Friday, 18 August 2023
Having fun is a universal language. This week Malaga city has been a practical example of this theory, as the August fair has attracted crowds where at least one word in Spanish is understood by all: fiesta.
The city centre is the melting pot where it all happens. Where the locals from Malaga take to the streets to enjoy their own traditions (although many say they also prefer to do this on the fairground) and where the outsiders, both from other parts of Spain and abroad, come across the feria, often when they were only expecting monuments and museums.
Anabel Espinar, Cristina Pérez and Sarai González are three friends from Barcelona who earlier this week were enjoying a drink at the fair under the awnings of the city's main pedestrianised street, Calle Larios.
"Here everyone talks to you, there's a great atmosphere, a really good feeling. And here there's a lot more diversity than in other parts of Andalucía," they said.
Cristina Vallejo / Matías Stuber
Gracia Peláez comes from the Malaga village of Villanueva de Algaidas to the feria every year to enjoy the performances of Malaga's own style of flamenco, Verdiales. She pointed out that she had come across more people from outside Malaga, particularly remembering chatting to a woman from Holland.
Some foreign visitors in Malaga this week had come across the fair by chance. For Puck, 27, it was a surprise to find that the eight days he and his partner had booked in Malaga practically coincided in their entirety with the fair.
Meanwhile three German friends, 28, 33 and 36, were also unaware that the weekend they had booked in Malaga to celebrate a birthday would land them in the middle of what has been described as the greatest street party in southern Europe.
Neither Puck nor the German friends had yet gone to the out-of-town fairground, where the decorated horses and carriages are an added attraction for visitors, but they had not ruled it out.
Others who found themselves right in the midst of celebrations were a group of Italian tourists, whose cruise ship literally docked in Malaga port on Monday two minutes from the festivities. Many of them, such as Caterina Contu, regretted that they were only in the city for one day.
Javier Lara, also from Barcelona, praised the multicultural atmosphere of the Malaga fair. "It's perfect," he said.
Locals and visitors agree that this year's fair is a great success, from the fireworks and drones display last Friday night to the concerts and fair rides.
And for those visitors from all over the world still arriving in the city, the festivities continue until Saturday in the city centre and on the Cortijo de Torres fairground.
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