San Sebastián Street Festival: The VIRTUAL Party of the Year
Jan 12/2021 – the 2021 San Sebastián Festival will be Virtual. There will be artisans live on Jan 30 and 31 in OSJ, limited entry and COVID precautions. The music and other San Sebastian Fest activities will be virtual on Jan 29-Jan 31, 2021. We will update with itinerary and places to see the virtual event.
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. For 2021, the Festival will be different, but it will happen!
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 Se Today
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, music, alcohol, food, people watching, artisans and general fun! It is usually attended by hundreds of thousands of people, who are very much part of the entertainment scene. But this year, for health safety reasons and to try to get people back into the real tradition of San Se, things have to be different.
For 2021, Due to COVID-19, the Festival will happen but the music and festivities will be VIRTUAL from January 29- January 31st. And the Artisans will be live for the weekend of January 30 and 31.
There will still be lots of music shows, both traditional and contemporary. The performances and the parades and such will all be shown via Facebook and other media outlets, so people can sing “Voy subiendo, voy bajando” safely from our living rooms!
On Saturday and Sunday, There will be artisans selling their art works in the Ballajá area. That will include the Plazoleta de Ballajá, Plaza de Beneficencia, Plaza Quinto Centenario and possibly Plaza San José.
Itinerary for 2021 Festival (It will be updated when itinerary is posted
They are proposing the First day to show a lot of the historical content. Second day many prerecorded Artistic presentations. Third day more Family entertainment, from music to craft workshops.
Friday, January 29, 2021
- 3:00pm –
- 4:30 pm
- 7:30 p.m.
- 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 30, 202
- 10am to 5pm …Artisans will be selling their works in the Ballajá area. That will include the Plazoleta de Ballajá, Plaza de Beneficencia, Plaza Quinto Centenario and possibly Plaza San José.
- 12:30pm –
- 2:00 p.m.
- 4:00 p.m.
- 6:00 p.m.
- 7:30 p.m.
- 9:45 p.m.
Sunday, January 31, 202
- 10am to 5pm …Artisans will be selling their works in the Ballajá area. That will include the Plazoleta de Ballajá, Plaza de Beneficencia, Plaza Quinto Centenario and possibly Plaza San José
- 2:00 p.m.
- 3:30pm –
- 4:30 p.m.
- 5:00 p.m.
- 7:00 p.m.
- 9:00 p.m.