2010 will be a year of celebrations in Chile. In September the country will celebrate 200 years of life as an independent nation, but the celebrations have already begun. In Valparaíso, one of the country’s main and most attractive ports, everything has been prepared for the event “Valparaiso celebrates Chile,” which corresponds to the ninth version of the cultural carnivals that are held in the city every year.
On this occasion the mass celebration that starts today and will last through Sunday, 24 January, will include the presence of Chilean and foreign artists from Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, Latin American countries that, like Chile are celebrating their bicentennials as independent countries.
The wide range of artistic activities and disciplines that will be presented to the community for free – among which the procession stands out with its dancing, drum bands, jugglers, music and other colorful presentations – promises to captivate Chilean and foreign tourists attending this great cultural event.
“We are going to hold a great parade. We have worked on this concept with different parts of Valparaiso and it will also include participation by groups from other parts of the region. We are going to have around 5,000 people parading,” said Daniela Campos, the producer of the traditional carnival.
The international figures include the Argentine musician, Kevin Johansen and Victor Heredia, the Colombian band Aterciopelados and the Mexican writer Laura Esquivel. Johansen, the Chilean group Inti Illimani and the singer Francisca Valenzuela will be the big numbers in charge of opening the celebration, which this year hopes to attract close to 300,000 people. Aterciopelados and Sol y Lluvia, among others, will also be on the stage on opening night.
On Saturday Johansen and Francisco Valenzuela are expected to act again, in addition to Illapu, Manuel García and Gepe, who will play on the stage that will be set up in the Plaza Italia. At the same time, in the Plaza Sotomayor the Chilean rock band Chancho en Piedra will lead the show with the Cantata Rock, their version of the Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique (one of the most important Chilean musical pieces), interpreted by Ismael Oddó and Caito Venegas of the band Quilapayún and Camilo Salinas and Fernando Julio of Inti Illimani Histórico.
For the last day all of the joy and rhythm of Sonora Barón, Juana Fe and Chico Trujillo as been programmed, with room for film, literature, exhibits, ballet and much more. A total of over 200 artists will fill the weekend in Valparaiso with color and joy.