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June 17, 2014
  • Invest in the Colonial City!
  • Long night of museums on 21 June
  • Festival de las Flores in Jarabacoa
  • Hostal Nicolas de Ovando makes USA Today Top 10 list
Invest in the Colonial City!
Many are predicting that old Santo Domingo will become the next Cartagena de Indias, as its historic houses are being purchased by foreigners to build small hotels and restaurants catering to tourists and Dominicans who love strolling round the 16th century enclave. The restoration works that right now have the Colonial City in an apparent state of upheaval will be completed by September at the latest, said Maribel Villalona, director of the renovation program sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank. She said despite the construction, there are always good reasons to visit the Colonial City. She said the jazz nights on the steps of Calle El Conde attract more than 1,500 people. Works are being completed at the Arzobispo Merino Street, a key north-south connection.
The Ministry of Tourism is encouraging people to invest now considering that once the public works enhancing the Colonial City experience are complete, property will cost much more.
Villalona announced that the facades of 120 houses in the area are being renovated. "These are properties that have historical value," she stated in an interview in Diario Libre.
Long night of museums on 21 June
The Ministry of Culture has announced that this Saturday, 21 June will be a long night of museums in Santo Domingo. The occasion means that several museums, both public and private, may remain open until late evening hours and admission is free. The participating museums are the Columbus Alcazar, Casas Reales, Casa de Tostado, Fortaleza de Santo Domingo, Centro Cultural de las Telecomunicaciones, and the Museo Trampolin that usually charge admission. There will also be special events at the Casa de Teatro, Centro Cultural Banreservas, Centro Cultural de Espana, and Centro de la Imagen, cultural centers in the Colonial City.
The Ministry of Culture announced a Mickey and Minnie Mouse show at the Museum of Dominican Family, a merengue, salsa and bachata concert with Francis Fajardo and his group and dancing with Secuencia Latina by Leo Subervi at the Museum of Royal Houses (Casas Reales). There will also be a performance of Dominican classic boleros, played by saxophonist Sandy Gabriel at the Columbus Alcazar off Plaza de Espana. A tribute to late Dominican singer Sonia Silvestre is also planned for that evening.
Activities start at 6:30pm at the Fortaleza Santo Domingo.
Festival de las Flores in Jarabacoa
Marking the start of summer, the mountain town of Jarabacoa announces the celebration of the Fifth Flower Festival from this Thursday, 18 June to Sunday, 22 June 2014. This year, the festival starts on Corpus Christi Day, creating a long weekend for those who can skip working on Friday.
The festival is the perfect time for visiting Jarabacoa, especially for residents of the Dominican Republic who can take back many of the big items - such as plants and arts and crafts - that are on sale for the festival that takes place off the La Confluencia intersection at the entrance to the town.
The president of the foundation that organizes the festival, Eunice Marmolejos said that this year cultural programs would again contribute to strengthening the town's identity and showcasing its people's talents. She said that the festival has become an annual tradition of beauty, creativity, harmony and colors. There will be singing, grassroots music, a children's parade, poetry recitals, arts and crafts, and gastronomic events. There will also be plant and flower exhibitions, produce markets, and shows. The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Jarabacoa city government, Banco Popular and Centro Cuesta Nacional.
Hostal Nicolas de Ovando makes USA Today Top 10 list
A travel feature in USA Today includes the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando on its list of 10 Top Historic Hotels in the Caribbean. The Hostal on Santo Domingo's Calle Las Damas is considered the oldest of the hotels mentioned. It dates back to the 16th century and was the home of the first governor of the Americas, Nicolas de Ovando. USA Today points out that the hotel comprises three houses with thick stone walls, hacienda shutters and sun-splashed courtyards. "Given the hotel's history, it's a surprise at how hip the ambience is, with Santo Domingo twenty-somethings enjoying an evening cocktail by the pool while a DJ lays down tropical beats," says the newspaper. There is much sophistication at the hotel, too. "The hotel's Cibao Bar presents a selection of rums from 12 different Caribbean countries as well as a choice of primo Dominican cigars," comments the newspaper.

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