People were eager to hit the streets in San Pedro Alcántara on Tuesday for a traditional event that they hadn't seen for two years. San Pedro's church was full, with others waiting outside in the square to see the procession of their patron saint being carried through the streets, the first religious one since the beginning of the pandemic.
The image left the church at midday, hoisted on shoulders to the rhythm of the Spanish national anthem.
Such was the emotion and the heat that there was one image carrier who fainted, although emergency services and the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, attended the man who was taken away by ambulance. Despite being a shorter route than most years, there were still plenty of onlookers, both local and from afar, including a group of English women. Linda, Barbara, Diana and another Barbara all spend half the year on the Costa del Sol and they always come to the procession in San Pedro. "First we watch the procession and after we have some wine and tapas," said Linda.
Deputy mayor for San Pedro, Javier García, thanked the town for their calm behaviour which meant people could "have fun but also comply with all the health measures".
He also called the 'feria' festivities, the first since 2019 and which finished over the weekend, a resounding success, as well as praising the public services for their work throughout the events and making sure everyone stuck to the rules.
One of the feria's main objectives was that hotels and restaurants took centre stage. "We're very happy with San Pedro residents' enthusiasm to have fun. We wanted to recover the traditional feria's location in the centre," García said.
The town's streets were buzzing with activity, with terraces full of locals and visitors as San Pedro blessed his citizens again, accompanied by a local band.