Festival of the FlowersThe first Festival of the Flowers took place on May 1, 1957 and was organized by Arturo Uribe, a member of the Board of the Office of Development and Tourism. The festival lasted for five days with an exposition of flowers displayed in the Metropolitan Cathedral, which was organized by the Gardening Club of Medellín and monsignor Tulio Botero to celebrate Virgin Mary day. This flower parade represents the end of slavery when instead of flowers slaves carried men and women on their backs up steep hills. The first silleteros parade also took place with some 40 men from the corregimiento of Santa Elena carrying on their backs flower arrangements to the exposition site.
The festival initially took place during the month of May but was changed to August in 1958 to celebrate the independence of Antioquia. Since then, other events have been added like the International Pageant of the Flowers, the cavalcade, Guiness Records in 1996 and 1999, classic automobiles parade, Orchids exposition, among others.