The most famous Andalucian festival is the one that takes place in Seville during April, but the city of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca holds its own version every May.
The 'Feria de Mayo' or May Fair is a celebration of the culture of the province of Andalucia, home of Flamenco dancing and dancing horses.
Torrevieja is a city of over one hundred thousand people from all over the world and has a large community from Andalucia who like to dress up in beautiful frilly dresses with large earrings and high combs in their hair if they are women or in tight trousers, short jackets and flat boater style black hats for the men.
Even the babies join in, often with their flamenco dresses pouring over the sides of their strollers. Many of the foreign residents get dressed up too, with flowers in their hair to enjoy all the fun of the fair.
The fair is set up in an area of the town near the port. Many associations, clubs and charities have little wooden huts, called 'casitas' where food such as tapas, or churros and chocolate are served, plenty of beer is drunk and they often have a small dance floor where those that wish can get up and dance. Each casita has its own music system playing Flamenco music at full blast, so it can get a little noisy.
The casitas where visitors can enjoy a drink, some tapas and maybe dance in the Sevillanas style
The event takes place usually in the second week of May over five days including the weekend. There are special events every day such as concerts, displays of horsemanship and displays by Flamenco dancing schools. Events go on throughout the night.
The highlight of the week for many is the horse riding displays and the parade through the streets of horses stepping out in the Spanish style or pulling carts and carriages full of people dressed up to the nines. The horse parades usually take place on the weekend with a special one on Sunday where the parade travels from the main church following a Mass and blessing to the fairground.
Every year, the event gets bigger and this year, 2012, the event has been pronounced an event of special interest for tourists by the Spanish tourism board. Whilst it may not be as large as the event in Seville, the family feel of the Torrevieja 'Feria de Mayo' makes it something that everyone, no matter where they are from and whether they are resident or tourist, can enjoy and feel part of a traditional Spanish cultural event.