Archive photo of a 'moraga popular' in Marbella before the pandemic / josele

Marbella's ‘moraga popular’ returns after three years with record-breaking 1,900 kilos of sardines

Organised by the town hall and the Fishermen's Guild to mark the end of the summer season it's "an event to pay tribute to both our citizens and the tourists who visit us"

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS Marbella

After a two-year hiatus, Marbella’s ‘Moraga Popular’, which celebrates tourism in the town, is back. The event, which will see 1,900 kilos of sardines cooked, celebrates one of the town’s most deeply-rooted traditions in the town; the nightly gatherings on the beach around small bonfires and the cooking of ‘espetos’ (sardines on skewers).

The event will take place next Thursday 15 September from 8pm. It’s the local fishermen who will prepare the record-breaking 1,900 kilos or around 7,000 of sardines; more than in previous events when they reached between 1,500 and 1,600 kilos.

The event is organised by the town hall and the Fishermen's Guild along with 200 volunteers and marks the end of the summer season with "an event to pay tribute to both our citizens and the tourists who visit us", explained Francisco Gaona from the town hall’s beaches department, in his presentation on Wednesday. He was accompanied by the president of the Fishermen's Guild, Manuel Haro.

Two hundred volunteers

The event will start at 8pm simultaneously on the beaches of La Salida in San Pedro Alcántara; Levante in Puerto Banús; La Venus in Marbella; and Real de Zaragoza in Las Chapas. "In Marbella there will be five boats for the espetos, in San Pedro another three, in Puerto Banús, two and in Las Chapas, one. Each one of them with three fishermen", detailed Haro.

The two hundred volunteers "will be in charge of cutting the bread, taking the sardines to the stalls and handing out the drinks" said Haro, adding that "they are people from the town who come to help".

More than 5,500 people are expected to take part in next Thursday’s event. "After two years without doing so, we are returning to normality," Gaona said. Around 500 people are expected in Puerto Banús, between 500 and 800 in Las Chapas, 1,500 on La Salida in San Pedro Alcántara and between 2,500 and 3,000 people are expected in Marbella itself.

Manuel Haro and Francisco Gaona (right) during Wednesday's presentation / josele