Cali mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina inaugurated the city’s light festival with hundreds of citizens and fireworks to complete the show in the midst of a rainstorm. Despite the rain, many caleños braved the weather in order to partake in one of the city’s most important traditions of the season.
Angela Lozada, one of the designers for a ten-member team working with the Mega Project Company in charge of the lighting ceremony, said that every year Cali produces its own original light spectacle.
This year’s theme is centered on music and history. The team gathered to assemble a time line of the most important moments in Cali history.
“We have been working for the past 6 months to plan the festival”, Lozano said, “We have created a time line focusing on important time periods, events, and locations in the city”.
The light installation in front of the Tertulia museum is a tribute to the soldiers who gathered in the Plaza Mayor on market day. Further down the river, there is one light installation that features the Cauca boat, the first boat to arrive to Cali.
Carlos Sanchez, a civic guard for the city said “The goal for this year is to have a harmonious festival; there will be 55 civic guards and 50 police men on duty. 6 tow trucks will be on call in order to help with congestion. All of the street vendors have been trained and inspected and presented with an official pass to sell during the festival.”
The lighting ceremony is a common tradition in Colombia, usually celebrated on December 7th on the eve of Immaculate Conception. Neighbors gather in candle lighting ceremonies with family and friends. This year, the mayor’s office moved up the date of the festivities in order to comply with complaints about congestion from citizens living in the sector.