The weekend between Christmas and New Years is a special time here in Valpo. The city puts on a huge festival with live music, visual arts, theatre, book readings, etc hosted all over the city.
Thursday, a huge stage was erected in Plaza Sotomajor. Normally, it looks like this:
During the kickoff of the Carnival, it was more like this:
Everyone was there, teenagers, families with kids, older people...even the president showed up! It was a huge citywide dance party complete with people walking through the crowd selling beer and food. First a bunch of artists played tributes to famous Chilean musicians, then a rock band closed out the night. I left around 11:30 but the music was still going strong.
Friday, there was a huge parade down the center of town. It was really great, lotsa marching bands and people-powered floats. The closest we come in Seattle to a parade like this is the Solstice Parade, which is appropriate because this is Valpo´s summer festival. However, this one started at 8pm and was full of lights and people setting off huge party poppers. Unfortunately, my camara battery died at the beginning of the parade so I could only take a couple photos. I also tried taking a lot with René´s camera, but it doesn´t take good ones at night.
Poor lighting, cool tall people
Dancing with flare
Saturday night, they set up another huge stage in Parque Italia. The show started at 6pm and was still going strong when we left at midnight. For this venue, they closed several blocks to traffic and there was more space to walk around. We bought a "sandwich gigante" and some pineapple juice floats and had a picnic during the first few bands.
Half a sandwich gigante
View from our picnic spot
Then walked around and looked at all the stuff and food for sale. Lotsa of people had special goods at this time of the year, such as various sizes of confetti poppers
Every kind of band played that night, folk with bottles of wine on stage,
Latin rock with nine singer/dancers
and Uruguayans parodying McDonalds, to name a few
View from the street while we were leaving, it was a huge great party!