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Tue, Aug 14, 2018
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San Jose Festival of Lights


Costa Rica, like many other countries around the world, has its own unique and special way to celebrate holidays -- and festivals are a vital part of Costa Rican culture. The Festival of Lights officially begins the Christmas season, and is one of the most awaited events of the year (held the second Saturday evening of December).

The festival includes a parade complete with floats, street dancers and marching bands.

In addition to performing in the Festival of Lights parade and a second "special" performance as the featured guests of the Festival of Light organizers, you will enjoy escorted tours to see and experience the city of San Jose, explore Turu Ba Ri (the Rain Forest Canopy), enjoy nature tours and opportunities to meet other local band students.

For those unfamiliar with this Central American country, Costa Rica:

  • Is home to more Americans (per capita) than any other country outside of the United States;
  • Is a safe destination with a low violent-crime rate
  • Has one of the highest standards of living in Latin America
  • Has a 95% literacy rate, one of the highest in the world
  • Has one of the longest life expectancy rates on earth, 77 years
  • Has a near perfect tropical climate with a plethora of outdoor activities to partake in year round, which explains why many Americans seem to have adopted Costa Rica as their second home
  • Is the oldest and most stable democratic government in Latin America


Join in the celebration!  Contact Charles Brodie, our Music Director Liaison


Welcome from Mayor and History

Let us express our warmest greeting. By this occasion, we come to you to bring to your knowledge that our Capitalimg062-2 City is host of the Festival de la Luz (Festival of Light), an event that officially starts Christmas festivities in San Jose.

The Festival de la Luz begun in 1996, when the Municipality of San Jose organized the first parade of allegoric cars and best bands of the country which along its path through Paseo Colon Avenue and Second Avenue provides Costa Rican people a show of color and joy within the Christmas frame this activity is held.

The solid growth, the beauty and national brightness of the Festival de la Luz, has proved it to turn into an essential inseparable activity for Christmas festivities.

Many complimenting comments coming from citizens, all communication media and some international newscasts such as CNN, TELEVISA and UNIVISION, among others, have referred to this event as the most important event of the year with an attendance of over one million people. Besides, the broadcast on all TV channels have made of it the biggest audience event in December of over another one million people.

Also, it is important to underline the arrival of big contingent of tourists that arrive to our city attracted by the magic, good quality, creativity and diversity of the Festival.

Every company, institution, community or educational group that has taken part in the Festival de la Luz has carried the pleasant memory of having been in a scenario with the biggest audience of all Costa Rican history in a framework of great organization, hygiene and safety.

The appointment of a Marshal to this event has highlighted in a greater measure the Festival. This title has been honored since 1999 by the Municipality of San Jose as acknowledgement to a male or female Costa Rican personality who has given light and pride to our Capital City and the country within or beyond it.

Following this, in 1999, Franklin Chang dazzled from the outer space up to our capital to bring a message of effort and optimism. In 2000, Claudia Poll (Olympic medalist) and Francisco Rivas (her trainer) were honored with a track on San Jose streets to fill it of glory. In 2001, Alexander Guimarães, and the boys of the Soccer National Team brought bright and happiness to our people for classifying to the Soccer World Cup (2002 and 2004). In 2002, an actress comes to the Festival as Marshal, Maribel Guardia. Jorge Jiménez Deredia, in 2003, brings us the marvel of his sculptures.

In 2004, the journalism goes ahead in the Festival with Marshal Glenda Umaña Hidalgo (CNN news presenter). In 2005, the tribute is for Editus Musical Group; in 2006, Humberto Vargas reflects bright with his Gaviota Award brought from Chilean Viña del Mar Song Festival; in 2007, the overcoming and heroic deed of our athletes at the Special Olympic World Games gold-bathed the streets of San Jose; and finally, in 2008, Maria Jose Castillo, winner of second place of the Latin American Idol Contest run the Festival with her sweet voice.

In virtue of all the above, we wish to invite your band to be part of the Festival de la Luz a magic brilliant event.

Taking advantage of the occasion, we want you to have our best expression of respect and esteem.


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