The sun came out for the 19th Nerja Residents' Day last Sunday. The event attracted around 2,500 people throughout the afternoon, many of whom are foreign residents in the town. Nerja’s population, according to the latest figures is 22,121 people, of which 28 per cent (6,207 people) are foreign residents registered on the town hall Padrón. The biggest group is from the UK (2,122) while Swedish, German and Moroccan people make up the second, third and fourth biggest groups of foreign residents. In total 81 countries are represented on Nerja’s official Padrón.
This year 36 different organisations participated in Residents’ Day; two more than last year, each with their own stall either providing information about their services, raising money through tombolas, sales of cakes, drinks and other food or by selling products. The event started at 12 pm and was opened by Mayor, Rosa Arrabal, and foreign residents’ councillor, Jorge Bravo.
International Club members, Pauline, Maria, Joan, Lorna, Jude, Jan and Katy, who have been living in Nerja for between eight and 16 years respectively, said they come every year and enjoy the atmosphere. Pauline, who was also volunteering on the Royal British Legion stand, added, “It’s really good because it’s all for charity.”
There were a number of new associations and businesses present this year. Among them was Liz Brown, The English Nurse, who runs a company providing UK registered nursing care to English-speaking residents in the Axarquía area. Liz has been running her company for three years and has a team of 13 people working with her. The nurse, who was wearing her UK uniform, said that the stall had attracted a lot of interest from those visiting the event.
Another organisation which was there for the first time was U3A Axarquía. Members David Wiseman and John Maclennan said that it had definitely been worth having a stall as they had “had lots of visitors to the stall and a lot of interest”, adding, “Five or six people have confirmed that they will join us so far.”
Dorothy Allen, who was volunteering on the Royal British Legion stall, was dressed up for the occasion in a flamenco dress with red and black poppy accessories and Susie, Gwen, Brenda and Ana, from new dog rescue organisation, Pippa’s Paws, were all sporting aprons with dogs on them. Susie said that the charity would soon be opening a shop in Nerja town centre.
Among the regulars were Cudeca, who were selling items donated to them such as clothes, jewellery and sunhats as well as selling tombola tickets, and the Nerja 41 Club, who were giving away samples of cakes baked by members from different countries. Animal charities, including Axarquía Animal Rescue, Costa Animal Society and Give Me Five, also had stalls at the event.
Holidaymakers in Nerja on Sunday went along to find out what the even was all about. Phil Doyle and Susannah Worthington, from Wales, regularly go to Nerja for their holiday but had never been to Residents’ Day before. ”We missed it by a week last year and although we come to Nerja every year this is the first time we have actually been here when Residents’ Day has been on,” Phil said. “We are really enjoying it, the music and weather – it’s a really good event,” added Susannah.
Live music and dancing came from The Shany Choir Andalucía, local flamenco groups Alboreá Juani and Elena among others.