Medellin’s colorful Flower Festival (Feria de Flores) will be held from July 27 to August 11 featuring an equestrian extravaganza, treasured antique cars, dozens of shows, and all topped by an unparalleled flower parade.
Medellin’s Flower Festival officially opens with the Cabalgata – a three-hour long horse parade that begins dramatically with Colombia’s vibrant colors – red, yellow, and blue – filling the sky from smoke fireworks, and giving the Feria de Flores a flower kingdom’s majesty.
The spirited horses are striking – imposing Pasofinos trot elegantly, followed by sturdy white, brown, and black thoroughbreds parading triumphantly in unison The riders are decked out in a variety of Paisa clothing – from traditional wide brimmed hats, elaborate western-style boots, and colorful shirts accented with tri-colored Paisa serapes, and many riders show the loveliness of Paisa women.
The festival’s Parade of Flowers was next, and is like none other imaginable – a spectacular, mobile show of colossal floral arrangements. The flower displays, called selliteros, have evolved from small wooden boxes, to extravagant six-foot disks which take strong backs to carry. Like the cabalgate’s parading horses these imaginative arrangements, created by Paisa artists, seem endless; yet one never tires of the amazing colors and imaginative displays of lush green, deep red and purple, to brilliant yellow intended to represent ecological conservation for future generations.
As the floral procession unfolded, bystanders cheered, celebrated, and applauded the beautiful arrangements. It was a parade of color, beauty, and a true festival of life. The appreciative, congenial crowd clearly demonstrated two top Paisa trademarks – cordiality and friendliness.
Next came the Parade of Antique Cars, a convoy of hundreds of faithfully restored antique turn-of-the-century autos. Mint condition Ford Model Ts chugged past, while sleek Packards, and even an antique fire truck awed onlookers as it wound its way for miles through the celebrating city. It was a most memorable finale to eight exciting days of revelry.
The most fascinating of all, however, were the Chiva – multicolored holiday busses used by Colombians for celebration. A new friend explained the paisas celebrate by riding in Chivas with their open areas where once aboard one may dance, sing and drink aguardiente – the Paisa liquor. I was invited to jump on, and was instantly among friends. The idea is to enjoy the ride as long as you wish. Again, it reinforced a Paisa attribute – to make visitors feel genuinely welcome.
Aboard the Chiva the Paisas proudly pointed out their city’s highlights which included impressive parks, plazas, and playgrounds. Paisas are proud to show off what may be South America’s best kept secret – Medellin. With what I’d already seen in less than a week it was easy to understand.
About Medellin Flowers Parade
In 1957, the “parade of silleteros” (One of the flower’s carnivals’ event) was realized for first time. It was celebrated when a gardener’ club of the city decided to make a flowers’ exposition in Bolivar’ park, in the Atrium of the Metropolitan’ cathedral. At this time it was called the flowers party, with musicals’ groups and the participation of queens, carriages and dancing’s in social’s clubs.
Forty’ silleteros, farmers with bunch’s of flowers and foliages charging in their backs a wood frame body (a wood part used for selling their products in the “ Placita de flores”), were invited to participate of this floral’ event walking until the park, in the downtown’ area.
Even thought, the first carnival was celebrated for first time in May, in 1958 was moved to the date of August’ 11 the day of the Antioquia’s Independence’s day. Today the silleteros’ parade it is one of main event in flowers’ carnival with the participation of 500 silleteros of the rural’ area of Santa Elena.
Beside of the parade, the carnival has now different events for all type of public.
In August; when the city is flourished in their maximum’ splendor; Medellin; is full of a happy’ environment that have in the flower’s carnival their kinder’ emblem. Balconies, terraces and so on; evoking the appreciated image of “city of flowers” and “Eternal’ spring”. The summoning to this year’ meeting with the old subject of the regional’ culture’ event, provoke a powerful effect of attraction of an important flux of nationals and internationals tourist that came to this appointment for enjoy a variety of spectacles in this flower’s carnival. Without distinguish age or social’ condition, the citizen are mixed with the visitants for showing civism and kind, besides of their famous tradition of good hosts.
The flowers’ carnival with their main’ event, the “silleteros parade”, constitute one of the cultural’ episode more charged of identity’ affirmation in a town; At the same time, is one magnificent’ projection of the most hospitable’ face of the Medellin’ city.
A year event, with national’ and international’ recognition, offer to the visitants culture’s traditions and modern’s events like:
• Festival Nacional de la Trova.
• Parque Infantil Zona que Suena.
• Desfile de Clásicos y Antiguos.
• Desfile Infantil de Silleteritos en la Floresta.
• Mercado de Sanalejo.
• Tablados Musicales y Culturales en diferentes sitios de la ciudad.
• Desfile de Bandas Musicomarciales en la floresta.
• Festival del Recuerdo y la Canción Popular.
• Parque Cultural Nocturno.
• Orquídeas, Pájaros y Flores.
• Humor City.
• Caminata Canina.
• La Feria Nacional Equina.
• Festival de orquestas.
• Arrieros, Mulas y Fondas.
• Desfile a caballo Cabalgata Feria de las Flores.
• Caravana de Chivas y Flores.
• Campeonato Nacional de Sonido sobre Ruedas, entre otros.
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