Las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastían officially returned to Calle San Sebastian after two years of cancelations. Las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastían are held in honor of Saint Sebastian and are one of Puerto Rico’s largest street festivals, in fact, it may be the largest. This festival marks the end of the holiday season, concluding much of the festivities in the territory.
When the festival began in the 1950s, festivities often began at 6 in the morning. There was reveille to announce the celebration, which included instruments like drums, tambourines, clarinets, trombones, and trumpets. People decorated their balconies while artists worked on their new paintings to show during the celebrations. Today, the festival looks markedly different: back then, the festival only lasted through the daytime. It wasn’t until the 2000s that the festival lasted as long as it does now.
This year’s festival looks even more different than those in years past. Many musical artists participated in this year’s festival, celebrating the festival’s comeback after the pandemic. This year’s festival commenced on Thursday, January 19, and ended on Sunday, January 22. The festival is so large that it often attracts around 200,000 people, celebrating culture and traditions. This year, the attendance was nearly 400,000 people.
The opening ceremony had afternoon parades and activities from beginning to end, as well as larger parties happening later in the weekend.
The event was the 53rd edition; as the festival continues to grow, the food, art, and music improve. With new and upcoming artists and music representing genres that formed Puerto music, the music defines the festival’s nightlife. One must remember the art, often made by hand and considered decorative or spiritual available throughout the festival.
The Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastían is great community fun, a remembrance of heritage, and an outstanding big party. Its return positively impacts the community by bringing everyone together to celebrate Puerto Rico’s culture.