It promised to be bigger and better and it didn´t disappoint, the 2014 Medieval Market on the streets of Orihuela was the most successful ever, with hundreds of thousands of visitors, tourists and residents alike, taking a trip back in time through the historic city streets.
In a dramatic and theatrical style, the opening procession meandered the streets, led by knights on horseback, followed by their standard bearers, their servants and belly dancers, as well as jugglers, musicians and street performers, before the councillor for festivities, Carolina Gracia, delivered her speech, welcoming, “all who are willing and able to hear, see and understand”, and taking them on a verbal journey through the imagined history of the event, addressing “Young men and women of spirit and body, Nobles, Clergy and people”, explaining how the Medieval Market of Orihuela is representative of the “fairs and markets held from today until the dawn of the day of San Blas, when the main streets and squares of Orihuela, land of Moors, Christians, Jews and many others, in peace and harmony want to be”.
Prior to the opening address, the onlookers were treated to a variety of staged shows, with the horses dancing and traditional music playing, before the street theatre actors transformed the cobbles and tarmac into a stage for their presentation. With audience participation and joy on the faces of those watching clear, the municipal mayor, Monserate Guillén, officially declared the event open.
With a total of 151 different shows and performances running throughout the weekend, including parades, dance, theatre, exhibitions and musical performances, there was hardly any time for the cast of the show to rest, tirelessly working to maintain the reputation of the event as one of the biggest and best in Europe.
Although the official figures for this year are still being counted, there is no doubt, given the growth in popularity and awareness of the event, as well as the preferable weather over last year, the 200,000 visitors of 2013 will have been exceeded. Money well spent considering the budget of 42,000 euro, as it sets Orihuela aside with yet another reason to visit, whether for this event or one of the many others around the cultural calendar.
There is no doubt either of the professionalism of the company awarded the contract, La Asociación Cultural Destellos, a theatrical company founded in 1986 that works with the PirámideArt of Alicante and with the support of an international street theatre group, the Festival Internacional de Teatro en la Calle, or FITEC, as, despite being the only bidder, it is clear that every single person involved will do anything and everything possible to ensure the success of the event.
As Gracia´s speech concluded, it genuinely was “time to laugh, to love, to eat, drink and frolic , it’s time for the joy of everyone forgetting the quarrels and disputes , which often give little pleasure”, and those disputes and quarrels were a record of history, as everybody came together as one, enjoying the fruits of the Orihuela Medieval Market, 2014.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42452/