Every two years, the white-walled Alentejan town of Redondo becomes awash with colour and creativity during the Ruas Floridas (Flowered Streets) festival. Don’t be fooled by the name; there much more to this event than paper flowers. The forty-three participating streets are filled with themed displays ranging from football to fairground rides, all made from paper.
I had no idea just how inventive and intricate some of the decorations would be until I got there. To give you just a taste of the craftsmanship and imagination that has gone into the 2013 festival, here are some of my favourite images. If you can get to Redondo before Ruas Floridas 2013 ends on 11th August, I’m sure you’ll be just as impressed as I was. If not, put the date in your diary for 2015.
Tips and extra information:
I visited during the day when the streets were relatively quiet, except for the party music being piped through speakers in the street. I was grateful for the shade from the tissue paper canopies but you still need a hat and sunscreen for daytime visits.
At night, I’m sure the music gets louder as the streets fill with people and the many beer stands will develop queues. There’s also a programme of entertainment including live bands and street theatre most evenings during the festival.
Although the streets are blocked to traffic, there’s plenty of parking space on the outskirts of town.
Entry to the decorated streets is free! Given the amount of work and materials that have gone into creating all the displays, I was amazed there was no charge. You should consider buying a paper flower as a souvenir as the proceeds will help the local economy and charitable groups. They start at 1 euro a piece.
While you’re in Redondo, allow a little extra time to visit the Pottery Museum behind the pretty blue and white church.