June 23, 2000

Venezuelan Independence Day Celebrations on the Beach in San Diego

On Saturday, July 1, 2000 the House of Venezuela, based in San Diego, California, will host our seventh annual Venezuelan Independence Day celebration & picnic at Tidelands Park in the island of Coronado, overlooking downtown San Diego. The event will begin at 11:00 am and end at 6:00 pm. It will feature dance music and live musical groups from Venezuela, South America and the Caribbean, typical Venezuelan food, beverages and activities & games for kids and adults alike.

As in the case of the United States from Britain 224 years ago on July 4, Venezuela became independent from Spain 189 years ago on July 5. Simón Bolivar, the young creole and future liberator of five South American countries, enabled the new and free nation of Venezuela to follow the republican path conceived by the liberal thoughts of the times.

It was not easy - as the country was devastated by the process - nevertheless, the Venezuelan nation stood proud of its contribution to the birth of freedom in South America - freedom which extended from the Caribbean shores to the mountains high in the Andes range thanks to the courage and sacrifices of common people.

It is a very special occasion, and Venezuelans and Boli-varians throughout the Americas join efforts and remember a common past - a past that is a part of the collective Latin American experience.

In the spirit of that experience, there will be music at this event from Venezuela and other South American countries on the program throughout the day. Among the acts planned: Sol E Mar and Soul Beat Samba, a riveting Brazilian samba school with more than 15 percussion performers on surdo, caixa, tambourines and a-go-go; there will be a jam session with Venezuelan musicians from all over Southern California with cuatro, percussion and keyboards.

Throughout the day there will be master of ceremonies and entertainment provided by DJ Nelson Jose, a very popular DJ that promotes local Latin dance parties throughout Southern California - selections played will include dance music and rhythms from throughout Venezuela, South America and the Caribbean such as gaitas, merengue, vallenatos, montunos, salsa, son, guarachas, plenas, cumbias, soca and reggae.

In the same way that music becomes international, Venezuelan food which was originally from the Indians of the region has received the influence over the centuries from Spaniards, French, Portuguese and Italians, to improve, transform and enrich itself to become the mouth watering variety that it is today.

To celebrate, there will be a multitude of items on sale for your palate available at this event. Of course, no event of this magnitude would be complete without one of Vene-zuela's main dishes - el pabellón - but it will be at the finger food stations (called "pasapalos") where the sampling will really take place: plátano maduro, arepas, empanadas, to name a few. To help you chase these you will need to refresh yourself with a variety of blended fruit drinks made from watermelon or tamarindo. To complete, savor the typical desserts such as quesillo.

There will be a multitude of activities for kids and adults alike, including games of bolas criollas (bocce), domino tables, large dragon moon bounce, face painting clowns and balloon artists. Of course, there is always the beach and sand only 100 feet from the stage.

So come join the Venezuelan community for its Independence Day Celebrations in the island of Coronado, across the bridge from San Diego. From anywhere in Southern California take Interstate 5 to Coronado Bridge, next to downtown San Diego - upon crossing the toll booths make an immediate right on Glorietta Boulevard and another right on Mullinix Drive - look for us at the end of the street beyond the plaza. For more information about this event only please call (858) 496-8675.

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