Originally Written For I Love Chile
CHILE CELEBRATED AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE WITH THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY, ON WEDNESDAY JUNE 24. THE UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR, MICHAEL HAMMER KICKED OFF THE PARTY WITH HARLEY- DAVIDSON AND JACK DANIELS.
SANTIAGO — Independence Day is usually celebrated as a national holiday in America, on July 4. However, the embassy could not wait to unveil the numerous cakes shaped like Abraham Lincoln, and the White House.
Hammer addressed the crowd seriously in Spanish with the United States Military beside him at his home near El Golf in Chile’s capital before leading the crowd in a “Viva Chile” chant to end his speech and kick off the festivities.
People attempted to cut into the cakes of their choice as a live jazz band played American classics. As Hammer floated around the rooms greeting guests, the partygoers were able to celebrate with an endless buffet of food and drinks. It was a mix between the cultures of the two countries in his heart.
From Pisco Sours, to cheeseburgers, it was all there. Guests were also able to take the ride of their life. With a leather jacket on, visitors pushed 80 on a Harley, after their complimentary Jack Daniels mixed drinks.
There were four bikes on display, and one that you could take for a spin. Although the gas was pumping, the bike stayed in place with the instructor who was guiding the guests through. Like a true American, Hammer took a ride with his wife on back.
Wednesday was just the beginning of one of America’s biggest holidays. The next day, the ambassador held a flag raising ceremony. Unlike the pre party, this event was open to the American public. Although this event was less extravagant, Hammer’s country men were treated like family.
“It was a really touching experience being so far from home on my favorite holiday,” Elle Weber, an American who is currently interning in Santiago. “It was much less formal than what I was expecting with the sing-alongs and hot dogs, which I liked!”
The festivities are not over. The holiday is right around the corner, and although it is not a holiday in Chile, the city will still be celebrating.
It just so happens that July 4 is the same day as the Copa América finals. This is the first time that the country has watched their team get this far in a major soccer competition, so win or lose, the city will be making noise in Plaza Italia, quite the experience for any expat.