December 30, 2003
  • DR1 Travel News takes a very long break
  • Moscow's Hard Rock Cafe chooses Brugal
  • Year-end bash
  • Year of long weekends
DR1 Travel News takes a very long break
DR1 Travel News will not be published this coming Tuesday, 6 January 2004, a holiday in the Dominican Republic. The weekly travel news service takes a break to commemorate Epiphany Day, which this year falls on a Tuesday. The travel updates will resume on Tuesday, 13 January. For any breaking news throughout this period, see the DR1 Message Board. Happy New Year to all!
Moscow's Hard Rock Cafe chooses Brugal
The Russians are switching from vodka to rum, it appears. Osvaldo Brugal Leon told Hoy newspaper that Brugal has been chosen as the house rum by the Hard Rock Cafe in Moscow. The rum is available at the popular establishment's seven bars. "That this important franchise should choose Brugal is a testament to the quality of the rum," said Tim Cummins, the spokesman for Brugal. The Hard Rock Cafe Moscow is open 24 hours a day at its 2,100-square meter location (four floors and three bars), plus dining for over 350 guests.
Cummins told DR1 Travel News that Brugal rum is offered exclusively at the Hard Rock Cafe in Moscow. "Brugal's distinct flavor is a perfect match with soft drinks such as Pepsi and goes great with tonic water. The Hard Rock, along with other establishments, tries to set itself apart from our competition by serving Brugal," he explained.
Year-end bash
New Year's Eve tradition in the DR is to have dinner with the family. New Year's Eve is also the time when the cities, beach sites and towns explode with merrymaking provided by fireworks, recently authorized by the government. While families will join friends for dinner at a hotel or club, the real reveling will begin after the dinner. At the stroke of midnight, finances permitting this year, people take to the discos or the streets to await the dawn of the first day of the new year. The Malecon of Santo Domingo welcomes city residents and visitors to take part in the evening year-end celebrations, on Wednesday, 31 December. Tono Rosario, Los Hermanos Rosario, Fernando Villalona, Pochy Familia, CJ Buba and bachata players Elvis Martinez and Yoskar Sarante will take the stage as part of the grand show sponsored by Brugal rum for the Caribbean Sea-bordering avenue area from the Obelisco Macho to the Hotel Jaragua starting at 10:45pm. Interviews with the popular merengue, reggaeton and bachata group leaders, and their performances leading up to the midnight fireworks display will be televised on Telecentro, Channel 13.
Year of long weekends
The year 2004 will bring a record number of long weekends for all to enjoy. Long weekends are peak times for domestic travel. The New Year begins with the first holiday of the year, which falls on Thursday, 1 January. Thousands of Dominicans will have already been on holiday since 30 December to be with family and friends. Since 1 January lands on a Thursday, the holiday will run through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To improve matters even further for those needing a break, 6 January, which commemorates Epiphany Day and also falls on a holiday, could mean that many will decide to take off Monday, 5 January as well.
January brings with it a second long weekend to look forward to, with Duarte Day, commemorating the nation's founding father, also on a Monday. Thus, many will be taking off from Friday, 23 January through Monday, 26 January (actual Duarte Day). February follows suit with Independence Day on 27 February working into a long weekend as it falls on a Friday. Next come the Easter holidays, starting for many on the afternoon of Wednesday, 7 April and continuing on until that Sunday. Some employers may consider giving their secretaries the day off, producing yet another long weekend, as this year's Secretary Day will be celebrated on Monday, 26 April.
As usual, summer brings the religious holiday of Corpus Christi commemorated in 2004 on 10 June on a Thursday, making for another potential long weekend.
Many Dominicans may not hang around for the inauguration of the President for 2004-2008 term, as this year the 16 August will be on a Monday.
Mercedes Day, on 24 September, marks the end of summer with another string of extra days off as it, too, falls on a Friday. To end the year the way it began, 31 December 2004 falls on a Friday, which means that many will convert this into the last long weekend of the year.
For a schedule of next year's holidays, see

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