They expect 1 million visitors in traditional festivities of Old San Juan

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They expect 1 million visitors in traditional festivities of Old San Juan An artistic group participates during the inauguration of the Fiestas of San Sebastián Street in San Juan (Puerto Rico). EFE / Archive

One million people is the estimated number of visitors who will attend the 49 Fiestas of San Sebastian Street, in Old San Juan, which will be held from January 17 to 20, said today the mayor of the Puerto Rican capital, Carmen Yulín. Cruz Soto.

The feast, which this year will be dedicated to four organizations that promote culture, education, social services and the arts, will include musical presentations in seven squares, sale of handicrafts in the Ballajá Barracks and the White House Museum, and kiosks of typical food.

“We want San Juan not only to become the center of Puerto Rico, but also the center of the Caribbean,” Cruz Soto said at a press conference, in which he said that of the million visitors, part will be 14 cruises that will dock in the capital during the weekend.

Olga Tañón, India, Vico C, Pedro Capó, Ismael Miranda, La Sonora Ponceña, Willie Rosario, José Nogueras and Ilé will be some of the 60 artists that will perform in some of the seven areas during the four days of the festival.

Other artists who will perform will be Pirulo and La Tribu, Millie Quezada, Yolandita Monge, Plenéalo, Julito Alvarado and Del Sur Al Norte, San Juan Habana, La Oferta, Orquesta El Macabeo, Roy Brown and Los Rivera Destino.

The Plaza del Quinto Centenario, Plaza Colón, Plaza La Barandilla, Plaza de Armas, Tapia Theater, Parque de las Palomas and La Perla popular neighborhood will be the areas for musical presentations.

The legendary Teatro Tapia will only be used on Sunday the 18th for two presentations: the first, at 2:00 pm (18:00 GMT) will be presented by Ismael Miranda and Chucho Avellanet, followed by El Topo, who continues to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Verde Luz”, a of the most emblematic songs of the Puerto Rican repertoire.

Casa Providencia, the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, the Paquito Lopez Cruz Foundation and the Art League will be the entities honored in this edition, which will have a production cost of 1.9 million dollars, said Cruz Soto .

“This is an exercise in economic development, tourism and culture for the people of Puerto Rico, they are the biggest festivities in Puerto Rico and the largest craft festivals in the Caribbean,” said the mayor.

“For the country they are great parties, but for the artists they are a source of income from work and income,” said Yulín Cruz, who said that the hosts of the town parties will be the residents of Old San Juan.

Cruz Soto, in turn, highlighted the occasion in which the renowned National Geographic magazine has chosen the Fiestas of San Sebastián Street as one of the favorite places in the world to party in the month of January.

Therefore and maintain that distinction, the mayor said that 508 municipal police will be activated and 268 security cameras will be located, which will film everything that happens at parties for 30 days.

Along with Rafaela Balladares, the anthropologist and historian Ricardo Alegría, the painters Tony Maldonado and Rafael Tufiño and the folklorist Nidia Ríos de Colón, all already deceased, and the cultural promoter Aníbal Rodríguez Vera, together with the neighbors of the street, started this event .

The festivities also began with Father Madrazo, parish priest of the Church of San José, who took out some big heads that personified the Kings of Spain and some dwarves belonging to Spanish folklore, more than four decades ago (EFEUSA).

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