December is fast approaching and as we begin celebrating the holidays, Puerto Rico is alive and thriving. The holidays is a special time in Puerto Rico and not to be missed. In addition to the events listed below, keep your eyes out for Parrandas (caroling caravans) and such Christmas treats as Turron and Coquito.
December 1: Nightwish “Imaginaerum World Tour” at the Tito Puente Amphitheater. Come and enjoy hits like “Amaranth” “Bye Bye Beautiful”, “The Islander”, “Nemo”, “Wish I Had An Angel” among others. Nightwish is a symphonic power metal band from Kitee, Finland, known for its strong and melodic guitar riffs, organ and keyboard atmospheres, powerful battery and clear bass sound that makes a nice contrast to their support philharmonic / orchestral. With over 10 million copies sold worldwide, 1 silver platter, 15 gold records and 31 platinum records. Members; Anette Olzon “vocal”, Tuomas Holopainen “keyboards”, Marco Hietala “bass & vocal”, Jukka Nevalainen “battery” and Emppu Vuorinen “guitar”.
December 1: The Economic Development Bank throws an “Urban Bazaar” in the Ventana del Mar Park in Condado, bringing local agricultural businesses selling poinsettias, Christmas trees and traditional holiday foods together with entertainers including mimes, magicians, musicians, caricature artists, and even yoga classes.
December 1-31: La Feria The Park. Annual carnival, with rides, shows, music, and food at the Hiram Bithorn stadium in San Juan. Web: Visit web site for more info
December 1-2: Fantasía de Navidad in Comerio. Festivities begin with a community bicycle ride. Children enjoy recreational activities, artistic shows and a gift exchange. comerio.gobierno.pr
December 1-2: Feria Artesanal/Parada Navideña in Lajas. Art fair featuring handmade items by local artists, such as stoneware, dolls, paintings and hammocks and a Christmas Parade. gobierno.pr/Lajas/Directorios/
December 1-4: The Winter Sofo Culinary Fest comes to Old San Juan’s Fortaleza Street, with some of San Juan’s best eateries participating in a weekend-long open-air dining festival.
December 1-2: Mountain Festival & Turkey Marathon in Ruiz Belvis Plaza and Caguitas Stadium in Aibonito. Annual festival, with a marathon over the weekend.
December 2: The Mercado Urbana Farmer’s Market is from 9am – 5pm in the Ventana del Mar Park in Condado. Under big tents, this market holds about 40 or 50 vendors of local, Puerto Rican made products. Most of the vendors offer samples, so you can try before you buy. Everything is home grown or home made on the island. You’ll be able to find plants, flowers, soaps, breads, sangria, coffee, cheese, vinegars, ice cream.
December 2-5: In place of the now-defunct Feria Bacardi, San Juan is throwing a Feria Para Ti in Cataño Bay. Similar to what Bacardi used to host, this is an artisans’ fair with food and music, and this year it honors three Puerto Rican cultural icons: Ricardo Alegría, who created the Puerto Rican Cultural Institute, who passed away this year; Carlos Villa Hermosa, a noted educator; and master artist Gustavo Ortiz.
December 1-2: Paddle Royal San Juan SUP CUP at the Condado Lagoon in San Juan. This amazing event brings together the Worlds Best SUP Pros, the Caribbean’s Top Elite SUP racers, ambitious amateurs and the kids fleet on a scenic tour of San Juan and the Condado Lagoon. Visit web site for more info
December 2: XTERRA Triathlon at Cerro Gordo. Web: Visit web site for more info
December 2-4: It’s a good weekend for Patron Saint Festivals, or Fiestas Patronales. The towns of Humacao, Lares and Guayanilla honor La Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción (the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception).
December 7-9: Festival del Macabeo in Trujillo Alto at Paseo del Bicentenario, Exp. Manuel Rivera Morales
December 7-9: Fiestas Patronales de Lares in Plaza de la Revolución
December 8: Thousands come to Ponce’s lovely cathedral at 5 am to sing Las Mañanitas, the traditional Mexican Christmas song. The religious procession is led by mariachis singing in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the city’s patron saint. After a morning mass, a “peoples” breakfast is held, while the Mariachi play typical mexican music. Live music, rides, food and parades continue through the weekend at the Plaza Las Delicias.
December 8: Beach Love Beach cleanup at Playa Azul in Luquillo, 4pm with after-party at Tiny Frog in Luquillo
December 8-10: Festival de Rafael Hernández in Aguadilla in Plaza de recreo Rafael Hernández
December 8-10: Fiestas Patronales de Ponce at the Complejo Recreativo y Cultural La Guancha
December 9: Encendido Navideño. Christmas Lighting at the Plaza in Vega Baja. This festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season, with lighting of the tree, music, troubadours, and food kiosks. vegabaja.gov.pr
December 14-16: Festival de Navidad in Arecibo
December 15-16: 10th Anniversary of the Trova Navideña in Vieques in the Plaza. An artistic show with live typical Puerto Rican music.
December 16 @ 2pm & 7pm: Navidad sin Fronteras “The Musical” at the Ramon Rivero Diplo Theater in Naguabo. Musical presented by the United Evangelical Church of Rio Blanco
Dec 16: Miramar Culinary Fest @ the Condado Lagoon in Condado. Food and drink around the Condado Lagoon
Dec 20: Night at the Museum @ the Museum of the Americas in Old San Juan. An evening of music and art.
December 28: If you like colorful folkloric celebrations, be sure to check out the Hatillo Masks Festival. Celebrated since the Spaniards founded Hatillo in 1823, the festival honors the story of King Herod ordering the death of all infant boys, attempting to kill Baby Jesus. Men donning vibrant masks and costumes represent the soldiers, and march or ride through the town in floats looking for the children.
Dec 30 @ 5pm: Heineken Ventana al JazzFest @ Ventana al Mar, Ashford Ave in Condado. Free jazz, the last Sunday of every month. Visit web site for more info
December 31: Don’t plan on sleeping, because all of Puerto Rico will be partying on New Year’s Eve. Grab a good view, as you will see thousands of fireworks going off at midnight.
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