All Roads Lead to Seville
Spain is witnessing a massive influx of tourists this season, and most of the traffic seems to be headed to the region of Andalucia and its capital, Seville. For beginning on the 20th of April is the annual Feria de Abril, or the world famous April Fair of Seville.
Spain (PRUnderground) April 26th, 2010
“The Fair officially begins at midnight on Tuesday, normally 2 weeks after Semana Santa, or the Holy Week, and ends with a fireworks display the following Sunday, again, at midnight. But due to the massive interest that our April Fair has generated, we have now begun having events and other activites as early as the Saturday before the actual opening”, says Antonio Castellas, one of the oldest residents of the city.
The traditional fairgrounds in Seville are being spruced up one last time before the extravaganza begins. Activities for each day have already been marked out. The six-day long fiesta is expected to begin each day with the customary parade of traditional carriages and riders that will weave its way through the streets of Seville. Seville’s leading citizens and young ladies dressed in their fineries will be taken on these carriages to the bullring La Real Maestranza, where the annual gala bullfighting events will be staged through the week. Organisers claim that this year there was an unexpected surge in the demand for tickets for the bull fights and most bull fights have already been sold out weeks before the Feria de Abril.
The Seville town authorities have also begun a massive beautification drive along the banks of the Guadalquivir river, where permission has already been granted for over a thousand traditional marquee tents (or casetas) to be temporarily raised. “There is always a big demand for casetas in spring. Most of the casetas belong to old and prominent families of Seville, while many political parties and trade associations have also begun putting up grand cassetas during the April Fair in recent years. The increase in the number of tourists every year has made this a major business event, along with it being one of the cultural highlights of Spain”, says one of the local event organisers.
And it’s not just tourists from within Spain, but visitors from across the world who are flocking to Seville to study Spanish abroad. The culture, customs and traditions of Spain at display at the April Fair in Seville make Spanish study abroad very easy and much more authentic than learning it over protracted periods in their own country. This is why proud organisers of the April Fair claim that they expect to see more international faces at the Cassetas listening to traditional flamenco music and enjoying the varied flavours of authentic Spanish tapas this year.