Tag Archives: Spain

BLANES FIREWORKS COMPETITION 2018

WHAT: 48TH CONCURS INTERNACIONAL FOCS D’ARTIFICI BLANES 2018
WHY: FIREWORK COMPETITION
WHERE: SA PALOMERA, BLANES, COSTA BRAVA, SPAIN
WHEN: 23RD – 27TH JULY 2018 – 5pm – 12 midnight (fireworks at around 10.30pm)
COST: FREE

There is one thing that Spain is renowned for around the World – feast days or fiestas for their Saints. Firework display events have been a feature in Blanes for over 125 years, only being interrupted between 1936 and 1944 due to Civil War, and always incorporates the celebrations for the Patron Saint of Blanes; Santa Anna. This year is a bit of a change from the ‘norm’ as historically, the events usually run over the weekend but this time, they are a Monday to Friday event.

The fireworks are launched from the beautiful Sa Palomera, a rocky outcrop that separates the two magnificent beaches of Blanes to the delight of the crowds which have risen from around 50 thousand to a magical 250,000 for last year’s Saturday Night event.

Focs Blanes 2011 [explored]

The fireworks displays have to include both aerial and aquatic making use of the beautiful waters surrounding Sa Palomera. The teams are tasked with creating a show funded by the local government. Each team has €19,000.00 to cover the cost of the pyro and there will be 5 competing teams across the event. The display should last between 20 and 24 minutes maximum but if the display fails to meet the timings, teams will be penalised. The competitors will be marked on the dark sky, whether the fireworks reflect the natural beauty of the area and all must be biodegradable. The displays must include signs with ‘Blanes 2018’ and ‘Gloria A Santa Anna’. The judging panel is made up of 40 residents of Blanes and the surrounding area. Last year’s winners, Pirotecnia Hermanon Ferrandez from Murcia who will be taking part in this year’s event as part of the prize from last year.

The winner of the overall competition will pick up €6000.00 and the runner-up will pick up €2000.00. The winner will also be given the opportunity to fire a display at the 2018 St Narcis and the Santa Cristina (Lloret de Mar) Festivals. They will be judged on:

• Type and variety of products used
• Quality of launches
• Whether the products meet criteria
• Rhythm and cadence
• Colour
• Difficulty
• Originality
• Aquatic fireworks
• Use of the setting
• Overall artistic effect

The competitors are:

• PIROTECNIA VULCANO – MADRID
• PIROTECNIA TOMAS – CASTELLO
• PIROTECNIA HERMANOS FERRANNEZ – MURCIA
• SARL REGIE FETE PYROTECHNIE – FRANCE
• PIROTECNIA PABLO – AUSTRIA

Blanes is a beautiful Town and is known locally as the gateway to the Costa Brava on the wild Catalonian coast and the weather is always mild with an average of 73 – 84 degrees F and nine superb hours of sunshine daily.

There are plenty of other activities to partake of in and around Blanes including the medieval beauty of Tossa de Mar with its walled old town. Having been fortunate enough to visit the area, the food is absolutely first rate and inexpensive too. Go for some tapas in the old town – we found a gem of a tapas bar which had Rioja at 60 cents a glass (that’s around 55p!) and as English is not their first language lots of gracias and pointing usually comes in handy.

A little further up the coast is Lloret de Mar with its spotlessly clean blue flag beaches which fall gently into the Mediterranean and local water parks are a must. There are boat trips daily, scuba, kite surfing so loads to do when you are not recovering from the hellish red wine hangover or filling your face with the magnificent seafood on offer.

If you are over there holidaying in the Costa Brava, get along and take in one of the nights on offer with the magic of gunpowder filling the skies over this beautiful part of Spain with light and colour.

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LAS FALLAS 2018

WHAT: LAS FALLAS – VALENCIA, SPAIN 2018
WHY: FIREWORK FESTIVAL AND FIESTA
WHERE: VALENCIA, SPAIN
WHEN: THURSDAY 15TH – MONDAY 19TH MARCH 2018 (BUT THERE ARE EVENTS EACH DAY FROM 1ST MARCH ONWARDS)
COST: FREE

One of the most important fiestas in the Spanish calendar takes part shortly in the beautiful City of Valencia in South Western Spain. The event lasts for several days and on the final day the huge and brightly decorated figures or ‘ninots’ are burned.

The word Falla is an old Valencian word for torch and in bygone days, the old torches were placed in watchtowers used in defence of the City of Valencia. Legend has it that the local woodworkers and carpenters would celebrate the Fiesta for San Jose (St Joseph – husband of the mother of Christ) who became the patron saint of carpenters and woodworkers (as he was a carpenter himself one would assume) by burning off the last remnants of wood in celebration of the end of winter.

In the 1800’s, craftsmen would create these figurines or dolls as a mockery of the political in-fighting of the ruling dynasty, headed by Philip V who was the grandson of French ruler Louise XIV.

200 years on and Las Fallas is still going strong with people visiting from around the world just to see this amazing spectacle. Last year, the Ninots represented the President of the USA Donald Trump, Carles Puigdemont; the former President of Catalonia who wants to break Spain into smaller areas, footballer Lionel Messi, Mariano Rajoy; Spain’s Prime Minister and Rita Barbera; former Mayor of Valencia who dies whilst being investigated for money laundering. These are just a few of the amazing figures and caricatures on offer.

Fallas #PassFire Visit Spain

Las Fallas features also the mascaleta which are loud firecrackers/fireworks used both during the daytime and in the evening which MUST start off quieter and get gradually louder through to the end. Some of the very best pyrotechnic companies in the World take part including Pirotecnia Zaragozana, Ricassa and Heranos Caballer.

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FEAST OF SAN LORENZO – CASTELL DE L’OLLA ALTEA

It’s a well acknowledged fact that the Spanish simply LURVE their pyrotechnics, and never more so than when celebrating one of more of their religious festivals.

The setting for the most recent event sending ripples all the way through the fireworks industry was held on Saturday evening (13th August). Crowds numbering upwards of 50,000 were gathered on the Passeo at Altea, ready to be thoroughly entertained by the fabulous professional team from Valencia; Ricardo Caballer Ricassa Pirotecnia.

The Summer Nights of Light event this year was a 30th anniversary of the running of the event and as such, was bigger than ever. They are thought to have spent in the region of €70,000.00 on the fireworks. The 23 minutes of fireworks were under the tutelage of the unstoppable Ricardo Caballer Ricasa Pirotecnia, local experts who have been providing excellent displays across the globe since 1881.

Held annually for the last 30 years, the display takes place on the beach in the beautiful picturesque town of Altea on the Costa Blanca. From perfect flower lined cobbled streets and quaint white-washed buildings, to superb eateries, it is a beautiful and peaceful place to sit and watch the world go by nestled in a little bay in Altea which has been named as the Cultural Capital of the Valencian region. Shops, craft galleries and bars on the seafront offering very inexpensive Tapas, this is the place to be.

The pounding cadence of the fireworks must have been absolutely astonishing. Check it out:

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