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Merida’s U.S. Consulate marks July 4 with Apollo 11-themed party

250 officials from various organizations invited to private celebration

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“Today we celebrate the 243rd anniversary of the independence of the United States, and as every year, we like to celebrate it with our local friends,” reads a post on the Merida Consulate’s Facebook page.

“The consulate welcomed more than 250 guests between government authorities, representatives of civil organizations, academics, entrepreneurs and contacts from the states of Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo with which the consulate has worked on different programs during this year,” the post continues.

This year’s theme was the 50th anniversary historic first moon landing.

Photos from the party, a relatively dressy affair, showed Merida’s Consul General Courtney Beale toasting the crowd with a champagne flute, and posing with the mayor in front of a backdrop depicting Neil Armstrong on the lunar landscape.

The consulate traditionally throws a party for U.S. Independence Day, celebrating America’s break from the British. Previously, expats were invited to RSVP.

In 2017, Beale’s predecessor David Mico planned an informal get-together at a private home, with food trucks and children’s activities. But the party was re-scheduled, then canceled when vendors couldn’t accommodate the new date, Mico told the public.

Even then, security was a concern. All attendees had to provide their full names, dates of birth, and passport, drivers license or IFE numbers. Only guests who had RSVP’d would be allowed in. Electronics, large cameras and large bags were prohibited.

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