Here are a few pictures of my Sunday afternoon at the Costa Rican Independence Day celebration. At least I hope that's the reason 12-foot papier-mâché giants where running around Lake Wheeler (click on photo for more at my flickrstream):
Costa Ricans came from all over the state for this day-long cultural festival: I talked to folks from Lincolnton, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Morrisville. It's the first gathering in Raleigh of the Association of Costa Ricans in North Carolina, and they seem to promote their association mainly by email and word of mouth. I signed up for their mailings, so hopefully they'll keep us in the loop.
I brought home their homemade tamal tico, aka Costa Rican tamales. My food photography doesn't hold a candle to Lisa's, but if you click on this photo, you can see the tamal "unwrapped":
After the folkloric dancing, DJ Nene got the ghetto bassquake going. It was a different mix entirely from the usual club rotation, quite a refreshing Caribbean-equatorial flava mix, salsa, soca, calypso, vallenato-style cumbia, reggaeton, merengue, and some rhythms I did not readily recognize. Nene named a few Costa Rican bands for me: Los Hicsos, Sonica...[more once I check my notes].
We discussed how charming it would be to stage a party with a Central American music mix, in the mold of the Colombian Party at Carmen's once a month, with DJ Byron (see calendar). I like the atmosphere (this is a social dancing, not a dance social), and the change of pace from the usual tropical club mix. I especially like the "viejoteca" salsa, meaning, extremely old school, Colombian classics with a lot of crunchy, chewy, street-made goodness that goes beyond--way beyond--the familiar Grupo Niche. The next Rumba Colombiana at Carmen's is next Saturday, 9/20.