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Chileans welcome 2019 with huge fireworks shows

Fireworks explode over the port during New Year's celebrations in Valparaiso, Chile, on Jan. 1, 2019. EPA-EFE/Raul Zamora

Fireworks explode over the port during New Year’s celebrations in Valparaiso, Chile, on Jan. 1, 2019. EPA-EFE/Raul Zamora

EFE

Santiago, Valparaiso and other cities in Chile welcomed 2019 with huge fireworks shows, drawing thousands of people who packed into streets and parks, celebrating and dancing until dawn.

The biggest celebration took place in Valparaiso, where more than 500,000 people watched the fireworks show, considered one of the largest in Latin America.

Fireworks lit up the sky for about 20 minutes along a 50-kilometer (31-mile) stretch of coast from Valparaiso to Viña del Mar and Concon.

The fireworks show came close to being cancelled due to a strike by port workers that led to clashes with police, but the labor dispute was resolved and the New Year’s Eve celebration went on as scheduled.

“A positive outcome,” Carabineros militarized police Maj. Marcos Jimenez, who is in charge of security at Valparaiso’s Prat Pier, told reporters.

Some 400,000 people turned out in Santiago to welcome 2019, celebrating along Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, the capital’s main avenue.

New Year’s Eve revelers watched the fireworks show at the Entel tower.


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