Photo by bearshapedsphere, used with permission.
Every year, as part of the “fiestas patrias” or national holidays of Chile, there is a giant military parade in the close-to-downtown park of Parque O’Higgins (yellow line metro, station of the same stop). The parade traditionally takes place in the park’s ellipse, in front of the bubble-shaped dome that looms behind the paved area just beyond the main entrance of the park.
This year, the parade will start at 3 PM, and will be presided over by President Sebastian Piñera, the second in his presidential term. This year’s parade is likely to be more somber than some in the past, as Chile is still grieving the loss of 21 people in a small plane crash that was en route to the Juan Fernandez archipelago, in which several newscasters as well as someone who was going to assess and fund earthquake repair on the island were killed.
If you’re planning on going to the parade, consider getting to the park early, and possibly walking back to the Alameda, where you can take the red line metro, rather than trying to squeeze back onto the yellow line to get back home once the parade is done. Also, the back exit of the park is where the parade passes, and you can sit quietly and relatively alone in the shade rather than cramming into the viewing space to get a good view of the proceedings.
Don’t forget to bring along some cash for traditional food and drink, and a camera to document the proceedings!