Oxen Art

At one point in the early 2000’s it seemed to have been a popular community art project to create a bunch of statues of something representing a community or state and have an art contest with local painters. Well, that was done in Costa Rica sometime prior to 2009 and the oxen animal (not the more famous ox cart) was chosen. A winner is chosen with his/her cash prize and then all the entries become “Public Art” placed around town in parks or other public places or businesses and individuals can buy with a large donation to “Public Art” in that community. (See below how that was done 3 times during my years in Nashville.)

Long story short, one of the “Art Ox” ended up in the gardens of Best Western Irazú it was called then, now Best Western Plus San Jose. FYI, that is coffee beans painted on the side of the oxen and the basket he is figuratively eating out of is one of the traditional coffee bean picking baskets used by workers to harvest coffee beans when ripe. The only other painted ox I have photographed was at Hampton Inn Airport and I can’t find that photo.

Ox Art, Best Western Plus, San Jose, Costa Rica

A Similar Public Art Project in Nashville 3 times

And with those three contests and additions of art I managed to photograph most if not all of the entries which are now public art like the oxen here in Costa Rica:

It is fun to live in places when neat things like these art projects happen! Just a small part of my many memories of 37 years in Nashville!

More Art in Costa Rica Galleries

¡Pura Vida!

Oxcart Parade 2018 Atenas

Rural Families is always the focus of Atenas’ Annual Oxcart Parade, last Weekend of April.
 Atenas, Costa Rica
Here a teen is the “Boyero” (Oxen Master) with sis in cart and Mom & Dad Walking behind
Atenas, Costa Rica

One of the many colorful Oxcart Wheels
Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica

A few Oxen are entered into the contest without carts, some by older children or teens
I guess it is like FFA in the States or other programs to help budding farmers.
Atenas, Costa Rica
Last year our local University provided Latin Dancers – This year a team of ropers!
Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica

The university campus on the edge of Atenas is one of the many UTN (Universidad Técnica Nacional), this one focusing on farming with students coming from all over Latin America as possibly the best agricultural school in Latin America or at least the best in Central America. They are good about participating in major local events like this – good neighbors! Good citizens! We like our student farmers at UTN!

Though I’ve seen them before, I always enjoy! They’re good!
Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica
PEOPLE! You will have to go to my online gallery to see my interesting people shots.
And there are always some very interesting and colorful people! 
Oxcart Parade, Atenas, Costa Rica

I know that I still post too many photos for a blog, but I have so many more interesting photos I want to share, thus it has to be on the photo gallery: 2018 Oxcart ParadeI’m working on it now and will try to finish today or tomorrow. Takes time!

This gallery is a part of my section called PEOPLE & FIESTAS. And of course there are other sections like BIRDS and TRIPS that pretty much document my 3 1/2 years in Costa Rica thus far and you can see them all at my SmugMug Gallery titled: Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA.

Enjoy photos of my 
¡Pura Vida!

Atenas Oxcart Parade Today!

And this small child stole the show as she led her toy oxen in pulling a toy oxcart!

In fact there seemed to be more of an emphasis on the children this year in what has always been a family affair to celebrate and remember the important part boyeros (oxcart drivers) played in the history of Costa Rica as the first land shippers of coffee and bananas to the two big port cities for shipment to the U.S. and Europe.

The parade still had the colorful oxcarts! And the big oxen!
And most included the whole family as usual. A Family farm affair!
But many were led by children this year as the Oxcart Leader or Boyero.

And a few even had young oxen!

While others had their hands full!

But all accepted their responsibility with pride! 
Goat Carts were in parade this year for the first time, led by kids of course!
Pun intended! 

And there are more Women Boyeros each year! 

And the whole time the Central Park is filled with tents, entertainers, arts & crafts, food & drink vendors, a playground, and plenty to do if you get bored with the parade.

A Rooster on Stilts!
and . . .

. . . and another on foot, representing Gollo, a big furniture/appliance store.

Someone leading the children in games before the parade started.
And of course all the food, drink, balloons, etc. available to buy! 

The parade always starts with police and horses, one carrying the
Costa Rica Flag:

Red, white and blue patriotism!

I watched the parade with 3 friends, Anthony, Jean and Carolyn and then afterwards we went to La Finca for pizza and pasta. A fun day! And if you want to see photos of the bigger oxen being led by men and other views, see my photos from last year’s parade at:  2015 Oxcart Parade  on this blog.

Another happy day in Costa Rica!

Oxcart Parade!

One of 200 or so colorful carts pulled by oxen in the annual Atenas parade.

As I had planned, I got a seat on the outside window bar at Gelly’s Restaurant for a front-row seat for the entire two hour parade including purchased food and drink! Best seat for parade and beats standing that long! It was packed! This is one of the big events in Atenas each year.

It began with horses . . .

As each oxen team got to us they paused in line waiting for their introduction
over a PA system and I assume some judging happened at that spot.

Runaway oxen! This team decided they wanted to leave this parade,
but the Boyero (team driver) managed to keep them in the parade,
after literally going in circles for a few minutes.

Some oxen teams were “in training” and had no cart to pull this time.

Several carts were filled with children having a ball!
Cart Drivers happily allowed for kid photos by doting parents.

Meanwhile the artisans never stopped trying to sell their wares. A big fiesta!
This Latin Crooner began some
beautiful singing as the parade ended.
And more until 10:30 each night!
And I doubt the clown every stopped! 

Tomorrow I leave early for Spanish class as I will stop by Crema y Nata Bakery to pick up a birthday cake I order for David Castillo, our Spanish teacher. Others are bringing drinks, plates, cups, etc. We might surprise him! Then it is back to getting my new house fixed the way I want it. A busy weekend and the new week could be too, though mostly slowing down.