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April Fair in Seville

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April Fair
   During the Fair, the people of Seville make their respective marquees their homes, playing host to receive and entertain friends and family.
   The marquees are simple and beautifully decked out. There is no shortage of Fino sherry from Jerez and Manzanilla sherry from Sanlucar de Barrameda, rebujito, ham, prawns, dancing, Sevillana music, clapping, guitars, and even bagpipes and Rocio drums... and one thing that should never, ever be lacking, is a good andalusian stew broth with a dash of sherry to make you feel like new...
   The Seville Fair, also called the April Fair, is held a week or two after Easter and begins on the Monday, at midnight, with the traditional turning on of the lighting. Its entrance, decked out with thousands of bulbs and lamps is switched on, becoming a brilliant array of light. After endless days of happiness, luxury and stately traditions, horsemen and women, and rides in stunning carriages, the fair comes to an official close on the Sunday, at midnight, with a fireworks display on the banks of the Guadalquivir River.

Turning on the lighting

   From saetas (religious flamenco songs) to sevillanas (Seville flamenco songs)... Once the pointed hoods, trumpets and drums of Easter week are left behind, it is the turn of flounces, ornamental combs, castanets, and, above all, the joy of a people who positively give off imagination and good humour. Seville is more beautiful than ever during the fair, and, with music and jubilation, it displays the essence of this magical city: its joyful spirit and the good nature of its people.

   Music plays all the while, colour explodes all around, bright, spotted dresses adorn the surroundings, and riders show off their horses amidst the crowds. In the background, an ensemble of heady aromas creates a tempting atmosphere for the senses: fried fish, olives, paella, ham... with fino sherry and manzanilla sherry to wash down these gastronomic delicacies. All this with the enchantment of nights that do not end until well into the early hours.

Dancing Sevillanas inside a Caseta

Dancing Bulerias inside a Caseta

A day at the fair
   Morning, afternoon, evening and night, you can enjoy the Seville Fair almost 24 hours a day. One day you should try it!
   Morning fair - The timetable for the morning involves getting to "El Real" (the site of the fair) at around 1.30pm, and staying "as long as you can keep going" (This means you can enjoy all the colour of the fair by day and the beginning of the night). Ideal for families, horse-lovers and tourists.
   Evening fair - Aim to get there at 7pm. This timetable will suit you if you are tired from the day before. A little siesta after lunch and, once refreshed, head for the fair. Try not to finish too late, because the next day there is more.
   Night fair - Ideal for young people. It gets started at 9pm, coinciding with the end of the bullfights, and means you can have dinner at El Real or in the surrounding area, and enjoy the fun into the early hours.

[1.30pm] Off to the Fair
Organize the journey well. We recommend getting to El Real by horse-drawn carriage, motorbike, bus or taxi. Don't take the car unless it is absolutely vital.
[2pm] Horse parade
This is the best time to see this colourful spectacle, inside El Real and having something to eat at one of the marquees.
[2.30pm] First drink
On arrival at the marquee you will be offered the first drink of the day. This is usually sherry, beer or "rebujito" (sherry with lemonade). It is a good idea to eat something between drinks, because before you know it "lunchtime" could be over.
[3pm] Lunch
Time for the big lunches: companies, families, commitments? you have a date.
[6pm] The bullfight
Time to head for the Maestranza bullring. At this time, many bullfighting fans change their minds and are ready to give their tickets away to friends.
[8pm] A little afternoon flamenco
Some marquees have a flamenco group to liven up the afternoon. If you have the chance, try and pop into one.
[10pm] Dinner
Dive into one of the marquees to have something to eat. Your body will need it.
[Midnight] Fireworks
Only on the night of Sunday. They are the final culmination of this fiesta.
[2am] Churros or buñuelos? (different types of fritters)
One last bite before heading home.
[?] The return
It is time to go home. If there are lots of people waiting for taxis, try the bus, which usually runs pretty well.

Horse Parade

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