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A Christmas Fayre - Alicante 17 to 20 December

News Spain - Dec 2013

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fairalicanteRight in the middle of Alicante town, the weekend before Christmas, you can take in a real live Nativity scene as part of a craft fair.  A craft fair with "Artesanía de Autor" (craftsmen selling their own work), live music, jugglers, children's games and workshops, a tavern and other food stalls in the Plaza Gabriel Miró, from 19 to 23 December. The stalls and the nativity scene are set up under the incredible rubber trees - think of the pot plant in Granny's parlour, but then about 100 foot high and with a trunk so big that three people can just clasp hand to hand around the trunk.  That's where you will find Maria holding the baby while Joseph is working as a carpenter, and a page takes down children's wishes for presents from the Three Kings.  Near the Nativity scene the visitor will find goats, chickens, rabbits, little pigs and very young donkeys - all the inhabitants of a small farm yard. 

Children and their parents can amuse themselves with games such as nine men's morris, tangram, shove ha'penny, table skittles and the like.  Every day there are two or three workshops where children can learn to handle tools and materials, and make something to take home.  For the very young there is a small ferris wheel and a merry-go-round.

The craft fair - organised by the regional craft association Amata - will consist of some fifty stalls with everything from hand-made candles to shawls, wooden toys and puppets, ceramics, handbags made of leather and old LPs (with your choice of music), jewelry in silver and bone, copper and leather, plastic and glass.  Participants, as always, are carefully chosen to avoid duplication of designs and everything is made by the people at the stall - nothing is imported or made in a factory.  It's all original, and much less expensive than anything you can buy in a gallery.

Quite a few people at the stalls will be at work - a bookbinder, a smith complete with forge and anvil, various people with saws, paint brush or small loom.  Most of the time SolReDo, a small band of slightly crazy musicians, will be livening up the fair.  Elsewhere there is a tavern, with roast meat (even a whole roast pig!!) and beer - nothing like the open air to stimulate the appetite - or you can try a pancake filled with chocolate or half-a-dozen other sweet or savory fillings.  There are stalls with all sorts of preserved food made using family recipes.

The fair opens on Thursday 19 December at about 6pm.  From Friday the 20th  till Monday the 23rd, it opens from 11 am to about 9 pm, although it tends to be quiet from 2 to 5 in the afternoon.

Plaza Gabriel Miró is about 50 m. from (and runs parallel with) the Explanada, the palm tree lined pavement running along the main thoroughfare by the harbour.  There are quite a few underground car parks nearby, or you can park outside the town and take a bus (bus routes 5, 8A, 8B or 10 all stop near or on the Explanada - see http://www.subus.es/index.asp) or you can take the L4 tram (see http://www.fgvalicante.com/planos.php?page=103).  If you live near or in Torrevieja, you can book a trip with Coachtrips SL (966 785 910 - English spoken).

For more information, ring 639 979 678 (Elvira speaks English) or look at http://www.amata.es/alicante11.html or the general amata web site (www.amata.es) for photographs of past events and explanations in both English and Spanish.