Fiestas Patrias in Chile’s south: celebrate within the regions of lakes and volcanoes

Fiestas Patrias celebrations in southern Chile assume the rustic flavors of the local “campos” – farms and ranches – that inhabit the forests and valleys of these regions of lakes and volcanoes.

Participate in the following Fiestas Patrias activities, experiencing folkloric traditions firsthand, and enjoying the warm and welcome sensations of home and family that is characteristic of Chile’s south.

Bío Bío Region – Los Ángeles and Concepción

The city of Los Ángeles will host fun-filled events in several communities in honor of Fiestas Patrias, including cueca competitions, parades, games, fondas and ramadas, and a variety of unique fairs and cultural events. Check out the festivities in Mulchen, Nacimiento, Yumbel, Laja, Quilaco, Quilleco, Cabrero, Negrete, and in Los Ángeles proper throughout the holiday week.

Further east, Concepción’s community of Coronel celebrates with a “Fiesta de la Chilenidad” at Escuadrón arena. Organized by the Chilean Rodeo Club of Coronel, this event is the 39th annual Fiestas Patrias celebration, and it is considered to be one of the best in the area. Attractions include children’s games, contests, traditional food, horseback riding, live music, local art, and other family activities.

Araucanía Region – Temuco

Temuco’s rural roots are on full display during Fiestas Patrias, and this community will enjoy a number of special events during the celebrations. The “Aires del Ñielol” traditional fair will be inaugurated in a ceremony on September 14 from 5:00-6:00 pm at Recinto Sofo, north of town. The fair will continue until September 19, with folkloric music, dance and fondas. The “Fiesta de la Chilenidad” will be held September 15 until September 19 at Germán Becker stadium park, including a special exhibition of Mapuche heritage, along with games, music and sale of traditional foods and items.

A community bike ride provides a healthy family activity on September 17 at 10:00, beginning at Germán Becker stadium. The International Day of Cueca dancing will also be observed on September 17, from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm at Plaza de Armas Aníbal Pinto. Temuco’s Fiestas Patrias culminates with a fireworks display on September 18 at 8:00 pm.

Los Ríos Region – Valdivia

Valdivia’s German heritage and beer fame promise a lively Fiestas Patrias. The city’s official ramadas will be located at Saval park from September 15 until September 19, along with a traditional folkloric festival. Another folkloric festival – “Feria Costumbrista de Niebla” – is scheduled for September 18 and September 19 in Valdivia’s Niebla locale.

A parade will traverse the streets of Valdivia’s community of San José de la Mariquina on September 14 at 11:30 am, followed by an agricultural fair at Paseo Peatonal San José from 12:30 until 8:00 pm. A “Night of Folklore” will also take place on September 14 at 8:00 pm in the Pelchuquin gymnasium. On September 15, cueca dancers will be awarded prizes at the San José gymnasium. The community’s Te Deum ceremony will occur on September 16, followed by another parade in the Tralcao sector at 3:00 pm. Fondas will be inaugurated the same evening at 8:00 pm, and several days of festivities will follow.

Los Lagos Region – Osorno and Puerto Montt

Osorno’s “Fiesta de la Chilenidad” will be held September 14 and 15 at Recinto Sago, with games and contests, including a kite-flying competition on September 15 at 3:30 pm. A traditional cueca competition continues throughout the day on September 17 at the same location, followed by a musical show at 8:00 pm. A rodeo will be the main attraction on September 18 at Recinto Sago arena, along with a military parade at 12:00 pm. Festivities conclude with a fireworks display on September 18 at 9:00 pm near Villa Olímpica.

Puerto Montt´s animated ramadas will be inaugurated at 8:00 on September 14 at Sector Empormontt. Additional activities include a Fiesta de la Chilenidad at Lake Chapo on September 17, a Fiestas Patrias parade on September 18 at 12:00 pm at Campo de Marte, a fireworks display at Sector Costanera on September 18 at 10:00 pm, a Festival de la Chilenidad at Piedra Azul on September 19, and an International Latin American Folkloric Festival at Diego Rivera theater on September 25 and September 26 at 7:00 pm.

By Gretchen Stahlman, written for Chile.Travel

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