In Panamá: La Feria de las Flores y el Café
The Flower and Coffee Fair in Boquete, a mountain town in the western province of Chiriqui, is a ten-day celebration. It has taken place on the banks of the Caldera River for the last 66 years. Barry and I got to experience the fair this year:
The fair includes flowers from the United States and Europe, coffee tasting, two zip lines crossing the fair, and a pavilion with artisans from all over Panamá and abroad showing and selling their wares. Folkloric groups from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and, of course, Panamá perform on the main stage. Popular musicians and singers show off their skills. Dancing and music go into the early morning hours. More than 150,000 visitors attended this year from January 14-24, 2016. La Feria de las Flores y del Café started in 1950 as a coffee festival organized by the community for the community. It has grown.
La Feria includes –
A major part of the fair is to showcase entertainers –
According to El Visitante Enero 14-20, 2016, “The Pollera is the national female costume of Panama. There are different variations, according to the region. They are also classified based on their use such as the Pollera de Gala for formal occasions and the Montuna which is the simple country version for everyday us use.
A single pollera can cost from several hundred to several thousands of dollars and take up to a year to create. The gold and pearl mosquetetas and tembleques, [the headdresses,] that accessorize pollera are generally passed down as heirlooms through generations” (4). They can also be made of wire and imitation pearls.
At night, the fair has much entertainment and action too.
The performances on this stage when on until about midnight. However, there was still much to experience at the fair. Two sections had dancing late into the night.
We could eat again too:
And what about us? We ran into our Boquete friends, Suzie and Russ. We hung out with them talking late – until 3a.m. to be exact! The fair makes you want to stay up and have fun. Maybe you will attend La Feria de las Flores y Café next year.