This annual event, also known as Feria de las Flores takes place in city of Medellin, Colombia. It is a very important social event with a pageant, musical concerts, a Horse Parade and a Automobile display.
The very first festival was held in 1957 and was organised by Arturo Uribe from the Tourism Bureau. It lasted five days and the venue was the Metropolitan Cathedral to celebrate Virgin Mary day. The Flower Parade is meant to represent the end of slavery – a time when slaves carried men and women on their backs instead of flowers.
It was initially held in May but from 1958 on, it was moved to the month of August. Other events were added on over the years – the latest being the Orchids Exposition.
One can expect to silleteros (flower carriers) – a group of peasants who carry wooden frames decorated with flowers on their backs over long distances. One can see a lot of elaborate flower arrangements – they are judged in different categories and also get awards. The festival has become more organised over the years and runs longer – 15 days. The full schedule of events can be found on the Festival’s official web page.
The aim of the festival is to express the general sentiment that tolerance, gender equality, co-existence and family unity is most important in Colombian culture. Other events which make this festival a big hit are the musical acts – come and find Latin Jazz, Grup Gale, Andres Cepeda to name a few. The group Horse Ride section garners a lot of interest from the public – come and check out all the fun activities that the Festival has to offer.
There was a bit of controversy about the broadcasting rights of the festival – one TV broadcasting channel was not given the rights to broadcast the festival and it created uproar with the people. Hopefully this will be sorted out and everyone can enjoy watching this event, in person and on television.