La Feria de Abril, Seville´s April fair
After Easter vacation is over, halfway through spring, the city turns into the bride of the world, and for this, the streets tidy up with perfume and orange blossom flowers. It puts on a flamenco outfit, striped white, red and green, with frills to celebrate the Seville April fair.
The origins of the April feria date from the year 1846 where Narciso Bonaplata and Jose Maria de Ybarra signed a proposal presenting it to the town council, asking if the days 19, 20 and 21st of April could be spent celebrating the annual Seville fair. A year later, after its acceptance, Seville celebrate its first Seville April fair supported by many farmers and ranchers.
From then on, the three day Seville fair has now become a 7 days fair. It starts in Prado de San Sebastian, current area of the Remedy neighborhood, and gains more momentum regarding the evolutions of its lighting that stats with old oil, or the constitution of their “casetas”, that are no longer dedicated to lively stock but are dedicated to dance, music and the good gastronomy for the Sevillians and the tourists. The Seville fair starts Monday night with the traditional “pescaito” dinner and the lighting of the “alumbrao”, and finished the following Sunday.
During four years year of history, illustrious and kings have visited the Seville fair, for example the Queen Isabel II, that when to enjoy the fair in 1877, the 1st year were paper lanterns were put up. In 1916 the kings Don Alfonso XII and Doña Victoria Eugenia visited the Seville April fair for the first time, then in 1966 the princes of Monaco and finally, in 1968 the King Don Juan Carlos and the Queen Sofia.
In short, the Seville April fair is a tradition that keeps the whole Seville busy during one week, which causes an important part of Seville’s activity in the its “casetas”, amusement parks and all other services.
Today, tourists, on top of the usual transportation ways can now use two metro stops that have been place right next to the Seville fair area.
The monumental façade stands out because of its colors and its attractiveness. It is dedicated de the city or its history, together with the decoration in the streets near the fair, the lights and the “casetas”.
The feria varies from day to night. During the day, from 12am to 8pm, on top of dancing, eating and drinking, it is nice to walk around the feria surroundings to admire the women dressed in beautiful flamenco gowns that change from season to season, or the large quantity of horse cars or horse riders that pass through the “casetas”. These horse riders and carriages transfer, during the night to the center of the city and the plaza de toros. The Spanish fiesta, sevillanas and flamenco dancing is what really stands out during the night. You can enjoy this while having a drink with friends until dawn.
The fair has room for all: kids, young and older people, tourists… The most important thing is to submerge yourself into the atmosphere. The “casetas” are usually private but you might be able to get in, if are a tourist. Sevillians are proud of where they come from and want you to have a good time. It is an unforgettable experience, having a glass of manzanilla or rebujito (manzanita with a soft drink), some shrimps and also a good jamon and cheese.