Spring in Barcelona marks the start of the 2013 edition of the Feria de Abril de Catalunya or in English the April Fair of Catalonia, Barcelona’s very own interpretation of Seville’s famous “Feria de Abril” at the Parc del Fòrum fairgrounds in the Diagonal Mar district of Barcelona.
Barcelona’s April Fair is a very festive affair based on its traditional Andalusian counterpart with one difference: where in Barcelona the rows of casetas, colorfully decorated, temporarily marquee tents (kind of mini-circus tents) are open to the public, in Seville you generally need an invitation. In Barcelona anyone is welcome to venture inside the 70 casetas, the entrance is free. In the marquee tents food and drink is served and people are entertained by musical performances, usually by flamenco dancers and singers (lots of “Sevillanas”), but can also join in on the action using the dance floor to show off their own moves. If you can’t dance flamenco, Sevillanas experts will teach you!
Immigrants from Andalusia living in Barcelona began their own version of the well known Seville Fair in 1971. Since then the Barcelona event has grown so much that it became the second largest Spring Fair in Spain. The main sponsoring organization is FECAC, Federación de Entidades Culturales Andaluzas en Cataluña or the Federation of Andalusian Cultural Groups in Catalonia. The Parc del Fòrum fairgrounds area is divided into two sections: the main part, the “Real” where you can find the casetas and another section called “Calle del Infierno”. This section is dedicated to fairground rides, raffles and other entertainment.
Southern Spaniards, Catalan people and tourists alike arrive in their droves to sing, dance at the Feria de Abril and enjoy the free-flowing sherry, rebujitos and servings of paella. Throughout the fairground, men, women and children are donning their best flamenco ruffles, which add colour and festivity to the whole fair. Dressed up in traditional “trajes de corto” (short jacket, tight trousers and boots) and “trajes de flamenco” (flamenco dresses), they create a flamboyant and unforgettable Spanish atmosphere you won’t forget easily. It’s also a great place to go with kids. Kids can enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere complete with a big Ferris wheel, cotton candy and and plenty of the usual fairground attractions.
The April fair in Barcelona is open from Friday April, 26th to Sunday May, 5th 2013. The traditional opening ceremony, the turning on of the lights, will be at 9 PM on Friday April, 26 2013. Getting there is easy by bus or metro with a journey time of 20 minutes from the centre of Barcelona. On certain days the BCN metro has extended opening hours and there are extra buses from Plaza Catalunya to the Feria de Abril grounds at Parc del Fòrum. Start planning your trip to Barcelona and don’t forget to check availability at your home from home Retrome Barcelona.