Feria de las Flores: A Flower Festival in Medellin.
A festival of flowers, Feria de las Flores, in Medellin, Colombia.
Feria de las Flores ‐ a Colombian festival of flowers — is a big deal in Medellin, Colombia. Every August the city throws a huge celebration devoted to the beautiful blossoms. For an entire week Paisas, other Colombians, and tourists alike flock to the city to enjoy decorative figures made from flowers, flower exhibitions, parades devoted to flowers, and concerts (not made of flowers but still).
I arrived in town towards the end of the week, so I didn’t get to enjoy everything the flower festival in Medellin had to offer, but I did manage to take part in a few of the festivities…
What to see at Feria de las Flores, a flower festival in Medellin, Colombia:
Gigantes de Flores
Throughout the city, displays of gigantes — huge sculptures made from flowers — were set up in parks and squares. Alas, I only made it to see one of them (some were far from the city center), but I totally think I found the perfect design for my future home…
Almost every night there were concerts in Parque Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Park). Latin bands from throughout South America and the world played. I went two nights in a row and, each night, it rained. Hard. But no one seemed to care. Everyone put up umbrellas or bought $1 ponchos and continued to watch and dance salsa in the aisles.
For the flower festival, Jardín Botánico, the botanical garden of Medellín, featured creative displays of flowers. Some were traditional, showcasing perfect specimens of roses or orchids. Some were more creative, elaborate setups showing mannequins or tablescapes.
Desfile de Silleteros
The ultimate, and one of the biggest, events for Feria de las Flores in Medellin is the Desfile de Silleteros. I watched the parade with new friends from my hostel and met a bunch of Colombians who poured shots of aguardiente down my throat and chanted “aburrido” to the viewers on the other side. This big parade winds through the city and features a grand display of silleteros: elaborate, heavy, flower-filled art pieces carried on the back to signify the colonial tradition of bearing loads on one’s back when other transportation options weren’t available.
Outside of the silleteros the parade was kind of a light version of a pride parade… Just sayin.
p.s. This was the official Feria de las Flores song: La Feria en Mi Casa. And I’m not sure I will ever get it out of my head…