hacienda Espinal, Alajuela. Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 12 & 4 p.m. ₡38,000-140,000 ($74-280). Info: eTicket.

Art: Albrecht Dürer, Renaissance Genius

Classical German printer Albrecht Dürer receives a stunning retrospective at the Central Bank Museums.

“Alberto Durero: Genio del Renacimiento” displays through April 26 at the Central Bank Museums, downtown San José. Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museum website.

Film: “The Devil’s Elbow”

This acclaimed new documentary unearths a grim period in Costa Rican history.

“El Codo del Diablo” screens at various cinemas. Info: Film website.

Film: “Maikol Yordan”

From the madcap minds of “Media Docena,” the hit Costa Rican sketch show, comes their first feature film, a comedy about the well-meaning yokel Maikol Yordan. How will this goofy campesino fare on his globe-trotting tour? Find out by catching this super-Tico comedy at almost any local movie theater.

“Maikol Yordan” screens at various cinemas across the country. For more information about the film, visit the official Facebook page.

Exhibit: “Juan Rafael Mora”

Recognized for his muttonchops and paternal demeanor, Juan Rafael Monge is widely considered the Abraham Lincoln of Costa Rica. The National Archives displays images of this founding father to the public.

Exhibit continues through Feb. 28 at the National Archives, Zapote. Free. Info: Archives website.

Art: “Ricardo Ávila: Urban Observer”

See city life in a whole new way through Ricardo Ávila’s unique landscapes.

“Ricardo Ávila: Observador Urbano” continues through March 29 at the Museum of Costa Rican Art, La Sabana. Wed.-Sun., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: Museum website.

Contact Robert Isenberg at risenberg@ticotimes.net

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