The Malaga Fair originated in the commemoration of the incorporation of Malaga to the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Kings, who entered the city on August 19, 1487. A few years later (1491), the Municipal Government established the dates for the popular festivities. Over the years these festivities grew and today they represent the great summer feast of southern Spain.
What can you find in this great fair? You will find a fully committed city dedicated night and day during the eight days of festivities. It starts in the evening of August 14 with the traditional opening speech and fireworks, followed by eight days of festivities in the city center and in the fairgrounds, known as the ‘Real de la Feria’. The Real de la Feria spreads over an area of 500,000 sq. m and nearly 200 stalls belonging to social organizations, peñas (groups of friends), brotherhoods and companies, most of which can be freely accessed. The fairgrounds are fully equipped with all the necessary infrastructures and services, together with the regular attractions for children and adults. The Real de la Feria is open around the clock but the best time to enjoy it is in the evening and at night. In the city center the festivities are liveliest during the daytime. You should go there and enjoy the fiesta, the music, the tapas and the drinks. Calle Larios, the major pedestrian street of Malaga, is the core of the festivities, with performances of musical groups singing verdiales, charangas (small musical bands) and of course you will hear plenty of sevillanas and you will see women dancing in their flamenco dresses.
You should not miss the famous romería or street pilgrimage of the Malaga Fair. The first Saturday of the festivities at noon there is a romería through the city, with horseback riders, horse-pulled carts and people on foot accompanying the standard bearer to the Sanctuary of the Vírgen de la Victoria, the patroness of the city. And of course the feast would not be complete without bulls. The bull ring of La Malagueta is the place where hundreds of people go to see the best matadors every year.
When you get hungry you should try the gazpacho and ajoblanco, cold soups that can be had in bars and restaurants. And you can’t say you’ve been to Malaga if you don’t try the delicious pescaíto frito (fried fish).
Where can you get a decent meal? Bodegas El Pimpi. Alea, Refectorium Catedral, Mesón Santiago, Los Mellizos, La Reserva del Pastor, Reserva 12, Lo Güeno, Cortijo Pepe. If you want to try something more sophisticated, José Carlos García at Muelle 1.
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