You are reading

Annual Colombian Flower Festival Parade draws big crowd in Jackson Heights

Groups march in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

July 10, 2023 By Gabriele Holtermann

The annual Colombian Flower Festival Parade, or Desfile de Silleteros, bloomed along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights on Sunday, July 9.

Revelers lined up along the parade route between 69th and 87th Streets, celebrating their Colombian heritage, proudly waving Colombian flags, dancing to Colombian tunes and collecting flowers abound handed out by parade participants.

Groups march in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Groups march in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The parade’s highlight were silleteros, Colombian flower carriers dressed in traditional garb, carrying enormous floral arrangements, or “silletas,” large, 6-foot medallions handcrafted with flowers. One carrier shared with Schneps Media that the beautiful arrangements weighed between 80 and 100 pounds.

The beautiful spectacle is deeply rooted in Colombian tradition dating back to the 18th century when farmers would carry their produce to market on their backs. Farmers began decorating their baskets with flowers at the beginning of the 20th century, giving birth to a breathtaking and colorful tradition.

A child hands out flowers to revelers at the Parade of Flowers in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Silletas (giant flower ornaments) were part of the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The Queens parade, which began in 2010 and is the brainchild of Festival Director and President Luis Eduardo Acosta, pays homage to the original flower festival in Medellin, Colombia. The South American state is the world’s second-largest exporter of flowers behind the Netherlands and showcases the beauty of Colombia.

The parade opened with the NYPD’s mounted unit and Color Guard, followed by the FDNY Color Guard and fire engines decorated with flowers.

Waving the Colombian flag, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards greeted constituents while NY Assembly Member Catalina Cruz showed off her dance moves along the parade route.

Assembly member Catalina Cruz Parade shows off her dance moves at the Parade of Flowers in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Queens Borough President Donovan RIchards marches in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

In addition to flower giveaways, folklore groups entertained the crowd with dance performances. The parade concluded with an enormous Jeep motorcade.

Cars are decorated with flowers at the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Friends Marilyn and Vanessa enjoyed the festivities. Marilynn was visiting from New Jersey, and it was her first time seeing the parade.

“So far, it’s very nice,” Marilyn said. “It’s beautiful.”

Revelers attend the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Revelers attend the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Revelers attend the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Revelers attend the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Vanessa, a Jackson Heights native,thought it was great to celebrate different cultures.

“Queens is very diverse ethnically. So you can find any dish of food here,” Vanessa said. “So it’s nice to have almost every country acknowledge, you know, their culture, especially Colombians.”

Groups march in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Groups march in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Groups march in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Hector, Yanni and Miguel live around the corner from 37th Avenue and have attended the parade for years.

The parade “means a lot,” said Hector, who immigrated to the United States in 1980

For Miguel, the parade represented Colombian culture, heritage, love, family,and roots.

“It’s beautiful. It really is,” Miguel said.

The dance group Cumbiamba Curramberos En NY marches in the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Revelers attend the Flower Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

 

email the author: news@queenspost.com

One Comment

Click for Comments 

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

plays

Jun. 17, 2024 By Athena Dawson

Are you a fan of dramatic plays and tear-jerking comedies? Head to Travers Park this Wednesday for a free performance of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, hosted by the Mobile Unit of The Public Theatre.  Located at 78th St. and 34th Ave. in Jackson Heights, the Shakespeare in the Park series will grace Queens’ public stage on June 19th at 6 p.m. for a truly unforgettable performance. The 90-minute play will provide a bilingual English and Spanish adaptation for audience members to enjoy. 

Teen robbed of pricey AirPods by shirtless suspect near Queens Center Mall: NYPD

A 17-year-old girl was walking to the Queens Center Mall earlier this month when a bare-chested stranger snatched a pricey pair of Apple AirPods from her ears in broad daylight.

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst reported that the grand larceny occurred at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6. The youngster was about to enter the mall at 90-15 Queens Blvd. when the perpetrator came up behind her and forcibly removed the AirPods before running off in an unknown direction, police said. A pair of high-end Apple AirPods can cost up to $500.

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

‘Ghost car’ driver arrested in East Elmhurst after traffic stop reveals weapons, threatening note: NYPD

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst discovered an arsenal of weapons in a ghost car they pulled over on Ditmars Boulevard and 86th Street in East Elmhurst early Wednesday morning.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey held a press briefing at the 110th Precinct on Wednesday afternoon to discuss what the sergeant and three officers from the 110th Precinct public safety team found when they pulled over a black Ford Explorer at around 1:30 a.m. because it had blacked-out license plates.