HALFWAY through the feria in Almeria City and already it has proved extremely popular with residents and visitors.
This year sees a double celebration for Almeria, not only for the feria in honour of the patron saint of the city, Virgen del Mar, but also as the city celebrates its 1,000th birthday.
The fair, the largest of its kind in the province and with a budget of €700,000, was officially opened at Puerta Purchena on Saturday by Francisco Rodriguez Vilchez, Head Coach from UD Almeria football team. Francisco grew up in the Zapillo neighbourhood, so the area is very close to his heart.
At 10pm, the lights adorning the main gate of the fairground were switched on, signalling the official beginning of the proceedings and welcoming the crowds to an event eagerly awaited for months.
The second day commemorated the Coloraos martyrs in the Plaza de la Constitucion, as is the custom every August 24.
There was also the fourth annual edition of the Paseos de Caballos, when more than 100 horses carried their riders in traditional dress throughout the streets of the capital.
Another famous face appeared in Almeria on Monday as Manuel Sanchez, the winner of Spain’s Masterchef 2013, hosted a gastronomy competition. Manuel, a resident of Albox, is a real favourite with the crowds since he took first place in the popular TV show.
In the evening feet were stamping in time with the Flamenco festival, this year in honour of the great Paco de Lucia.
Bullfights began on Wednesday 27, continuing until Friday 29, with bullfighters including Juan del Alamo, and El Juli appearing at the bullring.
At night, though, the city really came into its own. There was live music with performances every night, everything from Rock to Flamenco.
There is still time to visit the feria. Something is happening from early until late, and a huge fireworks’ display on Saturday night will mark the end of the festivities for another year.