Bogotá, Colombia – by Hispanicize Wire – Fifty thousand Colombian flowers will adorn the 8th edition of the New York Festival of Flowers that this year welcomes 10 silleteros (flower bearers) from the municipality of Santa Elena, Colombia. The silleteros traveled to the Big Apple to participate in the popular event celebrating Colombian culture thanks to the sponsorship of the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters(ASOCOLFLORES) and the Colombian Department of Agriculture. The event will take place on Sunday, July 9th at 11:00 a.m. on 37th Avenue, between 69 and 90 Street in Jackson Heights, Queens.
“We decided to participate in this important event because we wanted to bring a taste of our culture, represented by the traditional silletas, to Colombians residing in New York and, at the same time, show visitors and tourists how Colombian flowers are transformed into works of art,” said Augusto Solano, President of ASOCOLFLORES.
Each year, the popular event is attended by thousands of visitors including Colombians, tourists and other area residents, who, aside from the parade of silleteros will also be able to sample other cultural events from the South American country such as the Barranquilla Carnival as well as the Black and White Festival from Pasto.
The Colombian silleteros have been in New York since July 1 building the silletas — large, handmade medallions created from flowers — as well as the floats that will take part in this event and that later will be put on display at a public square in Queens. The silletas — which weigh more than 80 pounds each — are carried on the backs of silleteros.
“The main objective of the New York Festival of Flowers is to showcase from the ‘capital of the world’ the quality of Colombian flowers, a natural resource of which we feel very proud, improving the image of the country abroad, which translates into more tourism and foreign investment in Colombia,” said Luis Acosta, President, the New York Festival of Flowers.
The New York Festival of Flowers started in Manhattan and later moved to Queens. The Medellin Parade of Silleteros, one of the most iconic cultural events in Colombia, has been taking place in that city for 60 years.