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The biggest and the best - Málaga's August Feria

The biggest and the best – Málaga’s August Feria

July 31, 2017
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Celebrating the re-conquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487, Málaga’s August Feria has evolved as a cosmopolitan charming and cultured modern day grand summer fair that truly reflects the character of the city.

 

Málaga feria Costa del Sol

Málaga’s streets and plazas fill with revellers during the Feria de Dia

 

It wasn’t until 1887, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Isabella and Ferdinand’s entrance into the city, that the Feria gained it’s initial splendour that grew into the week long spectacular of festivities that is witnessed today.

Renowned as one of Spain’s largest street parties, this years event runs from Saturday 12th August until its grand finale the following weekend. No matter what plans you have for your summer in Spain, this is one event not to be missed!

Málaga Feria poster 2017

The official poster for Málaga Feria 2017

Boasting broad sandy beaches, a spectacular marina, first class shopping, vibrant nightlife, arts and entertainment plus countless museums and historical monuments, Málaga has something to offer all year round, however when the magical and unforgettable Feria arrives, the city truly comes alive.

The summer social calendars most important annual event, not just for Malagueños but also for those throughout the province and beyond, the Feria’s deep rooted history dates back as far as 530 years when the Catholic Monarchs famously re-conquered the city from the Moors. Over time it has grown and evolved to become a benchmark for festivities across southern Spain.

The festivities start with a bang when, shortly before midnight on Friday 11th, thousands of locals and visitors alike flock to the city’s Malagueta beach for the Feria’s opening ceremony which includes an extravaganza of light and colour with a huge firework display followed by music and dancing until dawn.

The following day the people take to the streets of the historic city centre, the women adorned in exquisite flamenco dresses, to dance, drink and generally make merry. The Feria is divided into two very distinct zones, each with it’s own inimitable atmosphere. The Feria de Dia (Day fair) kicks off around midday each day in the city centre with the streets and plazas filled with the sounds of flamenco and revellers from all corners of the city. Many arrive on horseback, passing crowds of people dancing in the streets as they make their way to the city centre atop immaculately groomed Andalusian horses whilst they themselves are decked out in impeccable regional costumes.

Follow the crowds and you will soon find yourself in Calle Marques de Larios, Málaga’s main pedestrianised shopping street, or the adjoining Plaza del Obispo where you can enjoy the charming First de Verdiales, the most charismatic local variant of flamenco. Elsewhere you will find the International Folklore Festival in the Plaza de la Marina whilst younger children will be enthralled by the Feria Magia on Calle Alcazabilla. Alongside the myriad tasty tapas and wine bars seemingly on every corner, during Feria week the streets are abundant with food and drink stalls to quench your thirst and keep you going throughout the day.

Women in Flamenco dresses at Malaga Feria

Women of all ages dress up in exquisite flamenco dresses

As the crowds begin to thin around 7pm you’d be forgiven for thinking the festivities were drawing to a close, but in fact they are only just beginning as people hurry home to freshen up before heading to the Feria de Noche (night fair) at the 500,000 square metre fairground on the outskirts to the city. With hundreds of thousands of bulbs lighting up the sky next to the Palacio de Congresos, this purpose built arena comes to life with pulsating live music and dancing from 9pm until daybreak. Various associations set up their casetas (large purpose built booths for entertainment and refreshment) where friends and families meet up surrounded by swirling dancers and waiters delivering endless drinks and tapas. Outside the Feria is a vibrant display of dazzling lights, reverberating music, soaring ferris wheels and whirling waltzers incompatible to any “conventional” fair elsewhere.

Traditionally the nine day Feria program features equine events such as dressage and carriage driving along with concerts headlined by Spain’s top stars. Not to be missed highlights include the Romería on Saturday 12th August when a procession of beautifully decorated horse drawn carts and carriages leave the park on the seafront at 10am, winding its way through the city streets before finally ending up in the sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria the patron saint on Málaga. On Sunday 20th August the Feria will end as it began with another stunning fireworks display at midnight.

View the full 2017 program of events (in spanish) here