The annual Free State Madeira Flower Festival, will once again be dazzling residents in and around Parys.
A joint venture between the Free State government and the Autonomous State of Madeira and hosted by The Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority, the Free State Madeira Flower Festival sees the quaint little town of Parys transforming into a dazzling wonderland, complete with a kilometre-long procession of floral floats, dancers, performers, and larger-than-life puppets.
Created with over 200,000 flowers from local flower farmers, the Big 5 Route inspired floral floats are designed by Madeiran master floriculturist João Egídio. Egídio spends his time in the country mentoring local up-and-coming flower arrangers in the art of designing floral pieces on a grand scale.
And while festival goers mostly attend for the show, the festival has a lot more to offer including music, art, theatre, dance, workshops, exhibitions, and other family-friendly entertainment. Among last year’s most loved and talked about favourites were the flower carpets portraying Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu as part of the centenary celebrations.
The festival attracts more than 40 000 visitors, and boosted the local economy and flower industry. The Free State Department of Agriculture has also assisted 5 SMMEs in the floriculture sector. These SMMEs are now farming their own flowers and are already thriving, supplying local retailers with the goal of expanding to export internationally.
This year, the festival will be taking place from 28 November 2019 until 1 December 2019 in Parys and the entrance is free.