My favorite time of year has always been the month of August. My birthday, some of my best friends have birthdays and best of all Harvest Festival in Pereira, my city of residence. Orchids, International Food Fest, Jeep Parade’s and Rooster Parties are only a few of the fun events you can catch while on vacation here.
Risaralda Orchid Association Festival XXIV
Dedicated to preserving the legacy of Colombia’s national flower, the members of the Asociacion Risaraldense Orquideologia proudly assemble with their finest blooms.
Featuring competitors from surrounding departments plus our own local growers, you can feast your eyes on colors and blooms from some of the best heritage growers in Colombia. More than 10,000 different orchid varieties exist in the world today and in Colombia you can find most of them. Every color, size and shape imaginable, not to mention an exquisite fragrance that puts the common rosebush to shame. Even the mayor made an appearance this year to show his approval.
International Gastronomy Festival
On a clear Friday night we attended the Festivo Internacional de Gastronomia where the best restaurants in the city present their signature entrees you will taste a wonderful variety of cuisines. Typical Colombian, Brazilian Barbecue, Japanese Sushi, Mexican, Italian and Arabic are only a few of the varieties you can feast your eyes and taste buds on. I ate some barbecued ribs, baked potato and a Colombian version of coleslaw that to my American palette were absolutely delicious while Jaime dove into a bowl of seafood chowder. For dessert I ate a mouthwatering flan. For entertainment we witnessed folk dances and a band played popular salsa and local music.
On Saturday came the Jeepao, a Willy’s Jeep Parade. The Jeep Willy is to Colombia what apple pie is to America, a cultural icon. Capable of carrying heavy loads in roads which are steep, muddy and nearly impassable for most regular vehicles, the Willy Jeep will not only get there but they will carry your whole crop too! While many of these old jeeps are still in commercial use, there are also many local collectors who have found inventive ways to rebuild, refurbish and “pimp out” to create an amusing spectacle. I dream of the day when I can have my own jeep! For more pictures of the jeep parade click HERE!
The Ornamental Rooster Festival
Chickens have fed us for generations and exist in virtually ever country in the world. Local agriculture would not be the same if it wasn’t for the young pollito’s wooing the gallina’s in order to give us the next generation of eggs and legs. And of course the event wouldn’t be complete by Colombian standards if a beauty pageant wasn’t included to display some local legs.
Even the most outrageously feathered chicken outfits win the prize!