Thousands flooded the streets of Cartagena Thursday to gaze at the 24 bikini-clad women all vying to be the next Miss Colombia during the traditional “Battle of the Flowers” parade.
Parading on elaborate floats or dancing in traditional costumes representing Colombian heritage, the beauties whipped up a frenzy amongst tourists and locals alike during the widely anticipated event that usually turns this historic coastal city into a wild party.
The frenzy was so high that at least one candidate, Miss Cundinamarca, Carolina Rodriguez Ferro, was overcome by heat and exhaustion and collapsed on her float, the Colombian newspapers El Tiempo and El Heraldo reported.
Ferro was taken to a nearby ambulance to receive medical attention. That didn’t stop the party however.
With blaring llanera and other traditional Colombian rhythms, the parade continued for a distance of 4 kilometers as spectators viewed the floats, all decorated with themes representing Colombian national heritage and patriotism – and the beautiful women.
Among the most anticipated beauty queens were Miss Atlantic, Laura Carolina Nuñez, and Miss Valle: Diana Salgado.
El Tiempo reported that many were hoping to catch a view of Salgados “gran cola” – or “great behind” but were disappointed when the beauty queen “wore a suit made in braided twine that barely showed her thick legs.”
By 5 p.m. the parade ended but the party continued along Avenida Santander. Next for the 25 young ladies will be to face a jury panel for the tougher tests of a series of interviews.
Miss Colombia 2008, Michelle Rouillard, will crown her successor during the 75th Miss Colombia pageant, to be held at the Centro de Convenciones in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on Monday, Nov. 16.