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OXCART • BOYERO FESTIVAL & Parade - March 9-11 - San Antonio ESCAZU


Asociacion de Rescate de Tradiciones del Boyero de San Antonio de Escazu
and the City of Escazu

Friday, Saturday and Sunday - March 9, 10 and 11, 2012

(it was explained to be this is because in Escazu you have such a cross section of everything from the compasino to the million dollar homes)!
It's a TRIBUTE to the BOYERO!

Oxcarts travel from ALL around Costa Rica for this event and they're expecting around 300 carts this year!!!

It's one of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL festivals in Costa Rica with the painted oxcarts and families all dressed up!! DEFINITELY make sure your camera batteries are charged for this one!!!

The main part of the event starts on Saturday with various performances and food, etc.
that doesn't start till 10pm-ish and has music and various performances in between - till 11pm!!!!

The GRAND DAME of this event is the INCREDIBLE OXCART PARADE on Sunday!!!


*****This is an ALCOHOL-FREE ZONE!!!*****
(along the Parade Route and Festival and police WILL be out in FULL force!!!
I LIKE this!!! A TRULY "Family-Friendly" event)




A boyero is the man in charge of leading the oxen (bueyes) to work/in the fields/hauling things - like a U.S. cowboy!

Go to to figure out what they're saying)



(Saturday and Sunday)
Downtown San Antonio de Escazu
(I believe there are 3 main "sections"/mountain areas/roads leading to various points in San Antonio de Escazu.
The most Westerly road takes you up to Tiquicia Restaurant.
The middle one - to the White House [now re-named Tara once again].
The most Easterly road - going up to Hotel Pico Blanco/the main church and the magical hiking place.
For this event, we're talking about the LEFT/East/Este side).

Centro Escazu (aka San Miguel) up to Downtown San Antonio de Escazu

The PARADE will START AROUND 10am (I've also seen 10:30am) in front of the Municipalidad/City Hall in Centro/San Miguel Escazu (East-bound road that runs on the North side of the park.
They turn RIGHT/South-bound at the street behind the church (at the stop light by Musmani Panaderia) and travels UP UP UP to San Antonio.

There it will turn LEFT at the neighborhood el Descanso, zig-zag a bit (at the end - LEFT and a Quick RIGHT) - ending up at the Soccer Field (on a regular non-crowded day you might miss it as it's BELOW the street level off the main road - and across the street from the church.
Or - across the street from Cerros Pizza [MANY have shared with me how MUCH they LOVE their thin-crusted pizza - plus the view!! Check it out!!!]
The oxcarts will all gather on the soccer field and you can walk down amongst them - admiring the strength of the oxen and the beauty of the carts (but watch where you walk as some boyero's may not pick their oxen's dung up so fast!!)
(do NOT NOT NOT wear sandals!!!)


The soccer field is home to one of MY FAVORITE pieces of art in the world -
Mario Parra sculpted
(Medium - it incorporated materials and products such as stone, wood, clay, coffee, sugarcane, bananas and corn, concrete, silicone and typical scenes as the boys' Sunday rides in a carriage, the lady and the wood oven, the general store and the canteen - on a WALL that's almost a BLOCK LONG!! It MOVES me SOOOO MUCH because you can REALLY FEEL his PASSION when you look at it!
(more information on Mario Parra and this project at

Pictures of this incredible piece:

Food and festivities will mainly take place on the field just below/North of the field or in the church across the street.


NOTE: DON'T LIKE CROWDS or don't have time/desire to sit in the hot sun watching it??? Since people are coming from ALL around Costa Rica, you'll be able to see them coming from just about all directions!


6am WARNING!! BOMBS go off to wake EVERYONE in the Central Valley announcing a festival is coming!!! NOTE: Do you hear those 2 booms going off, often on a Thurs. or Sunday afternoon - often like at 5 or 6am that wake EVERYONE in the Central Valley (the sound bounces off the surrounding mountains and sound like they're 2 blocks away sometimes!!!!)? That's the standard way Festivals "announce" they're coming (and I think there's a festival almost every weekend!! What is it with noise and this culture???)
7:30pm Folkloric dances - atrium at the church - San Antonio
8:30pm Grupo Musical Somos 3 presentation - atrium at the church - San Antonio

FESTIVAL with typico foods booths (18 booths [even though the event doesn't officially start till 3pm, the food starts serving around noon), entertainment, big Mascaradas/clowns (those big scary things) and their Cimarrona (band that follows).
3pm Mascaradas (scary tall clowns with big heads) and Cimarrona/band Parade
(cover your ears!!) - on the streets of San Antonio. What the heck are Mascaradas and Cimarrona's? -
6pm Mass at the church in honor of the boyeros - in the church - San Antonio
7:30pm Spirit of Marimba dance show - in the church San Antonio
8:30pm Dance presentation from the residents of Tercera Edad de San Antonio
senior home - atrium at the church - San Antonio
9:30pm Matrimonio Campaseno (from what I hear, it's a sort of slap-stick-y comedy) - atrium at the church - San Antonio
NOTE: The Fireworks display is set off from the Soccer Field so no people will be allowed there. They will be allowed on the church steps/parking. Find your space wherever you can get a clearing)

I asked the police if they were doing any road closures on Saturday up in San Antonio and they said no - but I've seen it published somewhere that they were going to close the main roads from 4-8pm - so . . . . What I saw that would be closed was basically from diaganal to the police station to the South/East corner of the church. Do what ya want with that info.

5am WARNING!! BOMBS of off to wake EVERYONE in the Central Valley a festival is coming!!!
9am Folkloric Music - in the church - San Antonio
10am Mass - in the church - San Antonio
10am-noon-ish PARADE (but get there early if you want a good seat) at the start line.
It finishes around 1pm if you're up in San Antonio (around 2 miles)
12:30pm Gift Giving - Gifts are given to oxcart drivers (practical things they can use like machetes, knives, agricultural things. Gifted from the association) - in the church - San Antonio
noon ABOUT the time they get up to San Antonio de Escazu
3pm Mascaradas (scary tall clowns with big heads) and Cimarrona/band Parade
(cover your ears!!) - on the streets
3pm Spirit of Marimba dance show - atrium at the church - San Antonio
3-4pm Oxen clear out (so extra watch your step!!)
I've seen 4pm and I've seen 5pm - Bomb/bombetos sound signaling the end of the festival


• #1 - If you're going up to San Antonio to mingle with the oxen, Do NOT WEAR SANDALS or heals as there are MOUNDS of ox caca (not everyone picks it up right away) and I'm sure you don't want to step in that (SQUISH!!).
• SUNBLOCK is IMPORTANT (you're at about 4,500 feet elevation so closer to the sun)
• Bring a Hat
• If you're bringing an umbrella or big hat to watch the parade, please step to the back so as to not block the others view.
• Don't dress all fancy with jewels or bring anything of value or your passport (make a copy of the photo page and the entry stamp if you're not a resident. This is what non-residents should have on them at ALL time) and stay aware as you normally would in crowds as this type of tight venue is PRIME STOMPING GROUNDS FOR A PICK POCKET!!!!
• Parking isn't plentiful, so attendees should prepare to walk/hike up the hill so wear walking shoes and a hat and carry water and be in reasonably good shape



Driving and Parking can be HORRIBLE in the Centro Escazu and San Antonio areas - especially because the main roads are going to be closed so I'm not even going to give you driving directions (good luck with that) - but I've heard that MANY of the neighbors open their carports or empty lots of parking but I have a feeling it WILL have a nice price tag on it (they ARE giving you convenience!!

So SERIOUSLY consider taking the BUS as you won't have to walk AS much.

BUS COMPANY - La Tapachula (2-289-7942 / Sonia speaks GREAT English)
I called and spoke with Sonia (who speaks GREAT English) but there was a bit of confusion (NOT from her as this wasn't her job - she just spoke the best English) so I'm giving you what MY interpretation of the conversation was. Here is the regular schedule (let me know if you can make sense of it as it's beyond my limited brain scope!!):
BUS TIMES FOR SAN ANTONIO BUS: (if you can figure this out - PLEASE help teach it to me!!)

SAN JOSE to SAN ANTONIO - ON Calle 16 - between Avenida 1 and Paseo Colon/Avenida Central (this is a bit iffy to me on the understanding). PRICE: 335-colones (about 67¢)

SAN JOSE to ESCAZU CENTRO - Behind Hospital San Juan de Dios (the Southe/East end) it's at Parque Merced - ON Avenida 6 at Calle 14. PRICE: 285-colones (about 56¢)

I was told another bus would run up the road from the Pulperia Violeta - South-bound - past Country Day School and Vista de Oro and over but I haven't been able to get confirmation on that.


NOW - because these buses NORMALLY go along the parade route hence will be closed at least DURING the parade - ALL these buses will be diverted between at least 9-10am-ish-noon-1pm-ish

MY understanding is they will run South/UP the street that Panadaria Mundo and Esquina Argentina run along side of (but don't quote me on that).


(****IMPORTANT for all living in this area to plan accordingly since you will be re-routed):

CENTRO ESCAZU (aka SAN MIGUEL) - CLOSED - Sunday - around 6am and re-open AROUND noon (that's what the police told me [but don't they have to clean up afterwards -

SAN ANTONIO - CLOSED - Sunday - 5am till around 5-7pm-ish

I've also seen that these roads are also closed off but don't quote me on it:
100 meters east of the rest
200 meters north of the Fuerza Pública/POLICE DEPARTMENT - San Antonio
200 meters south of the Fuerza Pública/POLICE DEPARTMENT - San Antonio
At the corner of the Avon headquarters
South side of Juan XXIII School.
Corner at Guaria Restaurant.


Jorge "QuiQue" Enrique Alvarez 2-289-3650 /
(he speaks GOOD English!!)

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