All’s fair: Feria de Córdoba
Portada de la feria, Córdoba
Last night was the last time in 2012 when the arches of the feria entrance burned gold and ruby against the dark sky. While I didn’t attend the closing ceremonies, I was lucky enough to be in town to catch the opening events. Whenever I’d visited friends in Córdoba this past September, they told me that the next time I visit the city would have to be in May. Feria, feria, feria! they’d gush, pairing these exclamations with excited hand gestures.
Córdoba is not alone in its feria-fever: indeed, many cities in southern Spain boast such events when the weather turns warm. I’d been warned that in other cities, the pavillions are private affairs and cannot be entered if you do not know anyone inside. However, the fair in Córdoba is much less exclusive (read: less pretentious)–wanderers are welcome in all casetas. In fact, the owners want you to poke your head in, as the they sell food and drink and wold like to put money into the piggy-bank entitled “FERIA 2013.”
I wanted to know what all this feria business was all about, so last weekend Andres and I caught the 5-hour bus to Córdoba to see it for ourselves. This trip, like the Toulouse one, was not without its false starts, and when the bus delivered us safely we were both a bit incredulous that we’d made it to our destination.
But made it we had, and within a few hours of our visit we were already walking along the well-marked fairground “streets.” Although I’d read about the event, gazing at pictures couldn’t prepare me for the flouncy dresses, the spontaneous dancing, the miles of casetas, the flashy rides, and, overall, the festive feel of the place. Here’s my attempt to capture the night:
First views of the feria at night
Women in their flounciest outfits
PS. check out that wind!
Fair entrance, where everyone stops to have their picture snapped
One of the many casetas, or pavillions
At 3 a.m., these kids are up way past their bedtime
Who wouldn’t fancy a spin in the The Horny Skillet?
Rides, rides, rides
Dunk a ball and win a pet: our hosts left with a new addition to their family
Haunted houses, flying boats
Leaving the fairgrounds after a night well-spent