Fort Buchanan, PR Image 1
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    Fort Buchanan, PR Festivals Arts

    The Luis A. Ferre Performing Arts Center (Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferre) is the home of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and has 3 concert and theater halls for concerts, plays, operas, and ballet performances. The center was named for Luis A. Ferre, a philanthropist and politician in Puerto Rico.

    San Juan Bautista Day (Dia de San Juan Bautista) is the annual celebration of the island's patron saint's birthday on June 24. There are music festivals, sporting events, and beach parties for several days leading up to his birthday, but the real celebration is at midnight on the 23rd when everyone gathers on the beaches and dunks backward in the water at least 3 times for good luck. This is one of the island's most celebrated holidays, meaning crowded beaches, but it is a very social and fun gathering.

    Carnaval de Ponce is one of the western world's oldest carnival celebrations, much like Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnivale in Venice, Italy. Also like these other carnivals, Ponce celebrates with week-long festivities including music, food, highly-decorated floats, and lots of wild masks and costumes in the traditional "vejigantes" (devil) design. The biggest celebration is held in Ponce, just about an hour south of Fort Buchanan, although other cities around Puerto Rico also host festivities.

    The Casals Festival was started in 1956 by world-famous cellist Pablo Casals himself in order to improve Puerto Rico's tourism and celebrate music. Since then, it has been held annually in honor of Casals and has featured many other world class musicians and local talent at the Luis A. Ferre Performing Arts Center.