It would be unfair to compare the Nicoya Shines Festival with another Christmas parade elsewhere in the country or the world since it is on a smaller scale. What is fair is to classify the Christmas festival as a time machine, because those who saw it turned into children and enjoyed the Christmas spirit.
Nicoya shined on Sunday night, December 7, with the ninth annual festival, which brought together more than 10 bands and about nine mega floats to entertain the public with music, dancing and lots of color.
At 6: 30 p.m., throughout the Colonial City resounded the blast that marked the beginning of a night that many will treasure in their memories.
Traffic police officers, firefighters and the Red Cross took the lead in beginning the parade, followed by the parade marshals: Nosara twins Roman and Gerard Gutierrez, who participated in the World Robot Olympiad in Russia, the Bek Ho Taekwondo Academy and athletes from the Women’s Soccer Team, Karol Sanchez and Dinnia Diaz, who were waving to the crowd from a float.
“I’m super happy to be able to share in this with the children and the people of Guanacaste. These are the things that motivate one to keep making the effort that we make,” Diaz commented.
To spice up and add sound to the luminous night, the Municipal Marching Band from the Sinem School was the first to set the mood with Christmas carols and a few contemporary hits like “Happy” from singer Pharrell Williams.
According to the band director, Josiph Hernandez, the group consists of 85 musicians, accompanied by 18 dancers and six flag bearers who embellish the show. This band will also participate in the Festival of Light that will take place on Saturday, December 13th in San Jose.
Smiles and More Smiles
As if they were small concerts, as each band performed, the audience applauded with expressions of appreciation on their faces, as if they had paid for a ticket to see them.
Such was the case for Yalile Vega, who lives in San Martin in Nicoya. She arrived with 10 family members, including daughters, sisters and nieces. “I loved this festival. It is beautiful to be listening to these bands that are so lovely and to watch the floats. Honestly, people come to bring the little ones but also have a very lovely time themselves,” Vega commented with excitement.
Without a doubt, one of the floats that most caught people’s attention was the one put together by the alliance of the stores Papillo, Ayales bookstore, Eka, Living Nicoya and Cover 25 stores, called Disney Fantasy. In it, the characters of Mickey Mouse and Minnie were waving to the crowd with special effects of snow falling on everyone’s heads.
In front of the float, about 10 dancers from the group Kumbala were dressed as Mickey and Minnie, doing choreographies to songs from the famous mouse and at the same time giving candy to the children.
“We have been preparing it for more than a month. We always like to make a float for children, so that they are the ones who enjoy it while at the same time thanking the people of Nicoya for supporting our businesses,” commented Aidelina Flores, owner of Papillo.
As for music, one of the bands that caught the most attention was the Latin Music Community Band from Santa Rosa de Pocosol of San Carlos, made up of more than 50 musicians. The musicians dropped to the ground, jumped up and shouted, “Nicoya, San Carlos greets you!” Not to mention, their repertoire of songs got everyone dancing.
Although the organization of the festivity was polished, some in attendance complained about the long spaces between bands and floats, leaving a few empty minutes during the parade.
Salsa with Christmas Flair
At 10:45, when the parade finished, the square in front of Nicoya’s Colonial Church of Nicoya filled with an explosion of fireworks that lasted nearly 20 minutes.
With the last blast, musicians from the national group Son de Tikizia kicked off a concert that got everyone on their feet with tropical style Christmas songs such as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Merry Christmas” from their CD of Salsa Christmas Carols.
“It’s the first time that we have come to Nicoya and it is a very lovely experience. This activity really is one of the best events we’ve had in Guanacaste and we want to offer the best salsa-style carols,” said Alfredo Poveda, vocalist from the group.
The concert ended at 1 a.m., with an audience that acted like they didn’t have to go to work on Monday, or at least like they didn’t have to get up early.