June 29th is St. Peter's day-he is the patron of fishermen, and his day is commemorated in grand style all up and down the coast of Chile. In Valpo festivals take place at Portals, where we went to buy fish, and at the smaller fishermen's dock, Caleta Membrillo (Quince Creek, presumably for a creek with quince that used to be there). I headed over to Caleta Membrillo, since I'd heard that was the place to go, rather than Portals. The Caleta is south of the main port area, so I took the Metro to the end of the line, and started walking-I did decide to get on a micro, since I wasn't completely sure where to go. The first thing the driver asked me was if I was Brazilian! (This was the day after Chile got knocked out of the World Cup competition by Brazil). When he found out I was from the US, he had me sit in the jump seat up in front and we had a nice chat on the short ride to the wharf.
The festival starts with a mass at the local church, then moves over to the dock area across the street. St. Peter's statue, along with another of the Virgin Mary are brought over. Later, Peter is loaded on a boat, and taken in procession across the harbor to Portals.
St. Peter, all decked out and waiting for the entertainment.
Near the end of an extremely energetic 20 minute performance, the dancers paid their respects to St. Peter and the Virgin.
It was really interesting to watch people finishing their decorations and pushing the boats on trailers down to the winch that launched them. In fact, it was such a beautiful day, and there was so much to see, I sat there for nearly 2 hours.
As I made my way back home again on the Metro, I saw a long line of small boats making their way from Caleta Membrillo to Portales, way out across the water.