Chivas and Flowers Parade

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Chiva and flower parade
Chiva and flower parade
Chivas
Dozens of chivas line up for the start of the Chivas and Flowers Parade

This year, I attended the Chivas and Flowers Parade, part of the annual Feria de las Flores, for the first time.

The staging area for the 60-80 chivas was a street behind Ciudad del Rio, where I live.

I quickly learned the event is more than just a simple three-hour parade of Antioquia’s finest chivas through the streets of Medellin.

It’s also a competition, and the judging criteria goes much deeper than the paint jobs. The chivas are scored on their engines and mechanical parts too!

The winning chiva owner gets bragging rights, a new car, and the chance to have his/her chiva featured on the publicity for the following year’s parade.

Viviana and I initially arrived at 11 AM, three hours before the parade was due to start, yet there were already people claiming seats on chivas, especially the 2012 winner, which had the honor of leading the parade. Tickets were 36,000 pesos ($19).

At first, I thought it’d be a long, boring ride, but when we returned at 2 PM to watch the chivas take off, the atmosphere was much more exciting.

Some passengers were dressed up, while others were armed with carnival foam, and happy to spray it at everyone in sight.

The scene quickly reminded me that chivas are party buses, so it was clear the passengers were going to have a blast rumbling through the city.

Purple chiva
Most of the chivas came from pueblos around Antioquia, but some, like this purple one, were from Medellin
The Jaguar hood ornament on this chiva caught my attention
The Jaguar hood ornament on this chiva caught my attention
The Jardin chiva, featuring tons of sunflowers, was one of my favorites
The Jardin chiva, featuring tons of sunflowers, was one of my favorites
Andes chiva
This chiva from Andes features a statuette of the Virgen del Carmen on the hood, who I’m told is the patron saint of chivas (or buses, or bus drivers…you get the idea)
As the winner of the 2012 chiva competition, this bus from Andes gets to lead the 2013 Chivas and Flowers parade
As the winner of the 2012 chiva competition, this bus from Andes gets to lead the 2013 Chivas and Flowers parade
A purple chiva from Guarne, a pueblo thirty minutes outside of Medellin
A purple chiva from Guarne, a pueblo thirty minutes outside of Medellin
A vendor tries to sell sprayable carnival foam to passengers on this chiva from El Carmen
A vendor tries to sell carnival foam to passengers on this chiva from El Carmen
A TV crew jumps aboard the Jardin chiva as it begins driving the parade route
A TV crew jumps aboard the Jardin chiva as it begins driving the parade route
This chiva was decorated with Granadillas (the orange fruits)
This chiva was decorated with Granadillas (the orange fruits)
Red chiva from Andes
This red chiva from Andres featured one of the prettier flower displays

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