A weekend of exhibitions, carnival and fun festivals

THE weekend starts today (Thursday) in Torrevieja this week, with a fully packed schedule for all the family. Over the weekend you can pick and choose between half-marathons, classic cars, carnival processions, exhibitions, concerts, sport and festivals, not to mention a wedding exhibition and whatever is happening locally at the pubs and clubs.

The major event celebrates Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travel and transport and the San Cristobal Festival, taking place from Thursday through Saturday in Torrevieja’s Harbour zone.

Because of the May elections, the San Cristobal celebrations have been brought forward to this weekend. Activities start on Thursday morning at 11am, when Torrevieja’s mayor, Pedro Hernandez Mateo plus military chiefs of staff and other dignitaries will attend the official inauguration ceremony.

Entrance to the festival is free and everyone is invited to browse the selection of static exhibition of vehicles from the Spanish armed forces and the emergency services from Valencia and Murcia followed by the raising of the Spanish flag and remembrance of the fallen. The static displays will remain throughout the day, all of which are open to the public.

On Friday the static display and exhibition is open to the public from10am to 6pm. Saturday is International Veteran’s Day and along with the static displays, which are open to visitors from 10.30am, at noon there is an active display by members of the ‘Military Emergencies Unit’ along the seafront promenade, Paseo Juan Aparicio.

Some of the activities will feature Firemen cutting open a crashed car, helicopters, assailing and many other activates featuring the military and emergency services.

The main activity happens at 4pm when participating bands will march through Torrevieja’s central streets towards the harbour meeting point where there will be a laying of a commemorative wreath by international veterans, lowering of the Spanish flag followed by march-past and salute by the Military vehicles, participating bands, International Veterans Associations and National Brotherhood of Veterans followed by a march through streets to the Centro Cultural Virgen del Carmen.

At 5.30pm in the Centro Cultural Virgen del Carmen, everyone is invited to the 3rd Annual Festival of Military and Civil Bands which will include the presentation of the ‘Knight of San Cristobal’ award and other recognitions plus the Premier performance of the recently composed military march ‘General Grau, in honour of General Francisco Grau of the Royal Household Band.

On Sunday, the action moves away from Torrevieja and to Orihuela City for the annual San Cristobal (St. Christopher) parade of vehicles.

At 9am there is a concentration of vehicles (Lorries, cars, motorcycles, taxis, classic cars etc.) in the car park of the Eroski hypermarket, Orihuela, followed by a break for Breakfast before the cavalcade heads off at 9.45am on route through Bigastro, Hurchillo, Arneva, Desamparados, Beniel, Cruce del Raal and finishing in Santomera (Murcia).

Although the static displays may have departed from the waterfront, at 10.30am, hundreds of runners will be participating in the annual half marathon race, with the numbers of participants further boosted by a 10.75 km race, for those not quite up to two or more hours of competitive running. The roads along the seafront will be closed from early morning, so watch out for delays if you are headed to the event.

It’s a busy weekend for Classic Car enthusiasts also as the regular Noche del Coche, car display, will be meeting at the Marina Salinas at around 8pm on Friday.

All owners of classic, future classics, muscle, kit, specialists and just ‘nice’ cars, are invited to bring down their cars for the gathering.

It’s still a little cool in Torrevieja but some of the ‘hard core’ will be there with their motors. If the darker and cooler nights are not your scene, or you wish to have two bites of the cherry over the weekend, the Sunday Drivers Club will be meeting on Sunday morning from 11amuntil around 1pm at Di Vinci’s Bistro, just off the main Crevillent Road in Urb. San Luis, where drivers and visitors can meet fellow enthusiasts and enjoy an inexpensive breakfast to fuel themselves up for the rest of the day. More information at www.NocheDelCoche.com or by calling Nick on 609063614.

Spring is also in the air as evidenced by the areas first Wedding Exhibition of 2011.

For couples interested in planning a wedding or having a celebration, the first Celebrations and Events weekend is happening in San Pedro, at the Clock House on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February. The ‘Clock House’ or the ‘Casa del Reloj’ is on the main N332 just past the roundabout with the boat in the middle, and is open on both days from 1100-hrs until 1800-hrs. The exhibition will include entertainment and a special three course menu of the day for only €9.95. More information from Louise on 654897720.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Carnival in Torrevieja. In the Vista Alegre Exhibition Centre there is a special exhibition of photos and displays to celebrate reaching this landmark and while the costumes and atmosphere may not be quite the same as in Rio’s Sambadrome, the participants seem to be having just as much fun.

This year’s event also feature the renowned Rascals, but you’ll have to go along to find out what their theme is for the event!

The streets will be filled with music and dancing on Sunday with the contestants in this years carnival being judged for the competition from 5pm, at Plaza Maria Asuncion, Calle Ramon Gallud and Patricia Perez. Note that the time is an hour later than originally advertised! At 8pm there will be the prize giving taking place in the Virgen del Carmen Cultural Centre while the main Carnival Parade is scheduled for Saturday March 5, from 10pm.

On Sunday March 6, the regular Ace Café  have their regular show and shine classic car event at Le Torre Hotel in Los Montesinos from 11am. Let’s also not forget that two Patron Saints are celebrated in March, starting with St. David on the first while the world’s most popular festival is slowing spreading its wings onto the Costa Blanca with St. Patrick’s celebrations taking place on March 13 at noon in Daya Neuva, complete with a Parade, local mayors and the Alicante’s Irish Consulate in attendance while on March 17 at 5pm in Cabo Roig there will be the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Parade plus a market in Playa Flamenca, so lots of excuses for the wearing of the green. Wear comfy shoes and enjoy the weekend.

By Keith Nichol


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