Friday, 11 August: Fireworks night
Málaga Fair is unique, even before celebrations begin. On the evening before the official opening, there is a fireworks and music show on La Malagueta beach: a wonderful lighting show and hundreds of drones projecting images of Málaga and the fair. On the following day, you can enjoy the street procession to the Shrine of La Victoria, the opening speech and the lighting of the fairground façade at Real del Cortijo de Torres.
Saturday, 12 August: Official opening
Saturday 12 is one of the fair’s big days. Early in the morning, everyone is getting ready for the street procession, and the Historic District gets filled with bands of verdiales, lanterns, stands and stalls. These are some of the day’s main events:
Street procession to the Basilica of Santa María de la Victoria
On the first Saturday of the fair in the morning, people go down the streets on a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Santa María de la Victoria, the city’s Patroness. Pilgrims, horse riders, carts and horse-drawn carriages gather in front of the City Hall as onlookers get ready to see them off.
Standing at the stairs, the Mayor of Málaga hands the city flag – known as “la verde y morá” because of its colours, green and purple – to the standard-bearer – usually an illustrious figure –, who will bring the flag to the Patroness of Málaga. The Virgin Mary is also given a flower offering, and Solemn Mass is said in Her honour. Afterwards, the pilgrims return to the centre of town, ready for the beginning of the fair.
Opening speech and lighting of the fairground façade at Real del Cortijo de Torres
On the first Saturday of the fair in the evening, the opening speech is delivered at Real del Cortijo de Torres, in front of the main façade – a stunning replica of the Customs House. Then, the fairground lights are switched on.