July 14 saw the annual Colombian Flower Festival Parade wind it’s way down 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, and I was lucky enough to be there to draw it. Colombia is the flower capital of the Americas, with most cut flowers sold in the United States having their origin there.
The illustration above is of the people marching as “Silleteros” – flower sellers who carry flowers on their backs down from the mountains of Medellín to sell in the markets. They used to put a chair on their backs to carry them. The big round shapes they carry in the parade are covered in yellow flowers, and are quite beautiful. They look heavy, too. I loved the little boy in the parade, he had a mini flowered disc mounted on a cardboard box on his back. Of course I had to draw the two people leaning out of their second story windows to see the action, so New York!
You can read more about the history of the festival and parade in Jackson Heights at this website: HERE.
A lot of Colombian New Yorkers (many of whom reside in Jackson Heights) are from Medellín, where much of the flowers are grown. The Medellín Flower Festival is August 2 – 11, 2019.
Just one more reason why I love the diversity of New York City – the strength in all the cultures of the melting pot coming together! Plus, living in Jackson Heights, I get to eat some really good arepas!
posted by Veronica