Fiestas de San Sebastián 2012

Puerto Rico is getting ready for the 42nd edition of the Fiestas de San Sebastián [The Feast of Saint Sebastian]. The festival, which is sponsored by the Institute for Puerto Rican Culture, takes place along San Sebastian Street in Old San Juan for three days, celebrating Puerto Rican culture with a full program of parades, with a whole array of costumed revelers—vejigantes, gigantes, cabezudos, and others—performances, folkloric dancing, music, food, art exhibitions, crafts, and fireworks. This year the festival will be held from Thursday, January 12, to Sunday, January 15, 2012, and it will be dedicated to singer José Feliciano for his musical trajectory at a global scale for over five decades.

President of the Organizing Committee for the festival, Luis Arroyo, says that there will be more than 50 bands, dance and theatre; a crafts fair with over 300 craftsmen and visual artists; a book fair with the participation of 20 publishing houses; a traditional dance of time with 50 couples; a children’s festival; and musical ensembles. They will also be religious ceremonies, several art exhibitions, open-air theatre; and a San Sebastián carving contest (santos de palo); the work of the finalists will be on display at the Center for Advanced Study of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean [Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y El Caribe].

Artists and local artisans will set up around the Cuartel de Ballajá and Plaza de San José. The official main music stage will be set up at Plaza del Quinto Centenario, but you will also find musicians and dance groups taking part in impromptu performances on many streets of Old San Juan.

San Sebastian Street Festival Schedule

-Ricardo Alegría Exhibition: A tribute to his legacy at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe, 52 Cristo Street.

-Art and Crafts Fair, Prints, and Paintings: 300 artisans and visual artists. Antiguo Cuartel de Ballajá.

-Thematic Exhibitions: 500 años de Identidad Nacional; El Indio de América; Las Artes Populares de América; and La Esclavitud en Puerto Rico. At Museo de las Américas (Cuartel de Ballajá, second level).

-“Al Aire Libre” Exhibition and sale of paintings and prints. In front of Casa Campeche, San Sebastián Street.

– Exhibition of wooden figures by participants in the Carving Contest of San Sebastián 2012 at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados.

– Exhibition by Jacinto Ramírez: “Tres décadas del arte de máscaras de higüera” [Three decades of the art of gourd masks] at 104 San José Street between Sol and Luna streets) 11:00am to 8:00pm.

Thursday, January 12
5pm: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Parade with cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School, along Calle San Sebastian and ending at Plaza Quinto Centenario
6pm: 2012 Opening ceremony, Plaza Quinto Centenario
8pm: Luisito Vigoreaux, Jr
10pm: Ismael Miranda and his Orchestra

Friday, January 13
5pm: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Parade with cabezudos, starting at the Abraham Lincoln School, along Calle San Sebastian and ending at Plaza Quinto Centenario. The parade will feature the Folkloric Ballet Company of San Juan
7pm: Villarini
8:30pm: Cachete Maldonado y los Majaderos
10pm: Hector Tricoche
11:30pm: Plenéalo

Saturday, January 14
Parades at 9am, 1pm and 3pm
1:30pm: Eco Raíces
3pm: Tres Panderos
5pm: Terraplén
6:30pm: Julio Alvarado del Sur al Norte
8pm: Baile de Época con la Orquesta de Johnny
10pm: Sonora y su Orquesta

Sunday, January 15
Parades at 9am, 1pm and 3pm
11am: Memorial Mass in the San Juan Cathedral featuring the Brass Quintet of the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico
12:30pm: Rondalla de Humacao
1:30pm: Tuna UPR
2:30pm: Pleneros con Cache
3:30pm: Grupo Café Colao
4:30pm: El Combo de Hoy
5:30pm: Plena Libre
7:30pm: Orquesta Costa Brava
10pm: NG2

[Many thanks to Teo Freytes for bringing this item to our attention.]

For more information, see

For original article (in Spanish), see

For description in English, see


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