The Boquete Coffee and Flower Festival History

Blog by Andres Lay

 

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La Feria de las Flores y Café (Coffee and Flower Festival) is a nonprofit organization created by Act No. 40. The Coffee Festival first started in 1950. Initially, the exhibition was an intermittent event being held only when the community was organized for it. From 1950-1969 the Coffee Festival, as it was then called, was performed only four times (1950, 1957, 1961 and 1969). On April 9, 1970, one day before the opening of the fifth festival, the district was affected by severe flooding. Faced with this adversity, Boquete, far from surrendering, decided one year later to establish this fair on a permanent basis – an exhibition to show the country the best of its production, its flowers and coffee. One in three Boquetenians lost his home and a historical review of the Feria de las Flores and Cafe records that in 1971, a year after the tragedy, with the initiative of Carlos Enrique Landau (Andres’s grandfather), Alberto Federico de Alba and the presidency José Isabel Ruiz, held the sixth festival of coffee. Decision was made to beautify the town and the festival queen, Miss Brenda Aguilar, was crowned. The Sunday Medical Park was the scene of festivity, according to the review.

From 1973 Coffee Festival became the Coffee and Flower Festival and then until 1991 it took place every April. In the beginning of the 1990s the date of the festival was changed to January in order to take advantage of the dry season. Since then, Boquete Fair is performed for 10 days. La Feria de las Flores and Cafe is one of the best fairs in Panama. The organization and execution of this event goes through a series of planning stages and the most important of this planning is the preparation of the fair grounds that start in May of the previous year. The gardens surrounded by colorful flowers are the main attraction that offered by the Feria de las Flores and Café. Each year several varieties of flower seeds from US, Canada and France are acquired, to present a “colorful” event each year. The flower fair is located in a prominent area in the District of Boquete, along the Caldera River in downtown Boquete.

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The Fair is composed of community members belonging to different Governmental Entities Associations and Cooperatives; such as: Agricultural Development Bank, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, IPAT, Lions Club Boquete Active 20-30 Club, Association of Pensioners and Retirees of Boquete, Ministry of Agricultural Development, and Municipality of Boquete. The Fairgrounds are open throughout the year, The Orchid Expo, which is celebrated on March and April, is another event designed to highlight the beauty of the Orchid plant.

In my opinion, the Coffee and Flower Festival is one of the biggest events in Boquete because more than 130,000 people come to visit the festival and to visit Boquete. This festival has attraction for people of all ages. For kids there are small amusement park rides. For teenagers and young people there usually three open outdoor clubs for people to go out to dance and to see different singers and bands. For elders the flowers are the main attraction as well as the presentations they have on the main scaffold like singers, dancers, comedy shows and more.

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During the Fair, one can purchase crafts (domestic and foreign), plants, candy and promotional items. Throughout these years we have the participation of national and foreign exhibitors at each fair event that delight us with their various exhibitions. In each event, beauty of the landscape, nature, lush gardens and spectacular weather are highlighted. In addition, the Fairgrounds offer to the community an excellent location to rent in order to organize different activities, plant sales, etc, throughout the year. The Mission and Vision of the Board is to promote outstanding exhibition events that leave give Boquete a lot of positive publicity.

The good thing about Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast is that we cannot hear any noise from the fair. Most people downtown do not get too much sleep because of the noise from the Fair, especially the music from the clubs that are open until 5am. So if you want to be away from the noise but still walking distance from downtown, we would welcome the opportunity for you to book your room at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast. We still have a few rooms available!

 

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