Thousands of revellers from around the world will converge on Parys, an otherwise laid back town in the Free State province, for the inaugural two-day ‘Free State Madeira Flower Festival’ – which boasts an explosion of colour and creativity that beckons a new spring for floriculture and tourism alike.

The event, dubbed Africa’s premier floral display of a magnitude never seen before in the country and greater continent, will feature a variety of family-friendly entertainment, a thought-leadership forum, and a massive Disneysque flower parade complete with floats, dancers and puppets. 


The event is part of the fruits born of Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s efforts to unlock opportunities in tourism, investment and advance the province’s competitiveness as a leader for business, innovation and efficiency.

Engagements between the governments of the Free State province and Madeira, an Island in Portugal led to a joint venture to bring the festival of flowers – which is a major highlight in Madeira’s tourism calender – to South Africa. 

Magashule and Madeira President Alberto Joao Jardim met during a trade visit to this year’s Madeira Flower Festival and saw the potential for a partnership that could further open opportunities for South Africa’s flower industry. 

“We want to ensure that going forward, the festival of flowers grows to be in the same league with our flagship projects in the province such as the world renowned Mangaung Cultural Festival (MACUFE) and the Ficksburg Cherry Festival. We want to diversify our tourism menu by ensuring that we have premier events spread across the province, throughout the year,” said Sam Mashinini the Free State province’s designated project leader for the Flower Festival.

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