Flamenco Fiesta

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nginx/1.14.0 (Ubuntu) Spring is here, and for Spanish dance-and-music lovers that means just one thing: Seville’s Feria de Abril (April Fair), a flamenco frenzy that takes place April 12-17. Flamenco is native to Andalusia and has Moorish, Roma and Jewish roots. The fair is one of the region’s oldest festivals, celebrating a spring livestock market dating back to 1847, and has evolved into a colorful megabash on the city’s outskirts. The fun begins when, at the stroke of midnight, the fair’s ceremonial gateway is lit up by thousands of lightbulbs. Lining about 15 streets are more than 1,000 casetas (brightly colored canvas tents), in which flamenco fanatics can dance, eat and drink the night away. Be sure to try pescaito (fried fish) and glasses of dry fino sherry, or the slightly lighter manzanilla.

Some of the casetas have sound systems that never stop playing Sevillanas, the local music accompanied by a dance of the same name. Other casetas hire a cantaor (flamenco singer). Buy some castanets at the local market and join in at the casetas de distrito, tents where anyone can take the stage — enthusiasm is more important than talent. Be prepared to stay up late: the party doesn’t start until 9 p.m. and goes on until 6 a.m. Despite the late nights, Sevillanos start off with a midday parade of local landowners on horseback and in ornate horse-drawn carriages. And after the parade, everyone retires to their favorite caseta — and the dancing, eating and drinking start again. tel: (34-954) 59 29 15; www.turismo.sevilla.org

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