Founded by the Spaniard Garcí Manuel de Carbajal on August 15, 1540, Arequipa celebrates its anniversary each year enthusiastically with festivities throughout the month of August.
And Peru’s second largest city, which by the way was the capital of the young Peruvian Republic from 1835 to 1883, surely knows how to throw a party and celebrate.
Throughout the month there are several cultural and art events including food and art fairs, exhibitions, dance and music festivals, concerts, (military) parades, sport activities (don’t miss the Ascenso al Misti, the climbing the Misti volcano), competitions and contests.
Highlights of the birthday celebrations of the Ciudad Blanca, the White City as Arequipa is often named because of the usage of local white volcanic stone for the buildings in the historical city center, however are two parades: the Pasacalle Regional and the Corso de la Amistad, the Friendship Parade.
The Pasacalle Regional is a folkloric parade usually held a week before the anniversary and Arequipa’s most important cultural event of the year. Over 2000 artists present locals and visitors traditional dances, traditional music and colorful costumes from the 8 different provinces of the Arequipa region.
On the actual anniversary on August 15, the Corso de la Amistad, the Friendship Parade, takes over Arequipa. The Corso is a huge daylong parade comprising folkloric dancers, traditional costumes, marching bands and a wide variety of floats. Expect lots of fun, a cheerful atmosphere and great local food and drinks.