Panama Christmas and beyond calendar

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By Margot Thomas

With Christmas  little more than three weeks  away those who eschew online  purchasing  for the more traditional shop-till-you-drop routine, there’s also a multiple choice list of seasonal entertainment ranging from  a unique TGA stage version of the  Dickens Masterpiece The Christmas  Carol to the annual Carols by Candlelight celebration on the Cinta Costera, which is free for those who don’t want a reserved seat.I’m told there’s only a handful of those left, but if you call in, they might be able to let you pay for seat and candle at the site.

And if you want a peek at what’s coming  up early in the New Year you can  check below for the dates of old favorites like The Jazz Festivals in Panama and Boquete, The International Film Festival, IFF  and the exciting new kid on the Block, Panama The Musical, with preview special pricing, and two gala events. Tickets are already on sale
I’ll be providing more on all of those next week.

ec 1
CHRISTMAS SHINES   The lights go on at Francisco Arias Parades  Park in Calidonia, to launch this year’s display of  Christmas lights labeled Christmas Shines which are already being installed at sites across the city.

 Dec 1- 16
THE CHRISTMAS CAROL     opened at the TGA Theatre in Ancon on Nov 30. Performances Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 pm.  Matinees on Dec 2, Dec 9 and Dec 16 at 4:00 pm. There will be no show on December 8.  For more details follow  the link

 Sat, Dec  2

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT – The seventh annual  CanadaPLUS Foundation seasonal celebration at Mirador Del Pacifico on the Cinta Costera with five choirs and operatic soloist,  Susan  Samudio and the opportunity for you to join in the singing of old favorites from a bi-lingual songbook. The concert starts at  7 pm and is free,  but if you want a reserved seat, including souvenir, LED candle a limited number are available at $25, VIP, $20 regular.  A portion of your tax-deductible donation will go to a special project at the Hospital del Nino. For reserved seating call, 6619-6890.                                                                            Or email Souvenir Candles will be available on-site at $10 and $5.

Sun, Dec 3.
CHRISTMAS MUSIC from Latin and Central America, the Caribbean and other countries at St Luke´s Cathedral at 3 pm.  Cantus Panamá will be singing and Jan Bishop and friends will perform seasonal arrangements with harp, flute, oboe and vocals Tickets $10, available at the door.


Thu, Dec 7

NEW LOOK  Urraca Park inauguration with Christmas lights.It was truly a winter wonderland last year, and you will get to see the new facilities and scores of newly planted trees. Be sure to take a camera.


Sat, Dec. 9
THE  BRITISH BALL, Your chance to display your most glam dress, or air your black-tie outfit, as you sip champagne and rub shoulders with ambassadorial guests and the Brit community before dining, and dancing. The price for an upscale evening with an open bar at the  Sheraton, Atlapa, is $115 per person.

Sun, Dec 10
CHRISTMAS PARADE   on the Cinta Costera. Mayor Jose Isabel Blandon promises new floats, bands, and a fun event for young and old, Be sure to take a camera, and if you are going early a stool. It lasts  over two hours


Jan, 5-18


At the   Ciudad Del Saber (City of Knowledge), with happenings in and around Panama  City. The Festival in its 15th year has gained world stature and attracts jazz fans and  party lovers

Wed, Jan 18  OTHER DESERT CITIES The Anc0n Theatre Guild’s (TGA) first presentation of the year. details awaited.



Sun  Jan 22,

THEATRE GUILD  OF ANCON annual meeting, to elect the enthusiasts who will run the country’s  longest-running show during the upcoming year. They won’t  let you starve while you are there. More details to follow.


Feb 1-8 PANAMA THE MUSICAL Evening performances 8 pm Saturday and Sunday matinees 3 pm. With pre world-premiere seat pricing.

Feb  10-13
Four days of partying and celebrations across the country. In Panama City, the daily stage performances and fun center is on the Cinta Costera, but scores of thousands head to festivals in the interior leaving  Panama streets gloriously free of traffic jams.

Feb 17 -Mar 4 PANAMA THE MUSICAL Evening performances 8 pm. Saturday and Sunday matinees 3 pm. Closed  Monday, Feb. 19 and Monday, Feb. 26.

Thu, Feb 22

 PANAMA THE MUSICAL WORLD PREMIERE. Red Carpet event 6 pm.Your chance to meet the cast, directors and producers while you enjoy a pre-show libation and tasty snacks.Show starts at 8.30 p.m.


Feb 22-25

 BOQUETE JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL – World-Class Jazz & Blues on the slopes of Volcan Baru in a cool location, with lots of places to  explore and a treasure trove of restaurants for wining and dining, in between exploring local boutiques and souvenir stores.





 Apr 7-11

INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (IFF)  The 7th festival bringing award-winning  films to venues across the city and introducing movie lovers to new genres and talents promises to add another star to Panama’s creative galaxy. Trailers, news and commentary will be published regularly in the New Year, with links here,

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