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4th of July Special Activities?

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Sonoma, California
Level Contributor
47 posts
7 reviews
4th of July Special Activities?

Hi, my family of 5 (3 young kids) will be in Costa Rica over 4th of July. We most likely will be staying near Arenal Volcano during that time. Are there any special American Independence Day activities? Or is it just a normal day in Costa Rica on the 4th of July?

My son was born on July 4th, he will be turning 8 years old. He's had a good attitude about being on vacation for his birthday, just wondering how Americans in Costa Rica celebrate. Thanks!

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
Level Contributor
5,467 posts
153 reviews
1. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

It's just a normal day for them. One year we stayed at the Lost Iguana for the 4th and asked them if they would set off fireworks, and they did! Another year we were at BDC on the Osa, and we went to a BBQ. Both of these spots have American owners; that gives you a better shot of their having some sort of celebration. Or if you're somewhere where there are a lot of expats.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,656 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

Of course, Costa Rica does not celebrate July 4th but their own Independence Day which is in September.

You might find a few Americans living in the Arenal area that will celebrate but probably not some massive organized thing. There is always some kind of picnic or barbecue at the American Embassy but that is in San Jose.

Sonoma, California
Level Contributor
47 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

Interesting! My husband & I stayed at Lost Iguana 6 years ago so we know it well. I wonder if I could call & find out (closer to the date) if they have plans for fireworks... it sure would be special for us if so. Thanks for the information!

I did figure its a normal day for most Costa Ricans, but nice to know where there's American owners or a concentration enough to make a special celebration worth it. Of course any other places that have celebrated would be helpful, since we always like to stay new places. Thanks!

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,656 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

Keep in mind that fireworks are not that easy to get that time of year in Costa Rica. And many of them are illegal. So if you ask Lost Iguana, they may really have to go out of their way to make you happy.

Since you are going to be in Costa Rica, why not just have a nice little birthday cake and party - Costa Ricans are great about birthday parties - and do the Independence Day celebration when you get home. There are bakeries in La Fortuna or someone at your lodging could probably get one of the local ladies to make you a special cake.

You will be able to easily find all kinds of birthday decorations in La Fortuna to make a very special party. How about a banner-type decoration that says "Feliz Cumpleanos!" That would be one for your child to keep and remember.

Imagine Show and Tell: "What did you do on your birthday?" "I saw some monkeys, went horseback riding and had a big party next to a volcano!" How would you top THAT?

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
Level Contributor
5,467 posts
153 reviews
5. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

k, you could just e-mail them and ask. I e-mailed them before our trip, and they said they would do it. It was really fun. They have an open air restaurant, and we were at dinner, and they just started shooting them off as we ate. It was just a small celebration, but all of the Americans thought it was great and really appreciated it. Everyone clapped at the end. It was pretty thoughtful of them.

The BBQ at BDC was really fun because they did burgers, etc. like we would have back home, and we celebrated with people from lots of different countries. Of course the Brits told us we had made a huge mistake!

Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
3,270 posts
60 reviews
6. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

There is no such thing as an "American Independence Day"

There is an Independence Day in the United States and another in Costa Rica and many other countries in America (North, South and Central) and In Canada we celebrate Canada Day - go figure. By the way - almost everyone who lives in Arenal is American - Central American - just not necessarily from the United States. Oh and in my experience fireworks are readily available in Costa Rica pretty much all the time.

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
Level Contributor
5,467 posts
153 reviews
7. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

Good luck, k; let us know how it goes. Happy early b-day to your son!

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,656 posts
26 reviews
8. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

Sorry to so mightily offend you, canatico.

I have had that "American" discussion with my son many times. I don't like the term "Americans" for people who live in the US and Yes, the United States is definitely NOT the only country in America, but what would you call their holiday? Or the citizens? USican? It's kind of tough, really. You could say "Independence Day in the United States of America" or something like that but that's a whole lot more to type! Lol

Of course, Canada - as well as Mexico - has their own Independence Day

And if you extend that.... you could say the same thing about all the countries in the "Americas," including South America. They are ALL "Americans," including Costa Ricans. It guess it is up to the US to change the name of the country to make it more clear for all of us.

As to the fireworks - it was just my observation and my suggestion based on living here. My opinion..... my suggestion. Perhaps fireworks are readily available all year round in La Fortuna - I haven't really shopped for them there -- whether they are illegal or not.

Anyway - I'm sure the "birthday boy" will have a great time and a memorable birthday.

Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
3,270 posts
60 reviews
9. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

No offense at all Hattie - just clarifying.

They could call is the 4th of July or Independence Day. I just don't think they should call it “American Independence Day” because it’s not. As for the country - how about "we are from the United States or USA"?

Ticos love fireworks - I hear them going off at any celebration you could imagine - weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and even Christmas or Easter - sometimes at sunup!

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
Level Contributor
5,467 posts
153 reviews
10. Re: 4th of July Special Activities?

That's an interesting point, Cana. On our last trip, one of our guides asked our nationality, and when I said, "American," he responded with, "Me too. Costa Ricans are part of America." I do think most folks from the U.S. would refer to themselves as American when asked their nationality though, and pretty much everyone would assume they're from the U.S. Most Costa Ricans would say Tico or Costa Rican from my experience.

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