The Carnaval celebration in Chitré  is the biggest in the Azuero  after Las Tablas. As always, it takes place in the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday. The festivities are similar to those in Carnaval at Las Tablas .
The town celebrates two events tied to its origins. The first is October 19, the day on which the district of Chitré was founded in 1848. This is cause for a big parade and festivities. The other event commemorates the town’s patron saint, San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist), on June 24. This latter celebration also dates from the 19th century, when an image of St. John was brought to town.
Nightlife when no festival takes over the town is normally very limited, consisting mainly of some grimy bars. There’s a large casino (Calle 19 de Octubre, tel. 996-9758 or 996-8093, www.losguayacanes.com ) at the Hotel Guayacanes and another one two blocks south of the cathedral .
La Castañuela (corner of Calle Manuel María Correa and Avenida Herrera, tel. 996-8719, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.), next to Hotel Santa Rita, is a bar with a few slot machines and occasional live music.
The Cines Modernos (tel. 996-6121, Paseo Enrique Geenzier) is a gringo-style multiplex complete with Hollywood blockbusters and the mall rats they attract. It’s west of and across the street from Hotel Versalles.