Desfile de Silleteros: The 56th Annual Flower Parade

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Silleteros
Silleteros
Start of the 56th Annual Desfile de Silleteros (Flower Parade)
Start of the 56th Annual Desfile de Silleteros (Flower Parade)

The Desfile de Silleteros, or Flower Parade, is the flagship event of the annual Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival).

Each year, the silleteros, the men and women from Santa Elena, work tirelessly to create the most beautiful silletas (flower arrangements) possible.

Due to the variety of sizes and themes for the silletas, there are various classes, including: children’s, junior’s, traditional, emblematic, monumental, and commercial.

Before the parade begins, all the silletas are judged in a competition.

Then, once the parade gets under way, the silleteros who placed first, second, third, fourth or fifth in their class get to walk out in that order.

Imagine the excitement those winners are feeling as they just learned the news, and then have to walk with the display on their back for several hours!

In between the silleteros, you’ll see marching bands and dance troupes performing. The whole event is a beautiful display of paisa culture.

The overall winner of the 2013 competition performs a 360-degree turn to show off his winning silleta (flower arrangement)
The overall winner of the 2013 competition performs a 360-degree turn to show off his winning silleta (flower arrangement)
A marching band from Bello, the city bordering Medellin to the north
A marching band from Bello, the city bordering Medellin to the north
The 1st place silleta in the children's division
The 1st place silleta in the children’s division. Often following in their parent’s footsteps, some of these kids will continue as silleteros into adulthood.
This silletera placed 4th in the children's division
This silletera placed 4th in the children’s division
The 4th place silleta in the children's division
The 4th place silleta in the children’s division says “Thank you God for this moment.”
The 5th place silleta in the children's division
The 5th place silleta in the children’s division
A large, human-powered float
A large, human-powered float
Between the various groupings of silleteros were colorfully-dressed dancers
Between the various groupings of silleteros were colorfully dressed dancers
The procession of Junior silleteros
The procession of Junior silleteros
The Junior silleteros
The Junior silleteros
A silletera receives assistance carrying her flower display
The Colombian version of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts walk along with the silleteros, helping them to carry the silletas whenever it’s needed
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place silletas in the Traditional category
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place silletas in the Traditional category
Colorful dresses
Colorful dresses
A long line of traditional silletas
A long line of traditional silletas
The parade of Emblematic silletas
The parade of Emblematic silletas
A close-up view of one of the Monumental silletas
A close-up view of one of the Monumental silletas
Several of the silleteros in the Traditional group
Several of the silleteros in the Traditional group
1st place in the Commercial group went to a silleta honoring the local  police
1st place in the Commercial group went to a silleta honoring the local police
Another commercial flower silleta displays the icon on the Medellin city flag
Another commercial flower silleta displays the icon on the Medellin city flag
Seeing the police dogs pull little silleta displays on wheels is one of my favorite moments of the parade
Seeing the police dogs pull little silleta displays on wheels is one of my favorite moments of the parade
A view north shows the tail end of the parade, featuring donkeys
A view north shows the tail end of the parade, featuring donkeys
The view to the south, as the parade wraps up
The view to the south, as the parade wraps up. From here, I walked a few blocks through the crowds, and caught a taxi the rest of the way home.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. David;
    I had asked before about extending my visa but found out I qualify for pension visa due to social security. Since I can come Medellin almost immediately, is there a best month to arrive to find apt or hostal? Or is good anytime. Thinking arriving in September 2013. Also, would you be interested in have some brewskis with me while I ask some all important questions? Would like to meet you and Ryan, and get a better understanding of life happens there. Planning on staying there. Can’t wait to here from you.
    Joined Colombiacupid.com and the response has been overwhelming.
    Bill

    • You can find beds or rooms at hostels any time, and I don’t think it matters much when you start looking for an apartment. It’s not like we have a cold, snowy winter season here like you do in the northeast US.

      Also, there are no major events happening in the city that should tie up places to stay until December, which is the start of the next high season.

      The best way to meet up with Ryan and I is to attend one of the biweekly reader meetups, currently happening every other Tuesday night. You’ll also get to meet a lot of others in town as well, they’ve been fun.

  2. Hi David,
    Hope all is well!

    How much is the ticket where I can sit and watch the show and where can I buy?

    Thanks,