Ultimate Guide for Medellin’s Flower Festival 2024

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 2024, the flower festival will take place between August 2nd and August 11th.

 

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 August 2

  • Opening concert: It’s free and it will be right in front of El Obelisco (in Laureles, 10 minutes walk from Estadio Metro station). Reggaeton, Vallenato and other Folk-Colombian music. from 6pm until 1am.
  • Festival de la Trova Semifinals. in el Parque de los Desos
  • Fondas de mi Tierra. Tickets here

Saturday August 3

  • Festival de la Trova Semifinals. in el Parque de los Desos
  •  Silleteritos Parade. Kids dress up as silleteros have their own parade in el Parque La Floresta
  • Fondas de mi Tierra. Tickets here
  • Concert La Eterna, featuring Marc Anthony, Nicky Jam, Ana Gabriel, Fonseca, and more.

Sunday August 4

  • Fondas de mi Tierra. Tickets here
  • Noche Afro. Parque Cultural Nocturno in Plaza Gardel

Monday August 5

Tuesday August 6

Wednesday August 7 (National Holiday)

Thursday August 8

Friday August 9

Saturday August 10

Sunday August 11

  • Silleteros Parade: It starts at 2:00pm. Starting at Puente de Guayaquil (Industriales Metro Station), they will parade northwards and at San Juan street will turn right (eastwards) to end at Plaza Mayor.
  • Orchid Exhibition at the Botanical Gardens
  • Fondas de Mi Pueblo. Parking lot Jumbo de la 65

(last updated June 28th 2024)

 

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. Parque Cultural Nocturno in Plaza Gardel

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

 

Antique Cars Parade – Saturday August 10th

 

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 11th

 

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 drags thousands of people desperately looking for a spot to watch the parade. Hundreds of millions of flowers adorn saddles during this extraordinary parade. The route is will start at 2pm from Puente de Guayaquil (Industriales metro station), they will walk northwards until San Juan street where they will turn right (eastwards) until Avenida del Ferrocarril where they will turn right again (southwards) to finish in Plaza Mayor.

 

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: August 2

Location: Centro Comercial Obelisco

Artists:Reggaeton, Vallenato and other Folk-Colombian music.

 

La Eterna

Date: August 3 

Location: Estadio Atanasio Girardot

Artists: Marc Anthony, Nicky Jam, Ana Gabriel, Fonseca and more

Click here to buy your tickets. 

 

Super Concierto De la Feria

Date: August 10

Location: Polideportivo Sur de Envigado

Artists: Carlos Vives, Silvestre Dangond, Alejandro Fernandez and more.

Click here to buy your tickets.

 

Fiesta Montañera

Date: August 6

Location: La Macarena

Artists: Yeison Jimenez, Hebert Vargas, Jorge Celedón and more

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.