Medellin cancels iconic flower festival horse parade

(Photo: ADN)

The organizers of Medellin’s flower festival, one of the city’s biggest cultural events of the year, announced on Wednesday that they have canceled the traditional horse parade, claiming a lack of support from the city government.

According to the organization of the festival, the “cabalgata” will be left off the events calendar for the festival for the first time in 28 years.

Luis Fernando Duque, a member of the festival’s organizing committee, told local newspaper El Colombiano he felt frustrated about having to cancel one of the most popular events of the festival.

According to Duque, the event had become impossible after new regulations by the city council sought to impose sanctions for participants who mistreat animals or drink excessively while taking part in the parade.

The excessive alcohol consumption and animal abuse has long been a rock in the shoe of animal rights activists who have claimed the cabalgata effectively consisted of animal abuse as drunken riders who would hit or kick the animals.

Apart from the newly imposed restrictions and regulations, the city government had failed to provide the logistical and technical support necessary for the horse parade, said Duque.

The flower festival is annually held in August and — together with the city’s Christmas lights displays — one of the biggest tourism attractions of the year.


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