Posts Tagged ‘Festival de San Sebastian’

Puerto Rico: Festival success

Sunday, January 19th, 2014


As reported earlier, the barriers and fences were torn down in Old San Juan; later on a judge issued an injunction blocking checkpoint searches.

My sister attended the festival yesterday, and reported that this year’s festival is a success:

  • She attended Saturday, while the festival had started on Thursday
  • Old San Juan was spotless, all the streets were blocked to vehicles, and five cruise ships were docked.

In addition, there were

  • Hundreds of craftspeople and food vendors
  • Three large bandstands with dance areas
  • Many comparsas parading with music
  • Heavy police presence
  • Sanitary facilities sponsored by Clorox, in addition to the usual chemical toilets

The huge crowd filled the streets, and were polite and friendly.


While the shuttle service from the Miramar Convention Center parking lot never materialized, enterprising (privately-owned) jitneys took people to and from Old San Juan.

The only altercation reported was a minor scuffle that was broken up by a policeman.

In all, a huge success.


Puerto Rico: Take down that fence!

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, has seen the light and agreed to bring down the chain-link fences and barricades she had had installed in Old San Juan:


Facebook commenters hinted (ahem!) at cronyism allegations regarding the why and who was awarded the fence job.

There is, however, the upcoming San Sebastian festival, and mayor Yulín has ordered police for the first time to search everyone who attends

Officials have said there will be metal detectors and that people’s bags and purses will be searched.

Last year, a 32-year-old man was fatally shot at the crowded festival.

Now the ACLU has filed suit.

Considering how an estimated 500,000 people attended the festival last year, it’s going to be a long wait.