Sam Castañeda Holdren
This year’s Feria de las Flores may be over, but the fond memories continue to live on.
After hearing for years how spectacular the flower festival is, I was finally able to witness firsthand the weeklong series of parties, concerts, parades, fairs and all around fun that attracts visitors from all over the globe.
In Medellin, there’s always a positive energy in the air, and there’s always something fun to do. But I’ve never seen the city come alive like it did when this year’s Feria de las Flores kicked off on the weekend of July 29th. People from all corners of the city came out and filled the streets, public parks and private venues in what felt like a celebration of life, love and unity.
According to information provided by the city government, the Feria dates back to as early as 1906 with the launch of the Annual Exposition of Flowers, Fruits and Garden Produce. The Feria is officially a celebration of one of Colombia’s largest exports – flowers grown in the Antioquia region where Medellin resides.
Some of the most notable events and activities are the:
- Free inaugural concert in the streets near the stadium
- “Las fondas” – which reminds me a lot like a state fair with food, drink, dancing and live music.
- Kids Zone at Parque Norte – during the Feria, kids and one adult per kid get to ride all theme park rides for free
- Antique Car Parade
- Trips to nearby local pueblos like Santa Elena where flowers are grown
- Parade of Silleteros – the main event with traditional dancing, marching bands and spectacular displays of flowers that farmers carry on their backs for miles. It’s really a site to see – and the silleteros compete for prizes based on their flower displays
- Parque Cultural Nocturno featuring a stage and free concerts ranging from salsa artists to orchestras.
For full details about the festival, the city government maintains a website here.
If you’ve considered traveling to Colombia, I recommend visiting Medellin during the Feria de la Flores. The official video of the Feria de las Flores 2016 I posted below will give a little taste of what the flower festival has to offer. Plus it comes with a special bonus – according to OrgulloLGBT, this year’s video features out and proud members of the LGBT community!