cabezudosFlavors of SJFEF_2192r

FIESTAS DE LA CALLE SAN SEBASTIAN 2013
Are you coming to San Juan Between January 17th and the 22nd this year? Then it’s time to put on your party clothes and get ready for the San Sebastian Festival in Old San Juan! The San Sebastian Festival is the largest festival that takes place in Old San Juan and usually happens during the 3rd weekend of January every year.

HISTORY
The festival was started by a priest at the San Jose Church in Old San Juan in the 1950′s to celebrate the feast day of San Sebastian, a Christian martyr. The festival only lasted a few years and then ceased to be celebrated. It wasn’t until the 1970′s that the festival was brought back to life, and it has been happening annually ever since then.

LOGISTICS
If you are not staying in Old San Juan and you are planning on going to the festival, allow a lot of time to get into the city. Traffic backs up for miles with people trying to get into Old San Juan for the evening festivities. So either bring along some car games and some good music, or arrive during the day when traffic is not as bad. During the day time you can find art, craft, and food vendors in the many plaza’s of Old San Juan as well as some live music and dancing.

If you are a family with children, going during the day is your best bet, since the crowds aren’t as large and it has a more tame atmosphere than at night. Love to party? Then be there once the sun goes down, when the city becomes packed with people planning to party it up. Part of the allure of the festival is that the “no drinking alcohol on the streets” law is lifted for the festival, which means festival goers can enjoy an endless flow of alcoholic beverages no matter where they are. At night there is also an assortment of live bands playing to keep festival goers entertained. However, you can’t party all night long, there is a curfew (Thursday and Sunday – midnight, Friday and Saturday – 1 am) so locals who live there can get some sleep that weekend.

If you go to the festival this year, enjoy and be safe! *Due to the festival, we will not be operating any tours Thursday January 17 – Monday January 22.

We visited blog Puerto Rico Day Trips to bring you the updated itinerary for this year:

Itinerary for 2013 Festival
Plaza Quinto Centenario is the main stage for the 2013 festival. Unless otherwise noted, the following events will take place in Plaza Quinto Centenario.
Thursday, January 17 — Live Music in Plaza Quinto Centenario
10am: Artisans at the Cuartel de Ballajá and the National Gallery until 10pm
10am: Artisans at Casa Blanca until 5pm
5pm: Parade with cabezudos and the ribbon cutting ceremony, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Plaza Quinto Centenario
6:30pm: SanSe 2013 Awards & Dedication Ceremony — This 43rd Festival is dedicated to Robi Draco Rosa
8pm: Así canta Puerto Rico — Live music with Luisito Vigoreaux, Jr
10pm: Live music with Sonora Ponceña

Friday, January 18 — Live Music in Plaza Quinto Centenario
10am: Artisans at the Cuartel de Ballajá and the National Gallery until 10pm
10am: Artisans at Casa Blanca until 5pm
5pm: Parade with cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Quinto Centenario Plaza.
5pm: DJ Carlos Fernández
7:30pm: Barreto y su plena
9pm: Orquesta La Mulenze
10:30pm: Luisito Carrión y su orquesta
12 midnight: Andy Montañz

Saturday, January 19 — Live Music in Plaza Quinto Centenario
9am: Parade with pleneros and cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Quinto Centenario Plaza.
10am: Artisans at the Cuartel de Ballajá and the National Gallery until 10pm
10am: Artisans at Casa Blanca until 5pm
1pm: Humacao Children’s Rondalla (musical concert with stringed instruments)
1pm: Parade with pleneros and cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Quinto Centenario Plaza.
2:30pm: UPR Carolina Campus Choir
3pm: Parade with pleneros and cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Quinto Centenario Plaza.
3:30m: Grupo Gira Criolla
4:30pm: Guasábara Combo
6pm: Orquesta La Exclusiva
7pm: Mantarraya
8pm: Balie de Epoca con la Orquesta Juan Morel Campos
9pm: Pleneros Con Cache
10:30pm Tito Rojas

Sunday, January 20 — Live Music in Plaza Quinto Centenario
9am: Parade with pleneros and cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Quinto Centenario Plaza.
10am: Artisans at the Cuartel de Ballajá and the National Gallery until 10pm
10am: Artisans at Casa Blanca until 5pm
11am: Memorial Mass in the San Juan Cathedral, with the String Quartet of San Juan
1pm: Eco Raíces
1pm: Parade with pleneros and cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Quinto Centenario Plaza.
2:30pm: Homenaje a Myrta Silva
3pm: Parade with pleneros and cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School and continuing down Calle San Sebastian to Quinto Centenario Plaza.
4pm: Decimanía con Edwin Colón Zayas
6pm: Plena Libre
7:30pm: Mickey Cora y su orquesta Cábala
9:30pm: Papo Cocote y su Nuevo Montuno