Colombia’s second largest city, Medellín, will kick off the annual Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival) later this month. The festival, which lasts for 11 days in the Antioquian capital, hosts more than a half-million partygoers with various concerts, parades, floral events and traditional ballads. Of those that attend the festival, at least 20,000 are expected from abroad. The festival is a boon for hotels and restaurants, and is expected to generate an economic surplus of 77 billion Colombian pesos.
The Flower Fair is an annual celebration in Medellín which lasts for 10 to 11 days in the Antioquian capital, hosting antique cars exhibits, as well as floral events and traditional ballads.
More than 26,000 national and international visitors are expected for this fair, as well as a hotel occupancy of 80%, which will generate an economic surplus of 77 billion Colombian pesos (US $24 million dollars).
This year, the Silleteros Parade, the main event of this fair, will be celebrating its 60th anniversary. Originally a simple affair with only 12 participants, the parade has evolved to host more than 500 performers that include dancers, parade floats, and performers adorned with arrays of flowers. The parade will take place on August 7th and is a 2km journey.
The parade owes its name to the original founders, the “silleteros”, who received their name from the tools they used. “Silletas” are equipment that farmers used to transport flowers on their backs in order to sell them in the city.
More than 25 other events will be held during the festival, including concerts by reggaeton sensations Wisin and Daddy Yankee, salsa king Marc Anthony, and various other well known Latin singers. Events will be held throughout the city, including traditional ballads on July 28th and 29th in the “Parque de Los Deseos” (Park of Wishes). On August 4th, National Ballad Festival of Medellín will be held in “Plaza Gardel” (Gardel Square).
“We want this to become a family affair, with a vast repertoire of cultural and artistic events. The main attraction, of course, will be the “silleteros”, who will be celebrating their 60th anniversary”, added Medellín’s mayor Federico Gutiérrez.
In addition to the various events, which includes concerts, parades, an antique car exhibition and more, the week is known for parties held throughout the city. The most traditional setting for these parties are in Medellín’s “fondas”, or small cantinas where paisas dance the night away while drinking the city’s traditional aguardiente (“fire water”) drink.
Watch Telemedellín’s host describe this year’s events (video is in Spanish). For English-language information, web site Medellín Living is a fantastic resource for all news and events about the Feria.