The mayor and local councillor at the launch of the market this week. / SUR

Torrox to host a truly international Christmas over the long weekend

The international market will offer food, drink and gift ideas as well as a full programme of events with performances in a variety of languages


To celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season, Torrox town hall, in collaboration with SUR in English, SUR deutsche Ausgabe and Diario SUR, will be hosting an international Christmas market from 3 to 8 December in Torrox Costa.

The International Christmas Market will be a meeting place for all nationalities with a selection of festive stalls offering food, drink and gift ideas, as well as a dining area and a stage with a full programme of live performances.

Like the town's annual Oktoberfest, the idea of holding a Christmas market in Torrox was born several years ago, due to the large German community. In recent years, however, more and more Brits and Scandinavians have moved to both the coastal part and inland pueblo, giving the town a very international feel.

In an interview ahead of the market this week, the Mayor of Torrox Óscar Medina said,

"We certainly boast that Torrox is 'little Germany' with the largest German population on the Iberian Peninsula." He went on to say, "More and more British people are choosing to live here and we have noticed a significant increase in visitors from northern Europe, with France standing out as a country where we have an increase in tourists. Also there is no doubt that Americans and Canadians are becoming much more common in our shops."

The five-day market will be held in the Bau Hoffman area on Avenida Esperanto in Torrox Costa, near to the main bus station, where it has been held in previous years.

The market will officially open at 6pm today, Friday, 3 December and the first performance, at 8pm, will be traditional Malaga zambomba music with María Porcel.

Performances between Saturday and Wednesday will come from local and international performers, aimed at providing a true reflection of the cultural diversity of the Axarquía district. The concerts will run from 12 until 8pm on each of the days and Santa himself will be making an appearance every day at 1pm and 6pm.

Saturday's performances start with Spanish Christmas carols and a circus workshop in the children's area, followed by a performance from local German choir, Los Cantores. After a circus show, Georgie Cullum and the Costa Pop Choir will be singing a mixture of international pop and Christmas songs. There will also be flamenco and two DJs will be playing music into the evening.

Sunday's highlights include a performance by the Enrique Vincent flamenco school and a concert of international Christmas songs from the Vélez-Málaga-based choir Jingle Belles. Choir leader Donna Carney said:

"We are looking forward to singing at the market as we think it's a great idea to get involved in such a wonderful community event. We hope to add a bit of Christmas cheer."

Popular Axarquía Ska band, Mentally Ska'd will also be in Sunday's lineup.

More dancing and music follows from Monday to Wednesday with groups including TAPAS (The Andalusia Performing Arts Society) and international pop and rock from Spanish band Proyecto Mandarina.

Medina said, "We intend to make it a market with an international Christmas spirit and to enjoy Christmas as it is celebrated in other countries, with the charm of the European markets." See page 35 of this week's SUR in English for the full programme of activities.