Fiestas Patrias in Patagonia: celebrating at the tip of South America

Winter’s chill still hasn’t released Patagonia in September. For this reason, warm Fiestas Patrias festivities are especially welcome in the far south of Chile.

Aisén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Region – Aysén

Communities throughout the Aysén commune host a variety of events for Fiestas Patrias.

The small port town of Puerto Ibáñez celebrates Fiestas Patrias from September 14 until September 20, beginning with a parade on September 14 at 12:00 pm at the Plaza de Armas. A cueca demonstration will be held on September 15 at 12:00 pm at Aonikenk school. On September 16, the Te Deum will take place at Iglesia Evangélica, followed by the official inauguration of the Fiestas at Casino Club de Huasos. Events in the Bahia Murta community take place September 15, 16, 17 and 18, with fondas on September 17 and 18. And in Puerto Río Tranquilo, residents will enjoy a party with bingo and dancing on September 17 at 8:00 pm.

Puerto Aysén’s Festival Huaso will be held September 17 and 18 at Casino del Club de Rodeo, and ramadas and fondas will continue from September 15 until September 19 at Isla Diaz municipal park. Additional fondas are located in Villa Mañhuales at Laguna Esponja, near the river Ñirehuao. Villa Mañhuales also hosts a cueca championship, parade and festival September 17, 18 and 19 at the community’s Club de Rodeo Chileno. The population of Islas Huichas will hold a festival and bazaar September 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 in the Sede Club Deportivo on Caleta Andrade, and fondas will be located in the Puerto Aguirre gymnasium from September 16 until September 18.

Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena Region – Punta Arenas

More than a thousand kilometers south of Aysen, in the heart of Patagonia’s wild, glacial frontier, the town at the very tip of the South American continent comes alive for a month of patriotic festivities in September.

Fiestas Patrias activities in Punta Arenas commence with a popular music event September 12 at the municipal theater. On September 14, local cooks will compete for the “best empanada” prize in a traditional cook-off in Plaza Benjamin Muñoz Gomero, along with cueca dancing and a “Marathon of the Garzóns,” in which waiters in uniform race with trays of food and drinks.

On September 16 at 3:00 pm, Punta Arenas hosts a cueca and folkloric festival called “Punta Arenas Embraces the Cueca.” The festival continues until 10:00 pm, with 200 participants exhibiting Chile’s cultural heritage through dance.

The town’s official celebration of the Fiestas takes place September 15 through September 19 in the Municipality of Punta Arenas, with traditional foods, games, music and contests.

By Gretchen Stahlman, written for Chile.Travel

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