Medellin prepares for its amazing annual holiday celebration of stringing Christmas lights up across the city, this year with 16 million lights in honor of the city’s 16 neighborhoods, to be turned on December 3.
Each year the city pays homage to the holiday season with brilliant light displays, and this year the nostalgic cultural event has officially been deemed as the “Festival of Light,” which will cover nearly 20 miles of central Medellin and last until January 9, 2012.
With the beautiful displays, state utility company EPM and the local government hope to “highlight Christmas traditions and customs” of the towns and neighborhoods in Medellin, according to EPM General Manager Federico Restrepo. Unlike previous years when the lights were turned on December 7, the festival will be starting Saturday, December 3, at 7PM with an opening ceremony at the EPM headquarters.
The theme of the elaborate illuminated scenes this year was inspired by the history of Medellin, and will include abstract interpretations of antique buildings and monuments of the past as well as traditions and histories from different neighborhoods throughout the city. In addition to all-around Christmas charm, there will be monumental landmarks incorporated into the light displays, including the Medellin railroad, mountaintops, Santa Elena river, and many aspects of local culture.
MEDELLIN’S 2011 CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
View Christmas in Medellin 2011 in a larger map
The Medellin River passageway will be the central zone of the display, with 16 mega-scenes representing Medellin’s comunas. Included is Comuna Popular, home of one of Medellin’s Metrocables, Santa Cruz, Manrique, Aranjuez, Castilla, 12 de Octobre, Robledo, Villa Hermosa, Buenos Aires, La Candelaria, Laureles, La America, San Javier of Comuna 13, El Poblado, Guayabal, and Belen.
Cerro Nutibara, home of tourist destination Pueblito Paisa, will be topped with a giant 79-foot Christmas tree that beams down on the Valle de Aburra, and accompanying Christmas ornaments, lights, and lamps adorning its hillside.
Over 60 other parks and libraries throughout the city will also feature Christmas light displays, including Los Deseos Park, Parque Lleras, La Milagrosa, Belen, Aranjuez, El Poblado, the Botanical Gardens, Explora Park, Plaza Botero, Pies Descalzos, and the newly inaugurated Parque Bicentenario in Boston neighborhood.