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Last Friday the 13th of December, Altos de Chavón marked the start of the festive season with the celebration of the opening of the holiday season, a spectacular occasion with the lighting of the Christmas tree, Santa Claus and performance by the Dominican Wind Orchestra.
For the ladies of Casa de Campo the festive celebration started at 5pm at the magnificent Casa de Campo villa of Xiomara Menéndez who hosted a fabulous Christmas-themed Café de la Leche. The monthly charitable gathering normally collects milk for the babies of the Hogar del Niño, but on this occasion collected candies for their annual Christmas party. All our photos of this will be published tomorrow.
After the Café de la Leche we joined the rest of the Casa de Campo and La Romana community on the cobbles in Altos de Chavón, where we found Santa and his merry helpers posing for photos and a grand stage set-up in the Chavón Plaza, ready for the show to start.
Dr. Claudio Silvestri, President and CEO of the Casa de Campo resort, with his endless enthusiasm and passion, took to the stage to start the celebration. Joined by Renata Soñé, Miss República Dominicana Universo 2005, and runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant, Claudio officially opened the holiday season in Altos de Chavón with a countdown that ended in the magical lighting of not only the Christmas tree, but the entire Altos de Chavón area. With the addition of even more lights, the entire area twinkled like never before.
Continuing the celebration was the Dominican Wind Orchestra, who last performed in Altos de Chavón in May during the Festival de Primavera. More than 50 talented youngsters from across the Dominican Republic marched onto the stage in festive santa hats to perform a real variety of musical pieces… And much to our surprise were joined by the young dancers of ENDANZA, the Dominican National School of Dance, who delighted the audience with their elegant performance and delightful variety of costumes.
And finally…”Clarita”, the cute clown appeared from nowhere, much to the delight of the little ones in the audience. Clarita, who had lost her donkey called “Margarito”, brought the show to life with some fun entertainment and did, in the end, find Margarito, who seemed to be a little reluctant to join the show.
The merry evening came to a magnificent end with a beautiful fireworks displays that rained down over Altos de Chavón.
With the holiday season officially opened, the festivities continued on Saturday evening at the Altos de Chavón amphitheater with “The Fall Dance” ballet by the Dominican National Ballet, and will continue over the next few weeks with special events all across the resort – the Christmas Boat Parade (Friday, Dec. 20), the Sunset Jazz Night (Saturday Dec. 21) and “Santa Sails to the Marina” (Monday Dec. 23) – at the Marina Casa de Campo, as well as a full schedule of holiday events in Altos de Chavón (click here), and at La Caña by Il Circo at the Casa de Campo hotel.
For the festive and fun-filled schedule of events across the Casa der Campo resort please visit: www.todo.fm
The following collection of images were taken during the grand opening of the holiday season in Altos de Chavón, Casa de Campo on Friday the 13th of December 2013:
The following images were taken by Alfredo Esteban:
Photo credit: The photos used in the body of this article were also taken by Alfredo Esteban.