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.

Michelle Bobala



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The Ibagué Folk Festival: Cradle of Musical Culture

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  • Place: Ibagué, Tolima
  • Region: Andes
  • Date: June 24 - 29, every year
  • Duration: one week
The Ibagué Folk Festival

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.

History of the Festival

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.

Festival Highlights:

Festival of Festivals
This is the epicenter of Colombian folklore and the most outstanding event of the Ibagué festival. It shows off the splendor and wealth of musical expressions interpreted by the utmost exponents of Colombian folklore. It is a unique opportunity for admiring talent and listening to groups with the best track records and recognition in the field of music, dance, and folklore.
Desfile de San Juan (Saint John’s parade)
This is when and where the most representative performing groups show themselves off in their entire splendor. The public enjoys the dances while coming in close contact with the essence of tolimense folklore. Mythical characters from several municipalities participate in the parade. Floats carrying the beauty pageant candidates accompany the characters.

For additional information, please visit the festival’s official website.

If you had fun at the Ibagué Folk Festival, you will certainly enjoy other folkloric festivals Colombia has to offer: :


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