Medellín (Colombia), Aug 1 (EFE).- A majestic, multisensory floral carpet woven with more than 200,000 flowers adorns the Colombian city of Medellín with its aroma and colors as an appetizer for the city’s world-famous Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival) from August 5 to 15.
This 1,000-square-meter design gracing the heart of the Santafé shopping center and on display until September 4, comes to life with a moving mandala and to the sound of “Flor de Iris,” an unpublished musical work inspired by this lavish floral exhibit – “Breathe to the Rhythm of Flowers” – that invites onlookers to contemplate its complexity and enjoy its fascinating scent.
“After two years with a pandemic and wearing face masks, we wanted visitors to enjoy on this occasion that concept of breathing in a place that always smells of flowers for the fair,” the general manager of Santafé, María Fernanda Bertel told Efe.
Bertel described the emblematic floral design as a “magical gift” that has been given to the city since 2011 for the enjoyment of its inhabitants and tourists, who this year will find “a multisensory experience with a work of art that they will be able to see, appreciate, feel, breathe and hear.”
To pay homage to the Silletera (traditional flower farmers) tradition, a hundred people worked for 11 months to develop the gigantic floral design, which took a week to assemble 27,300 plants, including red, pink, purple, fuchsia, blue and white petunias, in addition to marigold in yellow and orange colors.
As for the design, inspired by the air and the miracle of breathing, a large central flower 12.5 meters in diameter stands out, installed on a rotating platform, which its creators conceived as “a mandala of flowers in constant movement” that urges visitors to meditate and discover “hidden gems.”
MELODY OF FLOWERS
After captivating with previous montages, including two in 3D featuring birds – a 12-meter peacock and two large hummingbirds, as well as colorful suspended butterflies – the shopping center sought for the first time to connect music with flowers to heighten the experience of the display, which has attracted some 2.5 million visitors in previous editions.
Colombian pianist Santiago Bertel composed “Flor de Iris,” a 12-minute piece inspired by the floral array, which he performed for the first time before an audience on Friday at the opening concert, in an ensemble with the Byron Sánchez jazz quartet.
The music will continue with a series of concerts that will accompany the floral exhibition with Latin jazz and Colombian rhythms such as cumbia and bambuco as visitors take in the splendor of hundreds of thousands of flowers from a platform set up to give the best view.
ART WITH A SOCIAL SENSE
At the end of the exhibition, the public will be able to take a piece of the floral display home with a small donation to raise funds for the children’s FAN foundation’s “Barriguitas Llenas” (Full Tummies) program tackling malnutrition.
To increase the amount collected for an initiative that impacts more than 10,000 children, this year the display has 5% more flowers than previous ones.
“We have been working with this foundation for 12 years. We donated the entire display, so we dreamed of having more flowers for that final destination,” Bertel said.
Among the activities is also the opening of the “Sanalejito” craft market, between August 5 and 15, where more than 60 entrepreneurs will offer traditional products with the region’s typical flavors.
With jewels such as the floral carpet and the Silleteros Parade, Medellín is getting ready to experience the Flower Festival with the expectation of attracting more than 28,000 visitors, 40% of them international, from countries such as the United States, Mexico, Ecuador and Argentina, according to the Medellín Economic Development Secretariat.
“The floral carpet is a tribute to the Silletera tradition, the largest that is given to the city. It is not in the streets, but it is in a shopping center, in a mini-city, where national and foreign tourists can visit it,” said Santafé manager Bertel. EFE