The annual Malaga city fair in August is an exuberant week-long street party with plenty of flamenco and ‘fino'(sherry).The fair commemorates the re-conquest of the city by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1487 and traditionally runs from Saturday to Saturday on the third week in August.This castanet-clicking fiesta starts off with a bang, literally, with an impressive firework display in the park which can be seen for miles around. The best view is from the Port if you happen to be on a cruise ship or can persuade a sailor friend to drop anchor there for a few hours.
Dancing ‘sevillanas’ at the Malaga Feria. The following day the people take to the streets, the women in flouncy flamenco dresses, to dance, drink and, generally, make merry. The traditional dance of Andalucia is called ‘Sevillanas’ comprising four distinct dances with plenty of finger-clicking, foot-stomping and, above all, feeling. This is where ‘dancing in the street’ can be appreciated spontaneously ‘en vida’ which is really the only way Spanish dancing should be performed.
This city fair is concentrated around Malaga’s equivalent to London’s Bond Street – Marques de Larios which is decorated with paper lanterns and flags. Millions of people visit the fair, although very few tourists seem to even know about this intrinsically Andalusian traditional fiesta which, in Malaga, is two distinct events, in the centre during the day up to 19.00hrs and at the fairground from around 9 pm until dawn.
The latter is an immense precinct to the west of the A7 near the Palacio de Congresos building where various associations install their ‘casetas’ – large booths for entertainment and refreshment, where old and young alike meet up in laughing gossiping circles, surrounded by swirling dancers and waiters rushing around tripping over babies and young children and making sure that everyone is continually topped up with fino and ‘tapas’.
The casetas are also where many business deals are struck between local Malagueños who have closed their conventional office for the week. Outside, the fair is a gaudy, raucous fairyland of dazzling lights, deafening music, soaring ferris wheels and careering dodgem cars, an assault on all the senses and incomparable to any ‘conventional’ fair elsewhere. If travelling form La Cala area, our advice is do not drive, best to get the train from Fuengirola station direct to Malaga which will drop right in the town centre.
Feria de Malaga Dates 2016
13 Aug – 20 Aug
(Confirmed by the Town Hall)