The 27th Annual Horse Parade

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Horse parade
Horse parade
These ladies came to ride
These ladies came to ride

This year was my third Feria de las Flores, and my third horse parade. Aside from the Flower Parade, this event, more than any other, sums up the paisa spirit to me.

In 2010 I read there were 6,000 horses in the parade. This year, Viviana told me she heard there were 12,000 horses, while a veterinary student/volunteer we questioned said she’d heard over 20,000 horses!

Whatever the number, there was an endless stream of horses parading through Medellin from 12pm to 6pm three Sundays ago.

As I’ve done in the past, we began walking along the route from the Aguacatala metro station. Unlike prior years, it went as far north as the Poblado metro station, before looping across the river and continuing on the southbound side of the highway.

It was on this side that all the palcos (private boxes) were set up. This was the party side, and it was extremely crowded. We were soon squeezing through crowds in a manner similar to when I was pickpocketed in 2010.

I was testing out pick-pocket proof pants by Clothing Arts, but I didn’t want to push my luck, so we caught a taxi back toward the Poblado metro station, where we watched a little longer, before calling it a wrap.

A banner hangs over the parade route, announcing the horse parade runs from 12pm to 6pm
A banner hangs over the parade route, announcing the horse parade runs from 12pm to 6pm
A row of mounted police form a control line to help keep some semblance of safety and order amongst the thousands of riders, horses, and spectators
A row of mounted police form a control line to help keep some semblance of safety and order amongst the thousands of riders, horses, and spectators
An overhead view of the parade route, as it makes a loop near the Poblado metro station
An overhead view of the parade route, as it makes a loop near the Poblado metro station
While drinking alcohol is prohibited for the riders, most ignore this rule. This couple, however, is seen sharing a Red Bull instead.
While drinking alcohol is prohibited for the riders, most ignore this rule. This couple, however, is seen sharing a Red Bull instead.
In order to cross from the east side of the river to the west side, the horses go over a bridge near the Poblado metro station
In order to cross from the east side of the river to the west side, the horses go over a bridge near the Poblado metro station
The high rises and mountains of Poblado form a colorful backdrop to the parade
The high rises and mountains of Poblado form a colorful backdrop to the parade
Male riders outnumber female riders, but the latter certainly attract more attention
Male riders outnumber female riders, but the latter certainly attract more attention
A female rider stops to watch the parade of horses go by the Poblado metro station below
A female rider stops to watch the parade of horses go by the Poblado metro station below
The hectic scene on the bridge, with Poblado lit up by the slowly setting sun
The hectic scene on the bridge, with Poblado lit up by the slowly setting sun
The woman in the yellow striped shirt caught my attention. Traffic jams in the parade are common, as groups of friends and family take periodic breaks.
The woman in the yellow striped shirt caught my attention. Traffic jams in the parade are common, as groups of friends and family take periodic breaks.
This photo is one of my favorites, thanks in large part to the excited look on the woman's face
This photo is one of my favorites, thanks in large part to the excited look on the woman’s face
My last photo from the parade, right before Viviana and I walked back to Ciudad del Rio. Between trying to get good photos, and managing the massive crowds, it was a tiring afternoon.
My last photo from the parade, right before Viviana and I walked back to Ciudad del Rio. Between trying to get good photos, and managing the massive crowds, it was a tiring afternoon.

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