“Agua, Sol y Sereno” at SanSe: San Sebastian Street Festival

Among many exciting events, the Agua, Sol y Sereno theater company, led by Pedro Adorno, will be offering one of their celebrated dance processions this evening for the SanSe celebration in Old San Juan. The parade will go along San Sebastián Street starting at 5:00pm (at the corner of the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School). Las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián [San Sebastian Street Festival]—also known as SanSe—began on Thursday, January 19 and will run through Sunday, January 22.

Puerto Rico Day Trips writes:

San Sebastián (Saint Sebastian) was a Christian who was martyred for his faith. There is a street on the north side of Old San Juan named in his honor.

The original “festival” (in the 1950’s) was organized by a priest at the San Jose Church, which is located on San Sebastián Street, to celebrate the feast day of San Sebastián. The annual feast-day festival lasted only a few years.

In 1970, the festival was restarted and it has been held annually ever since. It always occurs around San Sebastián’s feast day, which is January 20th. The festival is typically held on the third weekend of January, and usually runs from Thursday to Sunday. Always double check exact dates before making vacation plans around these dates as things have been known to change from year to year.

The San Se Festival has evolved over time, though it still is full of tradition and Puerto Rican cultural heritage. Mostly, it is a great big party, with people enjoying every aspect of it. It is attended by hundreds of thousands of people, who are very much part of the entertainment scene.

Folks lucky enough to have a birds-eye view line the colorful balconies along Calle San Sebastián, and on the rest of the parade route, watching and shouting to the throngs of people in the streets below. Everyone else hits the streets. It’s basically the Puerto Rican version of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, without the beads and breasts.

[. . .] There are lots of live music shows, both traditional and contemporary. The musicians perform on stages around the Old City, but the main stage is at the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. But also expect music/dance to happen randomly & spontaneously throughout the streets, where people join in the song and dance. There are plenty of dance performances, both folkloric and modern, by professionals and party-goers alike. And all along the parade routes you will find food, drink, and artisans displaying/selling their works. [. . .]

Thursday Jan 19, 2023

5pm ribbon cutting and the traditional parade of people, pleneros and cabazudas

Friday Jan 20, 2023

4pm Mass honoring San Sebastián in Iglesia San José then a procession at 5pm from calle San Sebastián to Quinto Centenario

Saturday Jan 21, 2023

2pm traditional period dance in the Plaza de Armas

Sunday Jan 22, 2023

11 am procession from Plaza Colón along Calle San Francisco to the Cathedral of San Juan [. . .]

See full schedule at https://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/san-sebastian-street-festival/

For more on Agua, Sol y Sereno, see https://www.facebook.com/aguasolyserenopr and https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/videos/increible-junte-boricua-da-inicio-a-la-sanse-2023-280764/

Also see https://radseason.com/event/san-sebastian-street-festival-old-san-juan-puerto-rico/,  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/san-sebastian-street-festival-2023-tickets-412390098887

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