There are 1052 casetas at the fairgrounds. And what do you do in those tents? Party! To the tune of
the sevillana, the Feria’s signature cante and baile. Feria’s most popullar fare: fino de
Jerez, manzanilla de Sanlucar, rebujito, pescaito frito, tortilla, jamon iberico,
gambas de Huelva. Shake well then throw romance into the mix
By Christopher Collins
In the past
• Did you know? The Feria de Sevilla, aka Feria de Abril, started out as an agricultural and livestock fair in 1868?
• Monarchs (Queen Isabel II, King Alfonso XII and wife Queen Victoria Eugenia), princes (Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Prince Juan Carlos and wife Princess Sofia, now emeritus King and Queen of Spain), the aristocracy (e.g., Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart Duchess of Alba), Hollywood stars (like Ava Gardner and French actress Brigitte Bardot), bullfight blockbusters (like Luis Dominquin), top-ranking politicians and diplomats and other members of the local and foreign elites had been to the Feria down the years.
Fast forward to 2018
• The world-famous Feria began midnight of 14 April. It ends midnight of 21 April.
• The influx of personages and celebrities, local and international, is unabated. Sighted on the first couple of days of the Feria were Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, Duke of Alba; his sister Eugenia Martinez de Irujo, Duchess of Montoro; fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Marchioness of Castelldosrius; Rafael Medina, Duke of Feria, and wife Laura Vecino; TV show presenter Ana Rosa Quintana; heiress to the vast Zara (Inditex) empire Marta Ortega and boyfriend Carlos Toretta, son of Argentine designer Roberto Toretta; luxuury-brand publishers Prosper and Martine Assouline; bullfight maestros, etc.
• The Feria is lighted by more than 200,000 led bulbs, 24000 of which illuminate the entrance arch (portada).
• The Feria hopes to surpass last year’s 3.6 million visitors, weather permitting, (Spain has been having unusual amount of precipitation in late winter and this early spring. During the Feria week, it’s partly cloudy all the way, with storm forecast at the end, 21 April).
• It also hopes to top last year’s close to a billion dollar take.
• There are 1052 casetas (tent pavilions) at the fairgrounds, the Real de la Feria.
• In the casetas: uninterrupted fiesta to the tune of the sevillana, the cante and baile of the Feria fuelled by fine wines and tapas.
• Feria’s most popullar fare: fino de Jerez, manzanilla de Sanlucar, rebujito, pescaito frito, tortilla, jamon iberico, gambas de Huelva.
Lights-out ordinance: 3:00 AM. But the fiesta in the casetas may — and does — go on as long as the music is turned low.
Very much part of the Feria is the most famous bullfghting festival in the world, held at the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, the cathedral of bullfighting.
If it’s the last thing you ever do in Spain, go join the hispalenses at the Feria de Abril. It beats the hell out of any other ferias hands down!
Unabashed Feria Partisan
Featured image: Eleazar, CC BY2.0
Rainier and Grace/Portti Jenytin/Lehtikuva, PD
Carriage/Mike Procario, CC BY-ND2.0
Visitors walking under bunting/Fotografias Canal Sur Radio & Teleision, CC BY-ND2.0
Matador/BbnaCeHKO, CC BY-SA 2.0
Feria fare/HazteOir.org, CC BY-SA2.0
Party in the caseta/Fotografias Canal Sur Radio & Television, CC BY-ND2.0
Visitors(2 couples)/Sandra Vallauce, CC BY2.0
More visitors/Fotografias Canal Sur Radio & Television, CC BY-SA2.0
Meat Gate/Fondo Antiguo de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla, CC BY2.0
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