This year marks the 46th year that the American Colony Committee, a local group of public-spirited U.S. Citizens has organized and sponsored the 4th of July picnic. The picnic starts at 8am and runs to 12:00 because it’s in the rainy season, we try to get all the partying done before the rain begins.
Some history on the picnic…Sponsorship of the picnic has been a 100% private affair since 1961, having been paid for entirely by donations from U.S. citizens and members of the business community in Costa Rica.
In past years the picnic was held at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in the western San Jose suburb of Escazu. Uncle Sam was picking up the tab for the picnic at this time.
During the late 1950’s, the U.S. community here was growing so fast and the picnic had become so popular, that the embassy personnel could no longer handle the affair. It was then that the late Jack Fendell headed up a small group of oldtimers to form the American Colony Committee, which came to the rescue of what by that time had become a favorite local tradition. The committee has been operating the annual event ever since.
Many of the picnic traditions – the hot dogs and cotton candy, the games, the flag ceremony and the magical appearance of Uncle Sam – are the same today as they were in 1955.
We have been to the event every year since we have been here and it’s a great time to run into old friends that you don’t see during the year but they all show up for the picnic. The kids really enjoy themselves get to see friends that have left Costa Rica for other Latin American countries this one time a year. People come from Nicaragua and Panama that once lived in Costa Rica to take part in this day with their other American friends. It is quite the celebration that we all look forward to each year. Make plans to participate in this when you come to live in Costa Rica. You will meet a lot of interesting people and make new friends.