2nd International Festival of Tuna

Atun!When I first heard that Puerto Rico would be hosting the 2nd International Festival of Tuna. I thought to myself, wow, I never knew tuna fish were so popular! I mean to actually have enough support, and international support at that, to build a conference around me and my family's favorite food during Lent, well there must be more to this fish than meets the mouth. Though, I wonder why they don't use the more grammatically correct Atun, when they talk about it ...

I'm sorry what? It's not about tuna fish? No, it's about what? Singing? No, really? Oops, sorry about that. So for any of you out there who may have gotten confused, like me, the 2nd International Festival of Tuna, which runs from April 24th through the 27th of April, is NOT about one of the most tasty fish swimming in the ocean, but about some funny dressed people singing together. I repeat, funny dressed singing groups not a fish commonly served with mayonnaise or as sushi.

The festival kicked off last night actually, for all you Tuna enthusiasts out there, with the opening of an exposition "TunAmérica: 15 años de Historia" at Sala #5 in the Museo de las Américas in the Cuartel de Ballajá. The exposition, which is sponsored by the local Tuna group, TunAmérica Universitaria de Puerto Rico, features 15 hears of history by Puerto Rican artist Edgardo Moisés. In the exposition, he presents a select collection of prizes, recognition, photographic images, and video documenting the history of TunAmérica. The exposition will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., until the 27th of April.

FIT Caribe 2008

FIT Caribe 2008The festival, which is made partly possible by a $25,000 contribution by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and the Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico, will feature the participation of 19 tunas, including some from Colombia, México, Portugal, España, and Islas Canarias. In addition, it will feature 13 tunas from Puerto Rico. Which of course that means only one thing. The majority of the audience will be made up of family members who are completely oblivious of the fact that they are blocking the view for the rest of the audience as they push and shove to get pictures of their loved ones while they are performing.

It has been fourteen years since the first festival was held in the Convento de Los Dominicos in Old San Juan. In that first festival, the tunas performed on the steps of the Capital. This time, the public will have ample opportunity to experience this unique performing art as all of the performances are free of cost. If you would like to catch some of their performances, you have three chances:

Thursday, April 24th (10:00 p.m.)
Noche de Serenatas (Concurso Gánate una Serenata)
Calle Recinto Sur, Old San Juan(in front of the Federal Court)

Friday and Saturday,.April 25th and 26th (8:00 p.m.)
Noches de Competencias
Cuartel de Ballajá, Old San Juan

Saturday, April 26th (3:00 p.m.)
Pasacalle (Parada de tunas)
De la Plaza Colón a la Plaza de Armas, Viejo San Juan

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor Today: maesejose