The best event I attended at the Feria de las Flores was the Tour de los Silleteros. It was much different and a lot more fun than the events I was able to attend in Medellín. This event took me up to the municipality of Santa Elena, a rural area about 40 minutes from Medellín. Basically, you walk from house to house to see the silleteros (porters) preparing the floats for the next day’s parade. All in all, we were told there were over 25 houses participating.
First, we waited over two hours in the bus queue in Medellín. The bus cost COP$5,000 each and took us high into the mountains above the city. The temperature quickly dropped and it became very cool. When we arrived, we were dropped off at an intersection and had to walk uphill about 20 minutes to the first house.
Along the way, street vendors were selling all kinds of foods and drinks. Some were dedicated strictly to aguardiente.
We stopped at the first house and checked out the floats. They featured a very intricately detailed float dedicated to the Colombian football team. It was a popular theme at many of the homes.
The next house was a 10 minute walk up the road. They had some very beautiful floats, including a tribute to Gabriel García Márquez.
They also had a very festive atmosphere with a live band, tents, drinking, and dancing.
We continued to about four more houses which all offered similar events. The further down the road we got, the more drunk and lively the crowds were. Police were patrolling to make sure things didn’t get out of hand and everyone was safe. It was a very well organized event that went on well into the night. A friend who stayed late said he made it back to the city after 3am.