The light display in Calle Larios. / sur

Malaga to avoid Christmas light crowds by leaving show times unannounced

The city council doesn't plan to regulate numbers in the streets but doesn't rule out the possibility if Covid restrictions are tightened

JESÚS HINOJOSA

The city council announced this Thursday that the Christmas lighting on Calle Larios will include music and light shows but without a previously announced timetable.

The councillor responsible for festivities, Teresa Porras, has explained that these displays will take place between 7pm and 10pm, but she did not offer more details, not even the number of times the musical shows will be repeated.

"The schedule for the shows is not going to be announced, but people will be able to come from seven to ten," said Porras, who justified this measure by saying that it avoids large crowds of people gathering.

Questioned about whether the numbers of people in Calle Larios or its surrounding streets would be monitored, she replied, "In principle there is no capacity [limit] anywhere."

However, she then admitted, "We are open to everything that the health advisors tell us."

"By 26 November, when the lights are inaugurated, there may be some restrictions and we will adapt to them accordingly," said the councillor, who asked the people of Malaga to act with "responsibility" and to comply with the security measures at all times.

The name of the display on Calle Larios with 22 light arches is The Christmas Forest.

This year, the arches will light up to music from the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as classics such as the famous All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey.

The lights will be switched on on 26 November at 7pm, when journalist and presenter María Casado will flick the switch.

In the case of the Alameda Principal, the light display made up of 500 strings of illuminated leaves.

In the Plaza de la Marina and the Paseo del Parque, 14 arches have been installed with decoration based on colourful sweets and lollipops.

As well as Calle Larios, another attraction in the city centre will be the south tower of the cathedral, which will have Christmas scenes related to the birth of Jesus projected onto it.

Specific times will not be announced for this show either, but it will also take place between 7pm and 10pm, starting on 28 November.

The city council has placed special emphasis on Calle San Juan this year to increase the number of customers in its shops.

In this street there will be two displays entitled Salón de Arañas, composed of 24 large baroque lamps, and Enchanted Garden, with a construction of vertical fruits.

Calle San Juan, Calle Nueva and Calle Puerta del Mar will have permanent musical shows from 11am to 2pm and from 5pm to 9pm, starting on 27 November.

Performances by artists from Malaga have been chosen, such as Encarni Navarro, Silverio Soto, the Ortigosa Brothers and Juan Francisco Bermúdez García (Juani de El Palo).

Teresa Porras pointed out that 500 streets in the city will have lighting this coming Christmas, of which 82 are in the centre.

These decorations will cost 11,500 euros in electricity, "compared to 53,760 euros in 2009," the councilor stressed.

The president of the Malaga Hospitality Association (Mahos), Javier Frutos, trusts that citizens will comply with health measures and that Christmas will not break the positive resurgence that hospitality businesses are currently experiencing.

"Companies remain economically weakened and we want this trend towards recovery to continue," said Frutos, who has said he is willing to meet with the regional government as soon as possible to address the possible implementation of the Covid passport.

"That is preferable to having to reduce capacity," Frutos insisted.

Vice-president of the Association of Hoteliers of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), Francisco Moro, stressed that the Christmas lights are "a great tourist attraction for people from outside Malaga," that "increases hotels stays a lot."

"We are confident that this coming December may resemble that of 2019," he added.