San Sebastián Street Festival: The Party of the Year

Our best guess for the 2025 FIESTAS DE LA CALLE SAN SEBASTIAN is 16-19 January 2025. Note- this is unofficial…just my best guess. They don’t officially announce dates until around Sept/Oct. When I see the official dates I will post.

It is no secret that people in Puerto Rico know how to party, especially around the Christmas holidays. Announce that there will be a parade, music, dancing, libations, food — then add in local artisan crafts for sale — and it all adds up to one crazy celebration!

That is the usual San Sebastián Street Festival (Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián) in a nutshell. It has been an annual event on Calle San Sebastián in Old San Juan since 1970, and what started as community fund-raiser has become THE festival to go to. Loads of locals and tourists attend this multi-day event.

San Sebastian Festival

Early Festivals

San Sebastián (Saint Sebastian) was a Christian who was martyred for his faith. There is a street on the north side of Old San Juan named in his honor.

The original "festival" (in the 1950’s) was organized by a priest at the San Jose Church, which is located on San Sebastián Street, to celebrate the feast day of San Sabastián. The annual feast-day festival lasted only a few years.

In 1970, the festival was restarted and it has been held annually ever since. It always occurs around San Sebastián’s feast day, which is January 20th. The festival is typically held on the third weekend of January, and usually runs from Thursday to Sunday. Always double check exact dates before making vacation plans around these dates as things have been known to change from year to year.

San Sebastian Festival

San Se Today

San Sebastian Festival

The San Se Festival has evolved over time, though it still is full of tradition and Puerto Rican cultural heritage. Mostly, it is a great big party, with people enjoying every aspect of it. It is attended by hundreds of thousands of people, who are very much part of the entertainment scene.

Folks lucky enough to have a birds-eye view line the colorful balconies along Calle San Sebastián, and on the rest of the parade route, watching and shouting to the throngs of people in the streets below. Everyone else hits the streets. It’s basically the Puerto Rican version of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, without the beads and breasts.

For 2024, the festival will be held from Thursday, January 18 through Sunday, January 21.

There are lots of live music shows, both traditional and contemporary. The musicians perform on stages around the Old City , but the main stage is at the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. But also expect music/dance to happen randomly & spontaneously throughout the streets, where people join in the song and dance. There are plenty of dance performances, both folkloric and modern, by professionals and party-goers alike. And all along the parade routes you will find food, drink, and artisans displaying/selling their works.

San Sebastian Festival

Itinerary for 2024 Festival

This information has not yet been announced – we will have the info here once it is available.

The closing hours are

  • stages will close by 11pm
  • kiosks will close by 12midnight
  • businesses will close by 1am

Music Schedule

2024 SanSe Music Schedule 2024 SanSe Music Schedule 2024 SanSe Music Schedule

schedule from JL Promotions on Facebook

Public Transportation To/From Old San Juan

The Department of Transportation is expecting record-breaking attendance at the festivities in Old San Juan over the four days. It is highly recommended that you use public transportation versus trying to drive into Old San Juan.

The ferry between Cataño and Old San Juan will operate all four days of the festival. The cost is $1 per person round-trip. Tickets will only be sold at the Cataño terminal. The ferry schedule is

  • Thursday from 5:30am to 1am
  • Friday from 5:30am to 2am
  • Saturday from 7:30am to 2am
  • Sunday from 7:30am to 1am

The AMA buses and other Buses and Guaguas (multi person vans) will operate from the Sagrado Corazón urban train station and Hiram Birthorn Stadium into Old San Juan (to the Capitol building). The cost is $5 per person round-trip. Tickets will be sold (until 9pm each day) at the train station and at the stadium. Parking at Hiram Birthorn Stadium is $5 from 6am to 3am. The bus schedule is

  • Thursday and Friday from 2pm to 2am
  • Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2am

The Tren Urbano will operate from 5:30am during the festival. Cost is $1.50 per trip. You can park for $5 at the Plaza de la Convalencencia to take the train to Sagrado Corazón where you will transfer to a bus (which costs $5 per person).

There will be taxi service available at the Convention Center. There is a fee for parking.

Uber will operate as usual. They will drop off in the vicinity of the Hacienda building (or nearby) in Old San Juan.

Parking will be available at Covadonga for $20 per day (open 24 hours). Puntilla lot will NOT be open. Traffic will be a nightmare. Use public transportation. The private parking lots (like Ballaja, Dona Fela, Trecero Milenio etc) will also be open. assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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