Cali Fair

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"La Feria de Cali" (The Cali's Fair)

The Cali's Fair (Dec. 25 - Jan. 01) is the most important cultural event in Cali, Colombia. It is a celebration of the region's cultural identity, famous for the Salsa marathon, horse riding parades and dance parties.

Called "La Feria de Cali" (The Fair of Cali). "La Feria de Cali" is the main cultural event on the Pacific Coast of Colombia, and in the City of Cali which is 2 hours away from the Pacific Coast, and is home to almost 3 million people. The Fair has been celebrated since 1957, from December 25 to December 30, and it promotes cultural, ethnical, and musical diversity in the region. In a few occasions the Fair included Vallenato and Merengue groups from Colombian and surrounding Caribbean countries, and samba schools from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also, the Fair is known as the "Feria de la Caña" (sugar cane fair) and "Feria de la salsa" (Salsa music fair). People enjoy many activities like an opening cabalgata (parade of horseback riders), tascas, salsa concerts, bullfights (which are under a legal dispute), parades, athletic activities/competitions and cultural exhibitions.

As the city’s people’s conscious grow towards a more animal friendly environment, there has been a lot of controversy for the part of the fair that involves bullfighting. Although, the majority of the city’s people see it as an act of cruelty and abuse towards the animals, the few that control and organize the event see it as part of a tradition and culture that should be maintained, resulting in a legal battle between animal rights' groups and the event organizers.

From an international stand point Cali is also known as the "Capital de la Salsa" given the city's infatuation with that type of Afro-Caribbean music. In early July there is the Summer Salsa Festival which lasts for one week. It usually includes concerts by the world's great remaining salsa bands as well as dance shows and "melomano" competitions in which salsa connoisseurs try to out do each other by digging deep into the archives of salsa music and related sounds to find and reveal long lost tunes.

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