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Last Saturday evening the 8th of December 2012, Altos de Chavón and Casa de Campo celebrated the start of the holidays with a magnificent Tree Lighting Ceremony complete with fire works, followed by a joyful Christmas concert by the Juan Pablo Duarte Orchestra and the choir of the National Conservatory of Music, which with a surprise performance from Santa Claus marked this inauguration of Christmas the best yet!
Every year for the last 3 years, Altos de Chavón and Casa de Campo with the support of the Dominican Ministry of Culture have come together to celebrate the start of the holidays – a celebration which has now become an eagerly anticipated tradition which unites Casa de Campo villa owners, residents and guests, lights up Altos de Chavón with the magical spirit of Christmas and sets the stage for the ensuing fun-filled schedule of holiday events and activities (visit www.todo.fm for the most up-to-date schedule).
Christmas in Altos de Chavón
Ahead of the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Concert, modelling my favorite holiday outfit – my santa hat, I first stopped by Shine “concept” store (also in Altos de Chavón) who were celebrating their inauguration (click here for photos and the full story), then made my merry way to the Altos de Chavón Region Museum of Archeology where Thimo Pimentel was giving a talk “Stealth Art” (click here for photos and the full story).
From there we finally arrived at the Altos de Chavón main plaza just in time for the Tree Lighting Ceremony!
What a sight! Following a countdown led by Dr. Claudio Silvestri, President and CEO of Casa de Campo with Maestro Dante Cucurullo representing the Dominican Ministry of Culture, Altos de Chavón burst into light as the Christmas Tree sprung to life with music and dancing lights and spectacular white fireworks sizzled around the entire plaza.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony in Altos de Chavón
Next came the concert “Christmas arrives to Altos de Chavón”, presented by the Juan Pablo Duarte Orchestra with the participation of the choir of the National Conservatory of Music and led by Maestro Dante Cucurullo with traditional Dominican Christmas songs as well as folk music – a selection that had everyone clapping and singing along – even Santa Claus!
Much to everyone’s surprise (and delight) – Santa Claus, who had been quietly sitting beneath the Christmas Tree having his photo taken and granting Christmas wishes – took to the stage! In a very amusing theatrical and musical performance this very talented Santa not only conducted the orchestra himself – but also got everyone HO HO HO-ing along to his jokes.
Fireworks in Altos de Chavón marked the end to a super celebration!
The night ended with yet another magnificent display of fireworks, by which time the temperature had dropped just enough so that I could add my favorite Christmas cape to my outfit….before sneaking off to Gino In Trastevere for an end of evening bite of pizza!
Merry Christmas everyone!
The following photos were taken on Saturday December 8th 2012 in Altos de Chavón:
The following photos were taken by professional photographer Wilfredo Alvarez:
REMEMBER there are many more festive events still to look forward to – so visit www.todo.fm to make sure you don’t miss out!