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The luminous world of Encanto can be enjoyed from this December 7 in Medellín

The 32,000 figures of the Christmas lighting in Medellín will light up on the night of this December 7. Huge houses, palm trees, animals and characters will give a tropical, cheerful air to the surroundings of the river. But there will also be lights on La Playa, Las Palmas and Cerro Nutibara. The light bulbs will come to life after Sebastián Yatra, the singer of “Dos Oruguitas”, the song from the movie Encanto, takes the stage that is already installed next to the river.

And it is that the theme of the lighting this year revolves around the movie Encanto, by Disney, which caused a stir at the time. But, first the news: the ignition. Just one day from the expected date, the EPM contractors continued to install, against the clock, the last pieces. Under a hot midday sun, annoying, they were finishing putting the house of the Madrigals, protagonists of the film.

This is one of the largest pieces of lighting and is in the eastern part of Parques del Río. That same noon, just a few meters from the Madrigals’ house, the last details of the stage where Yatra will be presented were being adjusted. Two contractors, sweating in the sun, recognized that they were “running” with the “Ignition Ritual” setup.

In addition to Yatra there will be Carolina Gaitán, the voice of the character Pepa Madrigal in Spanish and one of the interpreters of the famous song “No se habla de Bruno”. The ritual will begin at 6:00 p.m. At that moment, the city will see the 10 million LED bulbs that make up the total work come on.

At the same time that the Madrigal house was being installed, other contractors, against time, finished the balconies on the western side. And it is that this year’s lights, as reported by EL COLOMBIANO on November 18, were “hung.” All the municipalities of the Aburrá Valley have already turned on their lights, with the exception of Girardota, where there will be none. The first was Envigado, which illuminated its streets on November 11, that is, almost a month before Medellín. In 2018 and 2019, the capital of Antioquia turned on the lights on November 30, just to give an example.

However, it must be said that the lighting, from what has been seen in the tests, will be monumental, of an overflowing tropical color. The Madrigal house, a replica of the one that appears in the film, measures 13.8 meters high and 24.5 meters wide. While a crane finished installing the last module, because each one was installed individually until it gave it its final shape, a contractor commented that it was one of the most majestic pieces and repeated that the lighting “was not behind.”

To recreate the world of Encanto, EPM used seven tons of metallic paper, which gives shine to the iron figures, which together weigh 210 tons. The lighting is also made of 610 fiberglass poles, 1,000 wooden posts and 400 LED tubes.

Be careful with the closures

The opening event of the world of Charm will need some road closures. If you are going to see the first night of lights, or if you are going through it, you have to take into account that there will be restrictions between 6:00 in the evening and 4:00 in the morning. The western road of Regional Avenue will be closed at that time between 16th Street and 38th Street (see map).

But the restrictions will not only be in the immediate vicinity of the river. In the Parque Norte sector there will also be a total closure of the western roadway of Carrera 53 between Calles 73 and 77.

For the parking of chivas and buses, two points will be enabled: the first in Carrera 52, Carabobo, on the eastern side, between Calles 32 and 37, and in Sagrado Corazón, in Carreras 58, 59 and 60, between streets 44 and 45A. In the case of Pueblito Paisa, buses and tourist transport chivas will be allowed to enter through the 30A street gate. Only small vehicles may go to the top to unload passengers with limitations or reduced mobility.

It must also be taken into account that the Metro will have special hours so that people can fully enjoy the lighting. On the 7th, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th and 23rd they will be from 4:30 am to 12 midnight. The last trains will leave the Niquía and La Estrella stations at 11:40 pm For the 24th and 31st, the schedule will be between 4:30 am and 10:00 pm The last trains will leave at 9:40 pm The December 25 and January 1, the hours will be between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm

Parques del Río is already fenced off to avoid crowds and for people to follow the route in an orderly manner. All it takes is for Yatra to get on stage and the tropical charm comes on.

some concerns

Also around noon, two peddlers, who have been in the park for months, lamented that they won’t be able to work there during the season. As usual, the Mayor’s Office held a raffle to define who will be the 200 innkeepers who will have permission to set up their stalls. “We had to send some papers. We, who have brought the green ones here, are not going to get the ripe ones”, said one of them.

Guillermo Giraldo, the president of the General Union of Informal Workers, recognized that the December season is a great opportunity for innkeepers. However, he questioned the number of vendors endorsed by the administration. “There are 200 posts for the river and 140 for Carabobo Norte. We expected them to be more, because in the past we had more participation and now more space has been given to formal commerce and we believe that they should give us more,” Giraldo specified.

Other critics of the lighting in Parques del Río are some residents of Conquistadores, who since 2020 have been fighting so that massive events are not held there. That year, for example, they collected more than 1,000 signatures to reject the installation of the lights there. They argue that this is not a space designed for massive events that, they allege, only bring them problems such as the accumulation of garbage and poor parking. It must also be said that the mayor’s office foresaw these situations and within the Christmas Plan appointed 50 traffic guards to regulate parking and mobility in the sector.

The other controversy of these Charm lighting, and that must be mentioned, has to do with its cost. EPM paid a license of 890 million pesos to Disney for the use of the image of the movie Enchantment, a fact that was criticized even in the City Council. Compared to 2021, those of this year cost 5,600 million pesos more.

The two concepts in which the 2022 increase is represented are the budget for contracts and the budget for materials. In 2020, the amount corresponding to contracts was $7,794 million and that of materials was $2,422 million; in 2021 the first rose to $8,824 million and the second to $2,892 million; in 2022, $12,169 million was allocated for contracts and $5,195 million for materials. In total, according to a right of petition that EPM responded to Sinpro, the company’s union of professionals, the cost for these lights was $17,000 million (see facsimile).

On the other hand, EPM did not reveal how much the presentation of Yatra and the other artists will cost. Last year there was controversy because $1,154 million was spent on the lighting ritual. The singer Gilberto Santa Rosa received $ 499 million for his presentation.

But, beyond the criticisms and the figures, Medellín will enjoy from today a world of fiction, tropical and colorful, which has moved to this reality, sometimes so arid

32,000

figures, between small and monumental, has this year’s lighting.

123

women artisans and heads of household made the figures of the lighting.

infographic

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