feria de las flores Medellin

It’s Tuesday here in sunny Antioquia, and the city is buzzing from the 62st Feria de las Flores, Medellin’s annual Flower Festival and most important event of the year. It’s going to be a big week.

One can imagine that there are parades, flowers, and cultural delights, but the Feria’s intimidating, 30-page, all-Spanish program  may make it daunting to decide which events to attend. It doesn’t help that there’s very little information online in English.  

So, what is actually going on at this festival? Which events should you attend? We’ve put together this guide to help get you started.

History

The Feria de las flores began humbly in May 1957 as a five day celebration of flowers and local culture. Most of this event consisted of parties in private social clubs, though the highlight was a parade of 30-40 silleteros: rural men carrying ornate flower arrangements on their backs. Since then the festival has grown to international importance, with the parade of silleteros continuing as one of the most important events.

Because of the growth of the event, the fair has seen several significant changes in recent years. The Cabalgata, or horse parade, which famously paraded hundreds of horses down Medellin’s central highway, was cancelled due to mistreatment of horses, intoxicated riders, and other controversies. The event has been replaced by a bicycle parade.

Weekday Events

All Week

Visit the farms of the “silleteros”

Get the inside scoop on the “silleteros” and how the flower arrangements are made.  Go to Corregimiento de Santa Elena from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day this week.

The Flower Plaza, or La Plaza de las Flores 

This is the new cultural event of the Feria and is a collection of artisan goods, music, food, dance, and games.  It’s located in:
Parque Norte: August 2nd to 6th
Aereopuerto Juan Pablo II: August 4th to 9th
Ciudad del Rio: August 7th to 11th

Orchids, Birds, and Flowers

Don’t miss this important event! Inauguration starts at 8 am in the Botanic Garden. This year, the exhibition of flowers will focus on local species.  Location: Jardín Botánico, 8: a.m. to 8 p.m.

Calle de los artistas (since August 2nd to 10th – 3pm to 7pm)

Pasaje Junin
Avenida La Playa
Plaza Botero
Parque Lleras
Carrera 70

Saturday, August 3rd 2019:

Escenarios artisticos y culturales

San Antonio de Prado: 6 pm to 11 pm
San Cristobal: 7 pm to 12 am
Altavista: 5 pm to 10 pm

Sunday, August 4th 2019:

Escenarios artisticos y culturales

Santa Elena: 6 pm to 12 am
San Sebastian de Palmitas: 5 pm to 10 pm

Saturday, August 3rd 2019:

Al Ritmo de la Bici

Salida del Parque de las Luces 2 pm

Sunday, August 4th to 8th 2019:

Parque Cultural Nocturno

Plaza Gardel: 6 pm to 12 am

Sunday, August 6th and 7th 2019:

Noche de Folclore – Ballet Folklórico de México

Museo de Arte Moderno: 7 pm

Trova Competition Finale

What’s Trova? Think rap battles, but Colombian style: typical music, guitars, and with the goal of rousing the audience to the heights of laughter and cheer. On Friday is the culmination of many rounds of elimination. The finals are Friday, August 9th. Location: Plaza Gardel at 6 pm


The Flower Parade, or La Silletera. 

silleteras medellin feria de las flores

Sunday, August 11th holds the grand finale and arguably the week’s most important and anticipated events of Feria de las flores. Watch as 500 locals of all ages parade through the streets carrying ornate flower arrangements on their backs.

The flower arrangements are mounted on chairs, hence the name silla teros (“silla” means chair in Spanish) for those that carry them. 

Location: Avenida Regional (Puente de Guayaquil), San Juan, Avenida Ferrocarril, Plaza Mayor. Enter at 10am for the 2pm start. 

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