Santa Cruz Fiestas: Bull Riding in Los Mangos Plaza and Revelry at the Fairground

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Stress, commotion and drama seem to be absent in this year’s National Traditional Fiestas of Santa Cruz since this year, the Ministry of Health endorsed rustic bull riding in Plaza Lopez, better known as Los Mangos.


Jose Enrique Aguilar, president of the fiestas commission, confirmed this to The Voice of Guanacaste, explaining that they can only do the bull riding in Plaza Lopez and the rest of the activities will be set up at the fairground. The festivities will be held from January 14th to 18th.


Concerts, bars, food sales, games and all of the revelry will take place at the fairground, located behind the Santa Cruz Market.


Aguilar specified that there was a proposal to have crafts, local food sales and traditional folk music in Plaza Lopez. However, the National Commission for Mass Events did not approve it. That commission is composed of representatives of the Ministry of Health, Red Cross, traffic police, the public police force, and the Costa Rican Fire Fighters.


Alex Solis, representative of the Costa Rica Fire Fighters and a member of the commission, added that one of the conditions that they requested of the fiesta organizers is to have the streets clear bordering Los Mangos Park.


“In other years, the [bull ring] barrier went out into the street and that cannot be allowed. We asked to be guaranteed access on all four sides of the plaza so that, in case there is an emergency, we can enter from any side,” Solis said.


For his part, Jeffry Briceño, the architect who made the designs for the barrier, explained that, for now, there is only an endorsement from the Ministry of Health. However, the operating permit for the fiestas isn’t granted until the infrastructure is ready. This could be up to one day before the festivities.