La Feria de Abril
Seville's April Fair (La Feria de Abril) is a huge annual event on the extensive list of festivals taking place in the city.
The fair officially begins on Monday at midnight, normally 2 weeks after Semana Santa (Holy Week), and ends with a fireworks display the following Sunday, again, at midnight.
It was the poet Byron who referred to Seville as being famous for its oranges and women. Seeing the local girls at the Fair in their colourful flamenco dresses it is easy to understand his attraction. The city is overbooked well in advance for this event as thousand of locals and visitors.
There are over 1000 marquees, known as 'casetas' at the event site, most of which have ongoing flamenco performances, loud music and a bar.
As you can imagine, 'the craic is mighty'. As well as flamenco, the other main themes of the party are horses and bullfighting in what is so clearly a typical Spanish affair.
At noon every day there is a procession called the 'Paseo de Caballos' in which local girls in their full flamenco outfit are pulled through the city in beautiful carriages by splendid horses. In the evening some of the year's top bullfights take place at the Plaza de Toros de Maestranza with tickets selling out well in advance.
The venue for the fair is the 'Real de la Feria' just outside the city centre opposite the Maria Luisa park. Such is the enormity of the event that this area becomes a city in its own right for just one week. Next to the site is a huge fairground with all the usual rides and attractions.