Chile’s Bicentennial naval review to be the largest in the country’s history
Many of the celebrations planned for Chile’s bicentennial are meant to mimic the centennial celebrations, such as President Sebastián Pinera’s recreation of a dinner with foreign ambassadors in Chile.
Another such event is a naval review that will be held next Monday along the coast near Valparaíso, Viña del Mar and Concón. The parade, which is the 13th of its kind in Chile's history, will be the largest one the country has seen.
On Sept. 14, 1910, about 50,000 people went to the coast to watch a procession lead by Vice President Emiliano Figueroa aboard the “Zenteno,” which was the navy’s flagship at the time. This year, Piñera will lead the procession aboard the Esmerelda, a training frigate.
Audiences will be able to see a procession of both Chilean and foreign naval ships. On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Navy has sent the USS Jarrett to participate in the procession. An Iranian vessel will also be present.
The naval ships will be followed by an hour-long procession of civilian ships. More than 300 tug boats, fishing boats, Polynesian canoes, sail boats and sport boats will take part. On Friday at midnight and Saturday at 8:30 p.m., there will be fireworks displays in Valparaiso as well.
Based on hotel reservations and the number of vacation homes in the area, Luigina Pruzzo, manager of the Higher Council of Tourism of Valparaiso, estimated that 700,000 visitors would come to see the naval review.
The event will be televised from the deck of the Esmeralda.
By Kayla Ruble – Santiago Times