THE heart of Benidorm’s British quarter came to a standstill yesterday (Thursday) for the annual fancy dress party – and everyone was invited to join in the fun.
An ‘unofficial’ day added on to the traditional celebrations; and an expat invention, it has become a much-loved centrepiece of the November calendar.
Every November the town stages the fiesta of the Virgen de Sufragio – Our Lady of Suffrage – and St James and visitors from across Spain and holidaymakers from abroad put the date in their diaries to descend on the resort.
The official week of fiesta features music, parades, and fireworks. It dates back to 1740 and a violent storm when a ship was stranded on the Benidorm coast.
The boat was burned to prevent any risk of a health epidemic and an image of the Virgin was found amongst the debris. The holy relic was rescued and rehomed in a chapel – a story now re-enacted every year on the Poniente beach.
It took a little longer for the Brits to arrive in Spain’s most famous seaside town but they have made their mark on the November fiesta by introducing an extra day of celebrating.
The huge fancy dress event is centred on Calle Gerona – closed to traffic for the afternoon – and thousands of people arrived to get down and get with it.
Essentially a giant street party and pub crawl, once again wonderfully imaginative costumes brought a rainbow of colour to Benidorm and a good time was enjoyed by all.