Queens Botanical Garden - Where people, plants, and cultures meet

Queens Botanical Garden to Host Visiting Colombian Floral Artists for the 2013 Festival De Las Flores

Darcy Hector- Queens Botanical Garden
718-886-3800 ext. 330



August 1, 2013- Flushing NY—Queens Botanical Garden is pleased to announce our sponsorship and participation in New York’s 2013 Festival De Las Flores (The Festival of the Flowers).  This floral celebration and parade of multicultural unity is based on the popular traditional festival originating in Medellín, Colombia.  In addition to the “Silleteros” (floral artists) who are traveling to New York to construct the Silletas (floral displays), representatives from many different nations will be participating in the celebration.

The Festival will include two large-scale public events.  On Sunday August 18 at 10am, the Multicultural Flower Festival will kick off with a parade beginning at the children’s playground at 111th Street in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.  The celebration will continue with the cultural parade of live entertainment from around the world, an arts fair, performances of folklore dance, musical groups and of course the beautifully colorful flower parade.  It will culminate in a salute to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall for all she has done for the borough in her long career in public service.  The August 25th celebration will begin at 10 am on Central Park West and 106th street with the “Great Parade of Flowers.”  In addition, to the Silleteros bearing the floral displays, the parade will include dancers, musicians, floats, cultural delegations from several countries, elected officials and “Flora,” Queens Botanical Garden’s beloved mascot.

The Festival commemorates the time when the Silletero (porter) slaves had to carry men, and women and other heavy cargo on their backs up steep hills.  When slavery ended, they could carry flowers instead to celebrate life and beauty.   The New York City festival is a multi-cultural event, with participants from Brazil, China Ecuador, India, Bolivia, Mexico, Ireland, Bangladesh, Italy, Greece and other nations joining in the celebration of liberty and the beauty of life.

Queens Botanical Garden will host the Colombian floral artisans who will be traveling to New York specifically to assemble the floral creations for the August 18th and 25th parades.  The public is invited to view the assembly of these unique creations on Thursday and Friday, August 16th and 17th, and from Tuesday to Saturday, August 20th to the 24th.  The Silleteros will be at work in the Garden’s crabapple orchard between 10am and 5pm each day.  

The NYC Parks Department, LaGuardia Community College, El Diario/La Prensa newspaper and several area businesses are also sponsoring this event.   For more information, please contact Luis Eduardo Acosta, the organizer of the event at (347) 653- 9647.  Inquiries may also be directed to Darcy Hector at QBG:  (718) 886-3800, ext. 330 or dhector@queensbotanical.org

Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship. Located at 43-50 Main Street in Flushing, Queens Botanical Garden is easily accessible by car, train, or bus. For travel directions and more information visit www.queensbotanical.org or call (718) 886-3800. Queens Botanical Garden is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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