2010 Huaso Festival
Olmué: folklore and rural tradition
The music and traditions of the Chilean countryside will gather between 22 and 24 January in this picturesque town in the central region.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
The Chilean music event that is best known abroad is without doubt the Viña del
Festival, which features world-renowned artists in February. But several
weeks earlier, every year a small town in the Valparaiso Region holds an event
for local folk music, ideal for getting to know Chile’s traditional rhythms and
sounds: the Olmué Huaso Festival.
This popular celebration was held for the first time in 1970 to draw
together the different rural cultural traditions of the country’s central
region, such as the national dance “cueca”, or the paya, a kind of rhyming duel, and competition on horseback.
However, the show is currently centered on music, in addition to a few humor
and dance presentations. Meanwhile, folk music has been opened to expressions
from all over the country.
In 2010 the Huaso Festival will hold its 41st edition, in addition to commemorating a very important date for Chile: the
Bicentennial, when the country completes 200 years of independence.
This is why a special celebration is expected this year, with homage
paid to the country’s two greatest folk singers: Violeta
Parra, author of the famous song “Gracias a la Vida,” made popular the world
over by Joan Baez, and Victor
Jara, a renowned protest singer-songwriter who was murdered during the
Augusto Pinochet government, in addition to Francisco Nicanor Molinare, Flores
del Campo and Jaime Atria. The event will also provide a window for new Chilean
folk artists, such as Manuel Garcia and Camila Moreno.
But not everything will be folklore. Representatives of the country’s
pop music will also perform, such as the Sonora Tommy Rey, whose cumbia music livens
up practically all Chilean celebrations, or the singer Zalo Reyes. Another of
the major cards on the table will be the Spanish singer-songwriter Joaquín
Sabina. As is the case every year, the event will be broadcast on Chilean
television via the Chilevisión network.
The festival will be held on 22-24 January in the “El Patahual” park in
Olmué, which can be reached from Santiago via Highway 5 North and then via the
road to Til Til. The trip takes close to approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes. It
can also be reached from Viña del Mar in 35 minutes via the Troncal Sur highway
that passes through Limache.
Tickets to the artistic event are on sale via Punto Ticket and prices range
from US$ 15.8 to US$ 73.
But not everything is music in Olmué, whose pleasant Mediterranean
climate and rural tradition make it an attractive destination. One of most visited
places in the area is the La Campana National Park, located just one kilometer
from the town. The area offers one of
the most representative natural landscapes in the country’s central region and Coastal Mountain Range, in addition to being
home to the very last forests of Chilean
But that is not all. The area is also famous because the English
naturalist Charles Darwin visited it
in 1834 and it was declared a UN World Biosphere Reserve in 1984. The companies Chile Ruta Natural and Ruta Verde offer diverse
sustainable tourism activities in La Campana and the areas around Olmué, including
horseback rides, trekking, mountain climbing, and observation of the fauna in
far as the town of Olmué
is concerned, it offers a great variety of Chilean rural traditions, such as
rodeos, handicrafts in wicker, metals, wood and embroidering, in addition to
the local gastronomy like traditional empanadas, delicious
alfajores and of course wine. For more information on the tourist activities on
offer in the area, the websites www.olmue.cl
and www.olmueturistico.cl are