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The Panama Canal celebrates its 100th birthday with a ceremony at its Miraflores locks, followed by a Centennial Gala for 2,000 guests including representatives of the international shipping industry, owners, builders, insurers, operators and the like who will gather at the Figali Convention Center at the Amador Causeway.
This event marks the culmination of more than a year of celebrations worthy of a feat of engineering that took 35 years to complete, and that still holds its own as the oldest of the “seven modern wonders of the world,” along with the Channel Tunnel and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The show which starts at 8:00 p.m. will be broadcast by Telemetro, Channel 13 and will bring together more than 150 of Panama’s top exponents of culture and the arts on one stage to celebrate the 100 years of the first transit through the historic waterway that has inexorably shaped the destiny of the country and its people.
According to Jorge Luis Quijano, Canal administrator, “This show will impress itself on the memory of all Panamanians because it unites multiple artistic expressions and brings together all the country’s talent to create an unforgettable moment to mark a historic date.”
The concept behind the event is to present four acts on the 120-feet of the Plaza Figali stage, the largest platform built for televised events in the country. The four acts present in chronological order the dream, passion and effort of thousands of men and women to achieve one of humanity’s greatest goals, the uniting of two oceans and what it meant for Panama to assume the reins of the Canal.
An original score has been prepared by David Choy, the renowned composer, who will be joined with Danilo Pérez along with singers Rubén Blades, Sandra Sandoval, Yomira John, Ricardo and Alberto Gaitán and Gretel Garibaldi, among others.
Presentations will be given by Panama’s National Ballet, Gramo Dance, the musical group A Tuta Voce, the Ricaurte Villarreal percussion band and the Musicalion Philharmonic. The hosts for the evening include a veritable who’s who of local personalities such as the painter Olga Sinclair, the singer-songwriter Omar Alfanno and the Panamanian sports hero, Roberto “Hands of Stone” Durán.