Last night saw the opening of the Pedro Romero Feria 2010 with a cabalgata (parade) through the streets of Ronda, starting in the Alameda park and winding its way along Virgen de la Paz to Calla La Bola and then Avenida Malaga before entering the municipal fairground.
Excited parents and children could be heard all night exclaiming at the characters dancing in the streets, proud parents eagerly pointed out their own kids on the floats, and Ronda gave the participants of the Folklore Gala a rousing welcome as they sang, played traditional instruments, and danced their way home.
The highlight of the parade however is always the final float containing the reigning queen of the feria and her damas goyescas, and this year was no different. President of the ladies, Lola Riaza was resplendent in a gorgeous black and white gown with a winged icon behind her.
Each of the damas goyesca was obviously enjoying their moment, smiling and laughing at friends and strangers, and allowing the music to carry them away as they danced in their seats.
The parade this year was much smaller than last owing to significant budget cuts as Ronda tightens its belt amid the worst financial crisis Spain has experienced since the advent of democracy, though that certainly didn’t dampen spirits, and after the parade, the feria ws officially opened with a small but spectacular display of fireworks.