SEVILLE APRIL FAIR
The days leading up to La Feria de Abril or the Seville April Fair mark vital and important dates for all Sevillians, as they welcome spring in the own characteristic way with colour, music, wonderful food and drink, horses and bulls, polka dots and flounces, guitars and percussive clapping and of course, the typical dance “sevillanas”. This year, due to a late Easter the Fair has moved from 4th to 11th May, and because of this, the anticipation to begin is palpable.
In a previous post we told you how to experience the April Fair and its most emblematic events. On this occasion at Boutique Hotels Spain we are going to give you some details to help familiarise yourself with the layout of the fairground and enjoy it to the maximum.
La Portada of the Fair
La Portada or main entrance is the main meeting point for every visitor. As every year it will usher in Sevillians and visitors from all corners of the globe to experience the fun and joy on offer.
But what’s the story behind it? Every year, this ephemeral structure pays tribute to a monument from the city of Seville. In this edition, the building represented is the Pavilion of Seville which hosted the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929, and which is currently houses the Exhibition Casino and the Lope de Vega Theatre. The city council held an open competition for ideas and proposals and the winning entry, chosen from a total of 80 was the entry entitled “Sevilla, scene of Art, Culture and History” by Ángelo González Carvalho.
The focal point of this year’s Portada is its central section containing the circular dome of the pavilion flanked by two towers on each side. The structure is 50 metres wide and more than 37 metres high and contains between 20,000 and 25,000 light bulbs.
These Light Bulbs take centre stage at the stroke of midnight on the first day of the Fair when their switching-on or ‘alumbrao‘, marks the official opening of the Fair. Prior to the switching-on of the lights you can enjoy song and dance on a stage located in front of the Portada. This first night is also known as the Night of the ‘Pescaíto’ or Night of the Fish – (pescadito is a varied mix of fried and/or battered fish) – as it is the typical meal eaten that day in all or most of the marquees.
Map of the Fair
To help you get your bearings, the Sevilla Fair takes place in El Real, in the neighbourhood of the Barrio de los Remedios. The fairground is like a miniature city, that’s why it has its own street map made up of 24 street blocks and 15 streets, each street being given the name of a Sevillian bullfighter. All these streets are covered in albero, a sandy soil very characteristic of the area, which is yellow in colour and is traditionally used in the gardens of Seville and in bullrings.
The Fair Marquees
The marquees are the heart and soul of the fair. Numbering more than 1,000 and all beautifully decorated they make up the aforementioned miniature city. Each will become a space filled with eating, drinking, laughing, dancing and simply sharing the experience. But make sure you don’t commit a faux pas as you won’t be able to freely enter all the marquees. You will have to distinguish between private marquees (if you are not a member or you are not invited you will be denied access) and public marquees, to which you will have free access. Moreover, there is even a marquee dedicated to tourists and visitors, so truly everyone has a place at the April Fair.
Par EdTarwinski — https://www.flickr.com/photos/edtarwinski/211821598/, CC BY 2.0, Lien
Among the free-access marquees you will find are those of the different municipal districts, political parties and the municipal marquee where you can enjoy a multitude of musical performances. They are open from 12:00 midday to 3:00 in the morning and all of them serve tapas and traditional dishes, as well as the well-known ‘rebujito‘, manzanilla, wine or beer.
Just so that you have the information to hand here is the list of public marquees:
- Caseta Municipal (c/ Pepe Luis Vázquez, 3-7)
- Distrito Nervión- San Pablo (c/ Costillares, 22)
- Distrito Casco Antiguo (c/ Antonio Bienvenida, 97)
- Distrito Triana-Los Remedios (c/ Pascual Márquez, 153)
- Distrito Este (c/ Pascual Márquez, 215)
- Distrito Cerro-Amate (c/ Costillares, 82)
- Distrito Macarena-Norte (c/ Pascual Márquez, 85)
- Distrito Sur-Bellavista (c/ Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, 61)
- Caseta Turística (c/ Pascual Márquez, 225)
- Área de Fiestas Mayores (c/ Costillares, 13
- La de to er mundo (c/ Costillares, 77)
- Partido Andalucista (c/ Juan Belmonte, 196)
- PP de Sevilla (c/ Pascual Márquez, 66)
- PSOE Andalucía (c/ Antonio Bienvenida, 79)
- La Pecera (c/ Pascual Márquez, 9)
- CC.OO. Sevilla (c/ Pascual Márquez, 81
- UGT (c/ Antonio Bienvenida, 13)
- USO (c/ Curro Romero, 25)
With so much hustle and bustle, it’s not uncommon for the night’s festivities to finish in the wee small hours of the morning. We recommend a stay at our Boutique Hotel Holos, located in one of the most charismatic and quiet areas of Seville, the Heliopolis district.
So, Boutique traveller… Pack your suitcase as this adventure is about to begin!