The bicentenary year of Costa Rica’s Independence will start with a bang in a showcase performance at London’s New Year’s Day Parade 2021, one of the World’s great street spectaculars, it has been announced.

Marching band Banda de Orotina were invited to appear in the cherished turn of year tradition, in a special video link from the Costa Rican Embassy in London (April 23rd).

The Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Rafael Ortiz Fábrega, was joined by Executive Director of London’s New Year’s Day Parade Bob Bone to break the good news to band members gathered in their home town of Orotina.

A party of more than 240 band members and followers will travel to London at the end of next year to participate in a programme of performance and cultural exchange.

Excited band members, who have won hearts at home and abroad, celebrated the announcement in style bursting in to an impromptu performance.

Ambassador Ortiz Fábrega said: ‘I am delighted that the relationship between the UK and Costa Rica, which dates from the early years of our independence, will be celebrated in this way. I know that the Banda de Orotina will make a great start to our bicentenary year with their performance in the London New Year’s Day parade.”

“What a way to mark the beginning of such an auspicious year of celebration.” Said Mr Bone. “We were thinking of inviting the band to appear in London at the end of this year – but realised how appropriate it would be to synchronise their performance with the start of the anniversary celebrations.”

The band, from the town of Orotina in Alajuela province in the west of the country, will take centre stage performing at the finale of the parade and a special preview event.

Mr Bone will be travelling to Costa Rica with a delegation of dignitaries in September to present the formal invitation to Banda de Orotina in person.

London’s New Year’s Day Parade is a much-cherished turn-of-year tradition in the UK and is renowned around the world.