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Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, August 03, 2012

String and glue

I may well be wrong. I haven't checked last year's programme against this. Nonetheless it seems to me that the Pinoso Fair and Fiesta has been simplified because there isn't any money. And, in being simplified I think it has been improved.

When I wrote about the fiesta a couple of years ago I made a point that maybe the event had lost some of it's purpose. I suggested that the rich and mobile population of Pinoso could now seek out entertainment and goods whenever it wanted. The Fair and Fiesta had become less relevant. Maybe by changing its focus it can regain that relevance.

I've got it into my head that initiative has taken over from cash as the way of making an impact. As Ernest Rutherford said "We've got no money, so we've got to think"

Take the opening ceremony. In years past that used to be somebody giving a speech from the Town Hall balcony before the great and the good of the town trooped off, en masse, to stroll around the fair and take the front row seats for some musical event.

This year the square in front of the Town Hall was brightly lit. They made use of a big screen (the Town Hall has television production facilities) to warm up the crowd and then they introduced all the Carnival Queens by parading them through a passageway formed by a dance troupe. For the cost of a few spotlights and a bit of computer wizadry the organisers turned the opening speech into a bit of a show. The speech, like last year, took place on a dais in amongst the crowd so that ordinary people were much closer to the action. It all felt much more participative to me. The fireworks afterwards were set off right in the heart of the town using an empty building plot. A simple change but so much cosier.

Yesterday there were classic cars in a square that isn't usually used for much. I've noticed in the programme that the events are much more evenly spread through the squares and open areas of the town.

Classic cars, very cheap to arrange and a bit different. There was some gachamigas cooking going on in the same square. Cheap and cheerful again. Oh, and there was a little band trogging around the streets playing some regional instuments. Very jolly. Later it was judging the decorated streets. I have no idea how it actually works but I can see a model for that - get your 50€ grant from the Town Hall to deck out your street. So some streets ask for the grant but they have to put in a bit extra. People from the street get involved. The town looks pettier and the band comes down your road along with the Mayor.

We're off into town tonight to see some music and we've paid for a concert on Saturday night. We've still to get along to one of the vermouth sessions (old hat now) but the wine tasting is new. As is the idea of a paella competition rather than the usual free giant paella (which apparently cost 5,000€ last year.) There's lots more that's different and I must say that being less of a consumer and more of a participant feels better to me.

All in all it seems a much more grass roots sort of festival. If that's the thinking then I reckon it's good work on somebody's part. I'd heard that we were into a post industrial phase, a return to pre industrial revolution thinking. Now all we have to do in Pinoso is to tag it up as being sustainable and we'll be very 21st Century.

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