Civic Festivals in Quepos, Costa Rica

Civic festivals in Costa Rica are centered around beer and food.


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.

events6Beer 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.

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.

The Bulls

events4No, 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.