Ibague, known as the Colombian “city of music” kicked off the first day of the 11-day Colombian Folklife Festival Wednesday, as bright colors were seen in the costumes of the revelers.
The festival celebrates many aspects of Colombian culture. Sanjuanero dancers, who practice a popular form of traditional dance, will perform every night until July 2nd. June 24th is the festival of the tamale, which will be consumed in great numbers and June 29th marks the day of the suckling pig. June 24th also celebrates the day of St. John, when locals don festive costumes, the women wearing brightly colored skirts and the men a tall red rooster hat and black cords. The celebration climaxes on July 3rd with the national folkore parade and the crowning of the Colombian queen of culture.
Ibague, located in central Colombia is well suited to host the festival. Known as Colombia’s city of music, Ibague is home to the 105-year-old Conservatory of Tolima, a botanical garden that features more than 150 species of orchids, flowers, and fruit trees, and Nevada del Tolima, one of Colombia’s three snow-capped volcanoes.