Festival de Verano in Bogotá: a celebration of summer and kites

The annual beach volleyball tournament at the Festival de Verano

The Festival de Verano in Bogotá (Summer Festival) is the biggest outdoor and leisure celebration in which takes place every year in August to commemorate the birthday of this fantastic city that is home to over 8 million people.

Since August 1997, the Festival de Verano (Summer Festival) has been held at Simon Bolivar Park (read our article dedicated to it here) as a way to celebrate the creation and birthday of Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá. This 10-day festival offers over 100 recreational events and hosts over 3 million visitors, making it the public event with the biggest number of attendees in the country.

What can you expect?

As mentioned above, the city council offers a lot of activities suited for all ages and demographics. August is also known in Colombia as the “Kite Month” because of its sunny days and strong winds, which means that you will see a lot of people in the festival having picnics and flying their kites. If this isn’t an appealing activity for you, there are some other events and activities you can participate in according to your age, preferences, and taste.

The annual cheerleading competition at the Festival de Verano
© Photograph by Portal Bogotá on Flickr.com

Watching sports, but not doing them: you will find a lot of competitions like roller derby, cheerleading tournaments, beach volleyball, and swimming. All these events take place throughout the festival and in different areas, so make sure you check the schedule first to plan ahead and make the most of it.

Getting fit: if you are more into exercising while being outdoors, you can join one of the yoga classes, running clubs around the park, or even a rumba class in the public swimming pool! There is no need to pre-book any of these activities in advance, just make sure you arrive with enough time to get a good spot and stay hydrated. 

For the little ones: if you have kids and want them to experience a different side of Bogotá, you should definitely bring them over to the Summer Festival. For instance, you can take them to the “festifantasía,” a regular event where kids will be guided by professionals through a series of physical and mental activities they have to complete in the shortest time possible. You can also go to the kite workshops, buy one there, or bring your own and fly it with thousands of people in the park.

Diving contest at the Festival de Verano
© Photograph by Juan Paez on Flickr.com

Listening to live music: a lot of sponsors like local radio stations and TV channels will showcase a series of musical performances that can go from urban music to salsa, reggaetón, and vallenato. It is also common to see the philharmonic orchestra of Bogotá playing and some of the biggest school bands showcasing some of their talents. 

Special services: you can also access some of the special services the city has to offer. For instance, last year you were able to rent bicycles to tour the park with your friends and there was also a shuttle bus taking everybody from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm to the main entrances of the park.

Children activities at the Festival de Verano
© Photograph by IDRD

To keep in mind

It is highly recommended to not bring your car to these events as parking spaces can be quite limited and it’s better to use other ways of transportation. The park is located between Carrera 60 and Carrera 68, and Calle 53 and Calle 63. It is a very important and central location, so any form of public transport will get you there in no time. Also, keep in mind that there is no food at the event, so you better pack your own or eat before arriving. Also, keep in mind that Bogotá is 2,600 meters closer to the sun, so use sunscreen. Check the schedule for the fireworks show and the kite festival; those are the major events of the festival and they are worth watching. Lastly but most importantly, prepare yourself to have a ton of fun!

Keep in mind that this fantastic event not only has a sport and cultural interest, it also has a social interest that looks to bring together everybody in a city that holds all the country’s cultural plurality in showcasing the best of Colombian regions in one place. The Festival de Verano in Bogotá is a celebration of a city that hosts all sorts of people and welcomes everybody with open arms no matter their origins, race, religion, etc. 

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