Noche Valdiviana
Photos by Don Porter

The major celebration of the summer season in Valdivia is "Valdivia Night", or "Noche Valdiviana". This year the celebration happened Saturday night, February 25. Some 150,000 tourists swamp the city for this event (doubling the population temporarily). Among the dignitaries present: Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile, and Paolo Casardi, Ambassador to Chile from Italy. The event features floats: boats in several categories, with elaborate decorations. Teams from individuals and families to neighborhoods to corporations create the floats. Prizes are awarded in "large", "medium", and "small" categories. Lots of tourist tour boats also participate, with neon decorations. The 40 or so boats form a parade up and down the rivers that run through the center of Valdivia, starting about 10pm. The evening concludes with a fireworks display toward midnight.

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