On July 31, celebrations commemorating the Festival of Santo Domingo, the patron saint of Managua, will begin. The festival features large parades in Managua and massive gatherings of attendees on August 1 and 10 throughout the Santo Domingo neighborhood and surrounding areas. Beginning at 5:00 a.m. on August 1, access to the Santo Domingo neighborhood entrances will be restricted. U.S. citizens are encouraged to avoid the Santo Domingo area streets on August 1 and 10, beginning in the early morning hours on both days.
Procession and parade scenarios, routes and expected road and rotunda closures are outlined below:
· July 31 - Rotonda Santo Domingo (El Cristo Rey): Inpast years, the religious celebration of Santo Domingo de Guzman included El Palo Lucio, a vigil/celebration at Rotonda Santo Domingo (El Cristo Rey). Expect road blocks and police presence starting at 5:00 p.m. and lasting through the night.
· July 31 and August 1 – Las Sierritas Church in Santo Domingo to Santo Domingo Church near North Highway: Crowds are expected to gather on Santo Domingo’s main streets as early as 6:00 p.m. on July 31 for a nighttime vigil at Las Sierritas Church. This event departs from Las Sierritas Church at approximately 6:00 a.m. on August 1and travels to the Santo Domingo Church (near Oriental Market). Large crowds will be transiting the area from Masaya Highway to Las Sierritas Church and the back road from Las Sierritas Church to Las Galerias Mall (Old Santo Domingo Road).
The route will be as follows:
· From Plaza La Fe (Juan Pablo Segundo) it will travel south on Avenida Bolivar until it reaches Rotonda Hugo Chavez (Plaza Inter).
· From Rotonda Hugo Chavez, it will shift and head east on Calle Colon until it reaches Sajonia traffic light (Ministry of Governance).
· From Sajonia traffic light, it will turn south and encircle Tiscapa Lagoon on Paseo Tiscapa and then head west on Pista Benjamin Zeledon, passing by Military Hospital traffic light, and Pricemart until it reaches Rotonda El Gueguense (Plaza España).
· From Rotonda El Gueguense, it will shift and head south on Paseo Naciones Unidas until it reaches Rotonda El Periodista.
· From Rotonda El Periodista, it will shift again and head east and towards its ending point, Holiday Inn Hotel.
· August 1 and 10 - Horse Parades: On both days, the parades are scheduled to depart from the Salvador Allende Port at approximately 2:00 p.m. The parades will travel south through the Chancery traffic light, Hugo Chavez Rotonda, military hospital traffic light, turn west towards the El Gueguense Rotonda, and south to El Periodista Rotonda, concluding at the Holiday Inn Hotel. On July 31, the area beginning at the Military Hospital traffic light towards Rotonda El Gueguense will be partially closed around 6:00 p.m.
· August 10 – Santo Domingo Church near North Highway to Las Sierritas Church in Santo Domingo: The route for the August 10 procession will be the reverse of the August 1 procession.
Road closures, traffic disturbances, and fireworks are expected throughout the city, especially in the immediate vicinity of the parade routes. U.S. citizens should be aware of the presence of criminals who specialize in pick-pocketing and other crimes of opportunity. Travelers should keep their windows up, doors locked, and a cell phone in the car when traveling.
· See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Nicaragua Country Specific Information.
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
· Contact the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua located at Km 5 ½ C. Sur Managua, Nicaragua, at 011-505-2252-7100, 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. The American Citizen Services unit is also available by email during regular business hours at ACS.Managua@state.gov. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is also 011-505-2252-7100.
· Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).