One of the Costa del Sol’s most colourful and popular annual fairs, the Feria Internacional de los Pueblos, kicked off on Wednesday.
Although the lively cultural occasion began at midday it was not until 8.30 in the evening when it was officially launched with an act that filled Fuengirola’s Palacio de la Paz.
Representatives of the 33 different regions and countries taking part in this year’s fair took to the stage and live music formed part of a dramatically staged show.
The XXI Feria de los Pueblos, under the theme “Around the world in five days”, runs until the early hours of Monday morning.
During five days Fuengirola’s fairground plays host to ‘casetas’ or bars which offer the best of all 33 countries and regions – food, drink, music, dancing, costumes and all kinds of distinctive cultural activities. Many will have stalls selling unique crafts and produce from the region.
While countries such as Belgium, Sweden, Bulgaria, Portugal and the Spanish regions of Madrid and the Basque Country have all returned to attend the fair this year Valencia has a presence for the first time.
There is also a stand where visitors can have their picture taken with camels and there is, this year, a special emphasis on decoration.
At the entrance to the fair there is also a large marquee with 65 stands selling local and national foods like cheese and ham, drinks such as sherry and wine, fashion, accessories and all kinds of goods. Half of these businesses are from Fuengirola.
In addition the food and drink brand ‘Sabor a Málaga’ is to display the products of as many as 20 different producers in the province.
On Saturday May 2nd one of the fair’s most anticipated highlights, the parade of all the groups dressed in their finery, sets off from the Plaza de España at 11am and winds through the streets of the town.
Among participants in the parade as well as the fair are 80 musicians, singers and dancers from Nigeria who have been invited by the International Black and White Association, a group based in Fuengirola which works to promote tolerance and harmony among people in all parts of the world.
The Nigerian dancers are to be received by the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Her Excellency Mrs Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwa. May 2nd is the national day of Nigeria.
One of the founders of the IBWA, Wendy van der Veen says, “We are thrilled to have been given this opportunity and are looking forward to being able to participate in this diverse event. We hope that as many people as possible will visit our stand.”
The Nigerian stand is to be found opposite the Irish caseta and all proceeds from its presence in the fair are to go to orphanages in Africa.
Also taking part in the parade are numerous organisations such as the Fuengirola Scout Group who will be assisting with the British contingent.
Courtesy: Sur in English
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