One of the most interesting fairs in the world is the Marbella “Feria” (Fair) that gives both residents and visitors an unforgettable experience.
This annual festival celebrates the birth of Marbella’s patron saint, San Bernabé. In addition, the history of the fair is also aligned with the re-conquest of Marbella when Christians took over the city from Moorish settlers on 11th June 1942, so apart from the fanfare that accompanies this festival, it is in fact deeply rooted into Marbella’s history and culture and holds special significance for its citizens.
The fair usually begins either on the 1st or 2nd Sunday of June and ends on the following Sunday. It is officially started by a religious procedure that comprises of carrying the San Bernabé effigy throughout the streets of Marbella to the main Santo Patron chapel.
On the following Monday evening, the “Queens” of the fair are crowned as well as their entourage known as the “damas”.
Generally, there are two queens, the Juvenile Queen, who is around 18 years and Infantile Queen who is eight years old.
Getting selected as a queen or dama is a special honour.
This is just the beginning however; get ready for vibrant and spontaneous dancing and singing for a full week. The streets surrounding the area where the Feria is held will be full with the sound of Music and many stalls offering food and drink. A word of advice. During the Marbella Feria, alcohol is free flowing so dont get caught out, always make sure that you accompany your alcoholic beverage with one of the many tapas on offer. June temperatures during the Marbella Feria can reach 30 centigrade or more.
The citizens of Marbella take a lot of pride in the Marbella Feria and you will see some of the traditional flamenco or feria dresses which are simply breathtaking, you will also see the men dressed up in their horsemen gear and small children dressed in traditional costumes. Its an amazing atmosphere and a real feast for the eyes!
In the evening, the fairground is the best place to go to enjoy some of the feria and really relish in the festivities. There are many different types of fairground rides from dodgem cars, shooting galleries and rollercoasters. There are many places to grab a bite and enjoy some traditional tapas and possibly a caña (beer) or two.
Music is an important aspect of the Marbella Feria. Each year some of the biggest names in the music industry are contracted to come and perform in the squares or plazas of the Marbella old town, and also in the main bull ring.
This is accompanied by many other types of activities including regatta’s such as tennis and football tournaments as well as the ultimate bullfighting show.
Horses are also part of the Feria culture, and you will see many horse-drawn carts and carriages during the fair. It is an amazing and colourful sight that everyone enjoys.
During the Marbella Feria, the beginning of the fair each day is introduced with the firing of loud rockets/fireworks. The end of the fair is marked with an amazing fireworks display.
The Marbella Feria is really a truly unforgettable experience so get it onto your bucket list now!