Santiago de Cali, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of the continent, is located in a valley between the Pacific Coast of Colombia and the Cauca River. In 1957, as a result of the local authorities’ efforts to overcome the economic struggles brought about by a tragic event that occurred in 1956, the originally called Feria de la Caña (the Sugar Cane Fair), is now known as la Feria de Cali (Cali’s city fairs), was born to cheer people up and reactivate their damaged economy. At the beginning it was a local, small fair intended to
be a tool for expositions and selling crafts, shoes, leather products, etc., but gradually it became increasingly appealing, attracting former caleños and tourists from all over to enjoy the fair. Ever since, folks come together to enjoy the event each December. As time passed, the fair grew in importance, and incorporated more and more cultural activities.
What started as a small, local expo and selling event, was gradually complemented by all sorts of activities like Desfile del Cali Viejo (Old Cali Parade), the antique and classic cars parade, musical concerts, salsa dancing shows in venues like the world-famous salsódromo, the cabalgata (horseback riding parade), and the corridas (bullfights), among others. Besides, it is a great opportunity to taste the wonderful gastronomy of the Valle del Cauca at any of the numerous tascas (local bars) spread all over the city.
Nowadays, reaching its 59th year, City Fair has come a long way since its origin in the fifties. By far it is considered the most important cultural event on the Pacific Coast of Colombia, and one of the international biggest cultural events. Each year attracting around 2 million people, including 600,000 foreign tourists, la Feria de Cali or City Fair is a festival you won’t want to miss.