Ultimate Guide for Medellin’s Flower Festival 2023

Flower Festival 2023 - Silletero

The Flower Festival, famously known as Feria de las Flores, stands as Medellín’s and even Colombia’s most significant cultural events. With its parades, silletas, events, and dances, both locals and foreigners take the city streets to enjoy the festivities. This year 2023, the flower festival will take place between July 20th and August 7th.

 

The first Flower Festival took place on May 1, 1957, to honor the customs, values, and ancestors of the paisa culture. Over the years, this tradition has blossomed, attracting increasing participation from people all over the world as they eagerly wait every year for this unique celebration.

 

If you’re planning to attend the festival this year, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your experience.

 

Flower Festival Events by day of the week

The following are the events we think are worth considering as a foreign tourist.

Friday July 28

  • Opening concert: It’s free and it will be right in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station). Reggaeton, Vallenato and other Folk-Colombian music. from 6pm until 1am.
  • Free folk-music concerts at Pueblito Paisa from noon until 9pm
  • Cultural festival (food, music and comedy) at Mercados del Rio from 4pm until midnight.
  • Off the beaten path: New colombian cumbia beats by Orquesta la Pascasia at La Pascasia

Saturday July 29

  • Free concert: Mostly colombian folk music (Vallenato) in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station)
  • Antique cars exhibition: at Mercados del Rio
  • Colombian salsa and “tropical” genre from 4pm to 4am. featuring Rikarena, El Combo de las Estrellas, Latin Brothers, Afrosound. If you are into a cultural immersion, you might be interested in giving this a chance https://fiestadecuadra.com/
  • Beer festival: between noon and 10pm by Erre Bar in El Poblado
  • Off the beaten path: New colombian cumbia beats by Orquesta la Pascasia at La Pascasia

Sunday July 30

Monday July 31

  • Free concert: Imitator show, it’s professional singers pretending to be very famous ones. From 4pm to 1am in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station)
  • Antique cars exhibition: at Mercados del Rio
  • Beer festival: between noon and 10pm by Erre Bar in El Poblado

Tuesday August 1

  • Free concert: Afro-Colombian and indigenous musics. From 4pm to 1am in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station)
  • Antique cars exhibition: at Mercados del Rio

Wednesday August 2

  • Free concert: Aterciopelados and Bajo Tierra (two of the most famous Colombian rock bands from the 90’s), there will also be La Etnnia (the most famous Colombian hip-hop group frmo the 90’s) there will also be some punk and reggae. From 4pm to 1am in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station)
  • Monsieur Periné (one of the most famous Colombian bands of electro-cumbia) and others at Teatro Pablo Tobon Uribe (in the city centre) from 4pm to 10pm
  • Salsa Concert (Willy Garcia and Maelo Ruiza) at Bora Bora Mall. 8pm to 4am.
  • Orchid Exhibition at the Botanical Gardens 9am to 9pm

Thursday August 3

  • Free concert: Colombian music (Vallenato, Salsa and Big Bands). From 4pm to 1am in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station)
  • Electronic Music (DJ Arkav, Red Noise, Arzax, Dareout, Intelligent Division, The Fabric of Reality, Shifted, Avian, among others) at Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.
  • Orchid Exhibition at the Botanical Gardens 9am to 9pm

Friday August 4

  • Free concert: Tropical Colombian music (Tropical, Vallenato and Salsa). From 4pm to 1am in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station)
  • Orchid Exhibition at the Botanical Gardens 9am to 9pm
  • Van Gogh Inmersive Art Experience at Los Molinos Mall. 10am to 8pm
  • Beer festival at Unicentro Mall. 11am until midnight

Satuday August 5

  • Antique Cars Parade: It starts at 9:45am. Please see the section below dedicated to the Antique Cars Parade.
  • Free concert: Folk and Tropical Colombian music. From 4pm to 1am in front of Factory Lofts hotel (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station)
  • “Ball de las Flores” (Farina, Tom Papa, Once Again, DJ Crisis Arias, Suka Prushna Korbyn Nezdoll, among others) at Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.
  • Gastronomic and Music festival from 11am until 1am at the parking lot of Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.
  • Orchid Exhibition at the Botanical Gardens 9am to 9pm
  • Van Gogh Inmersive Art Experience at Los Molinos Mall. 10am to 8pm
  • Beer festival at Unicentro Mall. 11am until midnight
  • “House of Perreo” Reggaton and Ragga concert (J Alvarez, La Factoria, Cheka, Cuentos de la Cripta, among others) at the south end of Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.

Sunday August 6

  • Salsa and Vallenato Concert (Farina, Tom Papa, Once Again, DJ Crisis Arias, Suka Prushna Korbyn Nezdoll, among others) at Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.
  • “Fondas de Mi Tierra” Gastronomic and Music festival from 11am until 1am at the parking lot of Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.
  • Orchid Exhibition at the Botanical Gardens 9am to 9pm
  • Van Gogh Inmersive Art Experience at Los Molinos Mall. 10am to 8pm
  • Beer festival at Unicentro Mall. 11am until midnight
  • “Gran Noche Bailable” Great dancing night at Plaza Mayor – Yellow Pabillion (not free)

Monday August 7

  • Silleteros Parade: It starts at 9:00am. They have not published the final route yet.
  • Gastronomic and Music festival from 11am until 1am at the parking lot of Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.
  • Orchid Exhibition at the Botanical Gardens 9am to 9pm
  • Van Gogh Inmersive Art Experience at Los Molinos Mall. 10am to 8pm
  • Salsa Festival at Comuna 13. Calle 49BB con Carrera 89B
  • Off the beaten path: Son de la Nubia at La Pascasia

(last updated July 29th)

 

Must-Attend Events at the Flower Festival

 

The celebrations last around ten days, encompassing various locations within the city and occasionally extending to neighboring rural parts of the city, mostly Santa Elena (30min east of the city centre). It’s crucial to stay informed about the event schedules because by July 17th they had not fully disclose the schedule, the route of the parades nor the line up of most concerts. So, stay tune to ensure you don’t miss out on anything!

 

Remember that the flower festival is specifically designed for the local community, meaning that many concerts are spanish folk music. It embraces the essence of Colombian culture, particularly the proud paisa heritage. From start to finish, each event radiates with the exaltation of local folklore. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic Colombian culture firsthand and up close.

 

The best way to understand and to plan the flower festival as a foreigner is to understand that there are four main stages and two main parades. All that on top of many other events and concerts distributed throughout the city. These are the main stages where there will be concerts, events and food-courts. Note: Once they publish the events, we’ll make sure to keep updating this information.

 

  1. Escenario La 70 Norte (right in front of Factory Lofts Hotel)
  2. Escenario Colombia by the Aeroparque Juan Pablo II.
  3. Escenario Conexión at open air theatre Carlos Vieco.
  4. Balcón de las Flores at Pueblito Paisa.

 

The two main parades of the Flower Festival are the following:

 

Antique Cars Parade – Saturday August 5th

 

Antique Cars Parade Flower Fair

 

The Antique Car Parade stands as one of the highly anticipated events of the Flower Festival. Covering a route spanning over 19 km, this event showcases approximately 285 classic and vintage cars manufactured between 1900 and 1987. For over 25 years, the parade has captivated car enthusiasts and people of all ages, from children to youth and adults.

 

Keep in mind that there are no designated seating areas available. So, bring along your folding chair and umbrella, and find the perfect spot on the streets to enjoy the parade. It starts at 9:45am at El Colombiano newspaper and it ends at EAFIT university, below is the route (subject to last minute changes).

Desfile de Silleteros (Silleteros Parade) August 7th

 

Flower Festival - Silleteros Parade
Flower Festival – Silleteros Parade

 

The Silleteros Parade, a highly anticipated event by the locals, stands as the centerpiece of the Flower Festival and will take place on Monday August 7th (Boyacá Battle Day). Hundreds of millions of flowers adorn saddles during this extraordinary parade. The route is yet to be defined by the authorities.

 

Curious about what a “silleta” is? A silleta is an intricate flower arrangement, often featuring elaborate images or patterns. Skilled farmers from Santa Elena meticulously create these arrangements using over 80 varieties of flowers, resulting in stunning portraits, landscapes, messages, and designs. Accompanied by marching bands, music, and traditional dances, the parade combines various traditions of the paisa culture.

 

Attending this particular event, which is the zenith of the entire flower festival, requires preparation for large crowds and some exposure to the sun. Normally there are two options for experiencing the parade: securing tickets for the designated seating areas, or opting for a good umbrella and a folding chair to enjoy the spectacle from the streets. This year however, they have not confirmed whether there will be seating areas,

 

Concerts

 

Flower Fair Concerts

 

Medellín understands the essential role of music in creating unforgettable experiences. Beyond its captivating parades, the Flower Festival presents multiple concerts across different city venues. The rhythms range from Spanish pop and vallenato to reggaeton and more.

 

Concerts, dates and links to secure your tickets:

 

Openning Free Concert 

Date: July 28

Location: Carrera 70 – Laureles, by Estadio Metro Station.

Artists: Arelys Henao, Nelson Velasquéz, Reikon, Andy Rivera, and more.

 

Sírvalo pues de Feria 

Date: July 28 

Location: La Macarena

Artists: Luis Alberto Posada, Yeison Jimenez, Nelson Velásquez, Herbert Vargas, El Andariego. (Genre: “Música popular” and vallenato)

Click here to buy your tickets. 

 

Pulmón herido al 100% 

Date: July 29

Location: La Macarena

Artists: Marbelle, Yolanda Rayo, Ilona and Majida Issa. (Genre: “Despecho”)

Click here to buy your tickets.

 

Orchid Exhibition at Botanical Garden

 

Jardín Botánico Flower Festival

 

Prepare to be amazed at the Botanical Garden of Medellín’s annual orchid exhibition. The “Florecer orquídeas, naturaleza y tradiciones” (Flowering Orchids, Nature and Traditions) event will showcase an impressive collection of over 2,000 orchid species. Explore educational areas and spaces dedicated to literature and biodiversity, specially designed for children. This event will be a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy nature together.

 

Fincas Silleteras 

 

Finca Silletera

 

As we mentioned earlier, the “silletas” for the Flower Festival are crafted by skilled farmers from Santa Elena, the rural part of Medellín. This cherished tradition has been passed down through generations, with these families using their flower crops to create beautiful designs that will be proudly showcased in the parade. 

 

One popular activity among locals and visitors is to go to Santa Elena and visit one of these farms (fincas) to have a traditional lunch and to learn about the culture behind the silleteros. If you’re interested in delving deeper into this fascinating art form, we strongly recommend either renting a motorcycle or going on a tour, as it is rather complex to do it via public transport. We recommend Turismo En Medellin, you can get in touch with them here. they have several daily departures but the english guide is always in the morning one. Overall, they help you get immerse in the experience as you learn about the different types of “silletas” and the fascinating paisa culture. 

 

 

 

Festival de Trova

 

Flower Festival - Festival de la Trova. Credit: Medellin Bureau and Medellin.Travel
Flower Festival – Festival de la Trova. Credit: Medellin Bureau and Medellin.Travel

The XIX National Trova Festival of Medellín is a one-of-a-kind event that embraces the local tradition of trova. It is a singing battle, which can be extremelly entretaining if you speak spanish, otherwise, it can be tremendously boring. There are three categories dedicated to children, youth, and seniors, this festival showcases the art of sung, rhymed, and improvised verses. The troubadours take center stage, creating verses to the rhythm of the music, sharing humorous anecdotes and exaggerated tales. This event offers you a perfect opportunity to experience the local artistic heritage of Medellín.

 

We really hope this post has been useful and look forward to seeing you during those days in our city. If you are interested in learning more about the paisa and Colombian culture we invite you to join us in our daily tours through Medellin, check out our free walking tour.