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Culture Express > News Video

Annual parade unveils Medellin's Flower Festival


08-14-2014 00:51 BJT

Colombian city of Medellin turns into a kaleidoscope of colours every August... It's time for florists to flaunt their artistic flair as they take their elaborate flower arrangements onto the streets for a parade. The event reportedly dates back to 1957, when a Medellin local invited florists from nearby villages put their work on display.

A city in full bloom. Scores of florists descended on the metropolis of Medellin on Sunday, for a colourful flower festival with a local twist.

Celebrating the art of floristry, flower aficionados known as "silleteros" showed off elaborate floral arrangements, or "silletas" worn on their backs as they marched on Colombia's second-city.

It started as a humble parade, but more than fifty years on, it has evolved to become a prized event on Colombia's cultural calendar. Florists go all out on their "silletas" in hope of winning the categorised competition.

Many of the parade participants, both young and old, travelled down to Medellin from the nearby mountainous area of Santa Elena. Families there have dedicated themselves to flower production for generations and consider the "silleta" as a source of pride.

Heavy local participation helps to restore the image of the once drug-ravaged Medellin, now dubbed Colombia's "city of eternal spring". The parade is the highlight of the annual 10-day Medellin Flower Fair, which sees parks, streets and gardens in the city blossom every August.



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