My husband is from Ibagué, Tolima, and I have to say that the best display of Andean folklore in a heavenly climate is in that city.
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The Ibagué Folk Festival
In the heart of our country, in the department of Tolima, lies Ibagué, also called the musical city of Colombia. The city is famous for its music festivals, concerts, conservatory, and the music-loving character of its inhabitants, who carry music in their blood.
One of the most renowned events is its annual folk festival, which is held in the days just before the feasts of Saint John and Saint Peter. The city decks itself up for a party, and plazas and parks become the amazing musical stages where people dance to the beat of traditional Andean rhythms: sanjuaneros, bambucos, and pasillos.
During the Festival, the city streets fill with beautiful women, who show off their brilliant typical garments. Men carry handkerchiefs and dress in espadrilles and white clothing.
The streets fill up with beautiful women dressed in their splendid typical dress, accompanied by men wearing white shirt and pants, a colored kerchief around their neck, and alpargatas, or espadrilles.
This folk festival was created in 1959 as a cultural proposal to foster the city’s traditional and autochthonous values and highlight its musical character.
Today it is the most developed, most representative, and oldest music and folk cultural activity in the department of Tolima.
For additional information, please visit the festival’s official website.