THE ROSE BOWL PARADE OF SOUTH AMERICA – LA FERIA DE LAS FLORES
If you love flowers, grow and sell flowers, admire flowers or simply give flowers there are two large events that should be in your bucket list. The Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena California and the Feria de la Flores in Medellin, Colombia South America.
I consider myself all three of the above types persons and I have been to both events.
The Feria de las Flores (The Festival of Flowers) held every year during the first ten days of August is a celebration of flowers and the flower growers in and around the city of Medellin Colombia. The majority of these flowers are grown and decorated in Santa Helena, a municipality in the mountains were flowers are grown for sale and export to the world. Colombia is the second largest producer of flowers in the world right after the Netherlands. Sixty five percent of roses are produced in Colombia for export to Europe, North America and Asia.
The Feria de las Flores similar to the Rose Bowl Parade is a celebration of flowers, nature and all the beauty and emotion that flowers bring to man’s soul.
Similarly to the floats that parade down in Pasadena, these human propelled floats named “silleteros” (from the Spanish word silla – chair, men who carry flower decorated chairs on their backs) carry flowers by foot for the length of the parade. There are no motorized floats here to help the flower farmers who carry their flowers on their backs and they do it by foot to show the love and care that goes into growing each stem of flower.
Similar to the Rose Bowl Parade rules, all of the flowers at the Feria de Las Flores have to be natural and from the area.
The Feria de las Flores started in May 1, 1957 and was organized by Arturo Uribe a member of the Board of Tourism of Medellin, the festival lasted for five days with an exposition of flowers displayed at the Metropolitan Cathedral. This flower parade represented the end of slavery when slaves carried wealthy men and women on their backs up the steep hillsides of the City of Medellin.
The first “silleteros” parade consisted of 40 “silleteros”. Today the festival represents the abundance of flowers and the future of the flower industry in this part of the world. No wonder Medellin is called the city of flowers, the city of eternal spring.
This year’s “silleteros” parade consisted of almost 500 men, women and children carrying “silletas” (from the world silla=chair in Spanish)
A “silleta” saddle can weigh up to 70 kilos and measure up to five meters high with a similar diameter. Some types of flowers that are produced here are: pinochios, lilies, carnations, agapanthus, sparks, sunflowers, gladioli and tulle wedding. Traditional saddles use snapdragons and very wild and delicate flowers, which by their fragility demand special care.
My bucket list has been filled for these events. For all the flower lovers these two events cannot be missed.
Prof. Carlos Roncal is a Professor of global strategies and the founder and owner of Jewel Valley Flowers a wholesale and retail distributor of flowers from Colombia, Ecuador and California. Originally from Bolivia Carlos now lives in Dallas Texas and has a second home in Medellin Colombia.
Please contact Prof. Roncal at 469-400-4787 or at email@example.com
(The following pictures were selected from various photographers that kindly published on the internet)