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Mercado: Constitution To Be Celebrated Outside Of Capitol
By Proviana Colon Diaz
JULY 16, 2002
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will celebrate its Constitutions 50th anniversary during a grand ceremony on the south side of the Capitol, in which prime ministers from the Americas and Europe are expected to attend, Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado said Tuesday.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other state legislators have confirmed their participation.
Gov. Sila Calderon will be the main speaker at the activity, in which $600,000 in public funds have been spent.
"The governor will have a transcendental message for all Puerto Ricans on such an honorable occasion," Mercado said.
The acting governor gave details on the event during a Tuesday noon press conference in the Capitols rotunda, in front of the original draft of the Constitution.
Activities for July 25 will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the performance of El Gran Combo, the world-renowned salsa orchestra.
Calderon will then speak, and once the official acts are concluded, young pop singer Luis Fonsi will perform.
Mercado said the government is expecting at least 50,000 people. Those who cant attend can see and hear the entire festivity through the Commonwealths public radio and television stations.
Transportation and Public Works Secretary Jose Izquierdo said public transportation will be free of charge during the holiday celebration.
Police Superintendent Miguel Pereira said over 1,000 agents will be on duty that day, but he will discuss the logistics of their deployment later this week.
The activity is the first in a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Constitution.
The celebration, organized by the Special Committee for the Commonwealth's 50th anniversary, will expand to U.S. cities with large Puerto Rican populations, such as New York City; Hartford, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; among others.
Workshops on the Constitution will be given; educational spots will be promoted; and exhibits of the island's architectural, historical, musical, sport, and artistic achievements will take place as part of the 50th anniversary.