Civic Festivals in Quepos, Costa Rica
Civic festivals in Costa Rica are centered around the beer and food courts that are built for the festivals.
Each food vendor, or "Chinamos" as they are called by Ticos, specializes in one or two typical dishes, such as "arroz con pollo" (rice with chicken), "casado" (a mixed plate usually consisting of rice, beans, beef or pork, salad and either plantain or tortilla) and the famous "gallos" (a finger food wrapped in tortilla usually made of meat, sausage or a potato salad).
The most typical of festival dishes is "Vigorón", which includes cabbage salad, fried pork rind and yuca (cassava root). Many food vendors will also offer hamburgers and Chinese dishes such as Chop Suey, Cantonese rice and others.
Beer vendors offer the standard array of national brewskies; Tropical, Pilsen, Imperial, Bavaria, Heineken and Rock Ice. The National Licquor Distillery is always at hand during civic festivals with the Costa Rican licquor "Cacique" a firewater made of sugar cane.
The Games and Rides
Aside from the food, game booths are ever-present at civic festivals with an assortment of test-your-skill games. Shoot the bullseye, the Witch and bingo are among the most popular. Rides include "caballitos" (merry-go-round), "rueda de Chicago" (ferris wheel) and the always popular bumper cars.
No, not the Chicago Bulls. These are the real thing. "Toros" (bulls) account for the main event in most civic festivals. Unlike the Spanish or Mexican bullfights, here the torreador does not kill the bull. If anything, the contrary is much more likely. Toros involves a group (sometimes dozens) of amateurs who enter the ring and harrass the bull while it chases them around in circles.
Clowns add to the merriment
Seldom do any of the amateurs get near the bull but when they do it is often only to yanks its tail and work the poor bugger into an even greater frenzy. The spectators cheer on their friends encouraging them to mount the bull. What they really come out for, however, is the chance to see their sons-in-law get trampled.
Daytime activities at the Quepos festivals include surfing tournaments sponsored by the National Surfers Association.
As the night wears on and the last pork rinds have been devoured, popular dance bands take their turn in the spotlight.
Merengue and Salsa are the most popular dance rhythms. From afro-caribbean roots, these melodies have taken Latin America by storm, and Costa Rica is no exception. All ages participate in these boy-ask-girl dances.
The next time you stay at Hotel BEST WESTERN Kamuk, don't miss out on the chance to take a few dance classes. You'll be glad you did!