Music, good food, good drink, good atmosphere… that is what awaits you at the Malaga Feria 2017. It is Malaga’s ultimate celebration, and an ideal time of year to visit the city thanks to the atmosphere, the weather, and the many ways you can have a good time. The Feria takes places between the 12th and 19th of August this year.
Watch this video by Dave James taken at the Malaga Feria:
The Feria de Málaga takes place in two main locations. The first is the city centre, where you can enjoy the fair during the day. Malaga’s old town hosts an intense week of song and popular dances, stands with music and entertainment, and the finest local food.
The other site, known as El Real Cortijo de Torres, is located on the outskirts of the city, where you can party well into the night at the Malaga Feria. All manner of different associations, societies, and groups have their own private tents, which are free to access, where you can eat, drink, dance and have fun. This site also puts on spectacular equestrian shows, and has an area for young people with discos, as well as a number of rides and attractions.
A week long party!
The Malaga Feria 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. 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 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.
The City Fair
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 at the Malaga Feria 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.
The Malaga Feria celebrations date back to 1487, when Los Reyes Católicos, Isabella and Ferdinand re-conquered the city. Over time, it has evolved into a huge event and it has two distinct facets – day and night. ‘La Feria de día’ warms up around midday and oficially finishes at 7 pm when the street cleaners make there way through the (by now) younger feria goers. Hundreds of people take to the streets of the city’s historic centre, which are beautifully decorated and food, drink and trinket stalls are set up. Shops and businesses close and the classy pedestrian shopping street, Calle Marques de Larios, and surrounding area are transformed for the duration of the celebrations. Soak in the wall-to-wall swishing flamenco dresses, gleaming Andalusian horses, music and spontaneous dancing and you understand something of the Andalusian love of life and ability to party.
Malaga Feria At Night
By night the place to be is the big purpose built Fair Ground, set just on the edge of the city, west of the A. There are shuttle buses laid on from the centre of the city. From around 9.00 p.m. till dawn this massive purpose built fiesta area vibrates with life. Here, 21 st century technology mingles with old Andalusian traditions. From fairground rides, to live music and dancing and endless food, drink and entertainment, the choice is vast. If you do nothing other than people-watch, y near the Palacio de Congresos building. You will enjoy a sense of theatre when you see the stunning elegance and beauty of some of the women and men milling around or dancing traditional Sevillanas, till dawn. However the number of people wearing traditional dress is slowly diminishing over the years, cost and heat cited as the reason.