America, Music

Detroit callin’ out around the world

Here’s Detroit callin’ out around the world… and to us, Scotland’s travel elite, to get back to Motor City and Pure Michigan.

And follow in the Fingertips of Stevland Judkins who 60 years ago next year exploded into our musical consciousness.

We know him best as Stevie Wonder although back in 1963 he was just 12 and was introduced to us as Little Stevie Wonder.

Walking in Stevie’s Fingertips

Candy baby: Stevie’s candy machine

His debut release for Motown label Tamla, the jazzy Fingertips, still stands the test of time.

With Stevie wowing us with his mastery of bongos and harmonica.

Stevie became the youngest artist to reach No.1 in the Billboard charts.

And the world wanted to know more about the boy wonder from Detroit.

Stevland was born in Saginaw near Lake Huron and an hour and a half’s drive south to Detroit.

Where his musical Motown family took him to their hearts.

And to his favourite candy.

Best bar none

The Wonder of you: Stevie

Stevie, who in a different Bluesier age, would probably have gone by the moniker (or harmoniker in his case) of ‘Blind Boy Stevie’, loved a nutty nougat Baby Ruth bar.

And staff at the Hitsville USA House would be sure to leave the bar in the same place in the machine so he could feel for the slot.

And they were even said to leave coins there for him too.

The Hitsville House has undergone major million-dollar changes completed this year to accommodate ever-increasing numbers of visitors.

All of which our friends from Visit Detroit and Pure Michigan updated us on as we renewed our friendships.

At the plush Dakota Hotel in Glasgow.

And where Michigan State’s greatest ambassador Kelly revealed how she would regularly pass the blind school.

Where Stevland would learn to be Little Stevie.

The next generation

Marching to Freedom: Berry Gordy with Martin Luther King

At Hitsville they are still inspiring the youth, the next generation and practically as well as aesthetically.

Founder Berry Gordy is 92 years young and still as wide-eyed about music as ever he was.

And he vowed: ‘Not only will the expanded museum entertain and tell the stories of talented and creative people who succeeded against all odds, but it will also inspire and create opportunities for people to explore their dreams the way I did mine.

‘I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of that.’

And that’s where Hitsville NEXT, the educational center of Motown Museum’s newly expanded campus comes in.

In the Motown Museum‘s words it is the hub of our programming efforts, it is the place in Detroit for talent cultivation, entrepreneurial training and empowerment, music making and professional development for those aspiring to be in the music industry.

Are you ready for a brand new beat? Martha Reeves

I’ve seen first hand on my travels in the States how bringing young musicians from challenging backgrounds and giving them back opportunities can yield huge awards.

And the joy in the young artists’ performance on stage for a group of European travel writers at the Stax Music Academy in South Memphis.

And their euphoria as we broke bread with them afterwards when they were told they were to tour Europe.

The water city: And the Motor City too… Detroit

Just the same glee I feel every time I know I’m going America, every bit of which the Vandellas name check in Dancing in the Streets.

And with Martha Reeves championing the Hitsville reconstruction this year.

And Detroit callin’ out around the world I definitely won’t forget the Motor City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Europe, Music

Be a part of it Tenerife

Start spreading the news, our favourite Canary Island is going New York New York for its carnival next year… be a part of it Tenerife Tenerife.

While the Americas and the Caribbean grab the limelight for carnivals, we have the second biggest in the world here in Europe.

And you thought it was the Notting Hill Carnival.

There’s no denying that Rio is the world’s biggest carnival with two million people taking to the streets but a quarter of a million attend the Santa Cruz carnival on the island.

So what’s it all about and when is it?

Well, it’s rooted in Christian tradition and so that’s two weeks before Ash Wednesday.

And for those of you who forgot that man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return then that’s January 20-February 26.

And now for the history

Party Girls: Bandanaman and his walking troupe

The history of the Carnival falls into three distinct periods…

The Iberians’ religiosity, the more spirited Twenties-orientated festival and the reinvention of the party from 1961 when it took on many of the features we enjoy today.

Now for a timetable of event and what it all mean we got the Tinerfenos to do the heavy lifting.

And with memories of our hike on the island with CanariaWays and our walk through the ages we know they do it far better than us.

So over to them.

The Queen of Tenerife

Spanish meal anyone: And preparing the dish of the day

And that would be Eva from our walk up to Afur which she took in her stride and then did yoga up at the Franco-themed bar (don’t ask).

And I’d vote for her for the Carnival Queen.

15 February – Carnival Queen Election Gala

The Carnival Queen Election Gala is when the Carnival Queen is crowned, who is chosen amongst over a dozen candidates.

The contestants wear the most spectacular costumes, made mainly of feathers, plastic, metal and rhinestones and weighing up to 400kg.

And this year we will see the first-ever junior Gala King.

Reign on our parade

Queen for a day: The carnival

And what would a carnival be without the sing-song?

17 February – Opening Parade of the Carnival

The carnival is a sea of colour, featuring the lead Carnival Queen.

Murga street music groups, comparsa bands and rondallas playing traditional old carnival songs parading down the streets of Santa Cruz.

All in it together

Take to the streets: On Tenerife

And that means a dance.

21 February – Big Carnival Parade in Santa Cruz

The Coso Apoteosis is arguably the highlight of the entire festivities.

Visitors from all around the world flock to Anaga Avenue in Santa Cruz to witness the spectacle.

It features all the Carnival Queens and Carnival groups, floats, incredible dance routines and musical performances.

Catch of the day 

Packed in like… sardines

Now Spaniards and Canarians have their own particular take on carnivals which means:

22 February 2023: Burial of the Sardine – A humorous and grotesque procession of mourners saying goodbye to the carnival celebrations.

19 February & 25 February 2023: Daytime Carnival – A popular event for children and families, featuring plenty of activities to keep all entertained.

26 February 2023: Parade of Vintage Cars, Piñata and End of Party – And there’s nothing like whacking a bag of sweeties to get the juices flowing.

Free-for-all

Me-me and Dee-Dee at Crop Over in Barbados

In addition to the ticketed official carnival events, there are a number of spontaneous street events/activities to enjoy for free.

We’re advised that one of these night carnival parties is a must.

And we know all about what dancing in the dark is all about from Crop Over in Barbados.

And a glossary

Echoes of the Canaries: And special wine

Of course, when you’re in Espana then it helps to have a couple of words.

And I’m reminded on my landing in Galicia that my Camino guide gave me two words that helped me along my 100km to Santiago de Compostella.

Albergue, meaning hostel, and pulpo, the Spanish word for octopus.

Carnival Groups

A carnival group is a group of people who work together creating ideas, costumes, music, choreography, who all march together in the parade.

Tenerife Carnival features hundreds of different groups but two of the key ones to look out for are below:

Murgas: The Murgas are Spanish carnival groups that feature satire artists, performing songs about current political and world events.

Comparsas: The “comparsas” represent the Brazilian influence on Tenerife’s Carnival, filling it with rhythm, colour and joy.

Nowadays, the comparsas own the street with the undeniable quality of their live performances to surprise even the most frequent carnival-goers on their nights out.

Rondallas: The Rondallas are carnival groups that consist of only guitars, bandurrias, lauds and octavinas.

And of course there is a museum celebrating it all…

At La Casa Del Carnaval, located in Barranco de Santos next to the bridge Puente Galcerán

Maybe add to that glossary for next year Noo Yoikas… because they want to be a part of it Tenerife.

America, Countries, Music

Dancing in streets again

Dancing in streets again. In Detroit now with the reopening of the Motown Museum.

Hitsville USA is undergoing a $50m two-phase to transform three Motown-era homes and provide a “new front porch” for Martha Reeves to dance on.

And dance she did just as she and Motown’s finest had done back in their Sixties heyday.

When our favourite singers actually mingled with their fans rather than charging hundreds of quid for meet and greets.

The Motown family

Sweet Stevie: Stevie Wonder

Hitsville’s success was, of course, predicated on great tunes and magical performers but also the priceless family spirit in the studio.

All of which is evidenced by a story oft-told about Stevie Wonder.

Ever wondered how Stevie got that honeyed voice… well it might all come from his sweet tooth.

Stevie had a particular penchant for a Baby Ruth candy bar and he could feel for the button on the machine.

And crew at Hitsville would always make sure the nutty nougat was always in the right place and money was left to be put in the slot.

Sweet Stevie

Candyman can: Stevie’s sweet treat

A real nugget of nostalgia you’d think which you would be dying to share when commissioned to write an article.

Only that passed the twenty-something recipient of my largesse by.

Instead she was dancing in the street to a flashmob.

And now that I’ve calmed down over that writer’s omission I’m thinking Martha might have forgiven her.

Although Rachel would probably have missed out that she was leading the routine.

Summer’s here and the time is right

Everybody gather round: Martha and the Vandellas

So when you’re planning your next US visit, don’t forget the Motor City.

Because they’re.. dancing in the streets again in Detroit.

 

America, Countries, Music

Caught in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe

Can you just help me leaving… I’m caught in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe?

Anybody who has been to Graceland (and you should) will know that you can get lost.

In the warehouses that stock his jumpsuits and his planes, bikes and cars.

Or was that just me? And I must admit I had a suspicious mind about my party leaving me there on my own to get lost.

Movie masterpiece 

Jump to it: Late Elvis

We get glimpses of Graceland in the epic Baz Luhrmann biopic of Elvis which we sang all the way through at the cinema.

But what you can’t appreciate until you actually get there is just how homely and remarkably unremarkable it is.

Sure, we’ve heard of the Jungle Room, but it’s really just a man cave with some Seventies wildlife furnishings.

Scary stuff: The Jungle Room

While the dining room is a presentable front room where a family and their friends would feel comfortable.

It is here that Lisa Marie would say that Elvis would hold court in his hearty Deep South droll and they would all eat soul food.

The upstairs are roped off as that’s Priscilla, Lisa Marie’s and their family’s quarters.

Lisa Marie’s memories 

Seventies chic: Graceland

But Elvis’s only child leaves us with a lasting image of the King in an audio reveal in the house.

When she explains that they would hear Elvis before they saw him come down the stairs.

On account of his clinking jewellery.

  1. Butterfly collector: Elvis on stage

Elvis the icon, the superstar, of those jumpsuits and cars and planes, and guitars, pianos and platinum discs we already know.

But only in visiting Graceland and Memphis will you get an insight into Elvis’s home life and downtime.

Elvis’s Memphis

I’ll have what Elvis is having: Memphis diner

In the diner where he would come to eat his banana and peanut butter sandwiches.

And where he would leave his golf buggy outside.

There is still staff there who will say they met him and that they would exchange good wishes to each others’ families.

Where it began: In Sun Studio

You can visit to landmarks in Elvis’s life… Sun Studio where he cut That’s Alright Mamma, and Lansky Bros on Beale Street.

And they proudly proclaim they are Clothier to the King.

All of which you’ll see in its glory in the jumpsuit warehouse I’m happy to be stuck in.

Elvis’s legacy

We all will be received: In Graceland

Elvis Presley continues to bring colour to our lives 45 years after he died, aged only 42.

And you get stuck in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe.

I’ll take that, particularly if his music is on a reel, and I’m in great Graceland in magical Memphis.

 

America, Countries, Music

Get Mac with 80 years of Paul McCartney

Being a globetrotting superstar means you adopt fave destinations around the world, and so on the day that’s in it, we Get Mac with 80 years of Paul McCartney.

In My Life (and there will be a few of these) I’ve followed in a few of the Great Man’s footsteps.

So here’s Something Macca-related to add to the Rainy Days and Songdays catalogue from around the world.

Live and Let Liverpool

In my ears and in my eyes: Penny Lane

Liverpool: And back in my days in Liverpool in the Nineties, alas a dilapidated McCartney’s Bar sign was all that advertised that Paul had even been born here.

Liverpool City Centre is all Beatled up now to go alongside the Beatles Story at the Albert Dock and the Cavern Club.

Need a singer? The Cavern Club

And there are no shortage of Beatles coach tours to take you around Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and even Macca’s family home.

And passing the baton along, Holly Johnson’s brother takes the Magical Mystery Tour.

Hamburg on the run

Der Star: The Beatles in Hamburg

Hamburg: And Hamburg is the city where The Beatles became men.

And where Der Fab Four honed their skills with five-hour sets in the bierkellers.

Ja, and when they were leather jacket-clad Teds.

Let the ukulele-strumming Stefanie Hempel take you down Memory Strasse and give you a Beatles set in St Pauli.

Mist rolling into the sea

Mull of Kintyre: When Scotland claimed the Irish-Scouser as their own.

And Macca gave the kids a taste of Highlands life.

If it’s isolation you’re looking for then the peninsula in the west of Scotland is perfect.

And you can belt out the song yourself on Saddell Bay about seven miles from Macca’s old stead, High Park Farm.

Caribbeatle

I’m all right Jack: Macca with Jack Sparrow

Jamaica and the West Indies: And we immediately associate Macca with Jamaica because of James Bond and Live and Let Die.

And The Green Grotto Caves on the north side of the island.

Macca has become a great fan and supporter of the islands.

Even playing Jack Sparrow’s uncle in Pirates of the Caribbean.

And holidaying with Nancy in St Bart’s at the the Eden Rock Hotel (not shabby).

Sings over America

American girls? Macca’s type

USA: We know, of course, that Macca has a thing for American women (who hasn’t?)

And while we know too that Jo Jo left his home in Tucson, Arizona, Macca and Linda saw out her last days there on the family ranch.

McCartney and The Beatles, of course, wowed cities the length and breadth of the States including the Hollywood Bowl and Red Rocks.

They are probably most associated with Shea Stadium in New York.

Strumthing else: Macca on form

The site US Discover Music will give you a more definitive guide.

And so now we’ve travelled with Macca across the universe and just let it be.

And get the records out because we should all Get Mac with 80 years of Paul McCartney.

 

America, Countries, Europe, Music, UK

Five concerts to escape the Platinum Jubilee

And continuing our series, and because we’re not all pliant subjects, here are five music concerts to escape the Platinum Jubilee.

Queen’s domain

Ready, Freddie go: Freddie Mercury

Live Aid, 1985: And the generational music festival from Wembley, London, for the Ethiopian Famine Relief when Freddie Mercury and Queen stole the show.

From the moment Status Quo kicked off we were rockin’ all over the world.

While Prince, Lionel Ritchie, Madonna et al put Philadelphia on the pop mark.

Stardust in Woodstock

Hippy shake: Woodstock

Woodstock, 1969: Before all that Yasgur’s Farm in upstate New York broke the mould for music fests and climaxed the Sixties.

Joni Mitchell famously had to miss Woodstock because of the NY traffic but bequeathed her song for Matthews Southern Comfort.

You don’t have to… you can drown out the God Save the Queen’s with Jimi Hendrix’s electric version of the Stars and Stripes.

Up Pompeii

In the Pink: Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd at Pompeii: And the kings of stadium rock would never play at the local ground when Classical sites would do.

The ambient super group set the pattern at Pompeii for the rest, one we fully endorse.

Well, in best Travel fashion, we wish you were here.

Rocks in the Rockies

Red Rocks: Of course, the New World has its natural wonders too.

And Red Rocks hasn’t escaped the notice of rock’n’roll royalty.

With everyone from The Beatles through U2 to OneRepublic (in front of yours truly and a private audience) playing there in Denver.

Glasto blasto

Hello from me: Adele

Glastonbury: Now there have been many claimants to the crown of Queen of Glastonbury.

Beyoncé, the Queen Bey herself, Dolly Parton and the diva of divas Shirley Bassey.

Adele famously broke the record for f-bombing, cussing 33 times in her 90-minute sets.

Now that won’t happen at the Queen’s lovebomb.

Better then, sit back and watch these five… concerts to escape the Platinum Jubilee.

And like London buses there will be another couple of lists along over the next few days.

 

America, Music

E’er The Twain in Vegas

As she famously pronounced in her twist on the Robert Palmer video the best thing about bein’ a woman
Is the prerogative to have a little fun… yes, it was E’er The Twain in Vegas.
And we agree to about oh, oh, oh, going totally crazy, forget I’m a lady, men’s shirts, short skirts, oh, oh, oh. Yes, man I feel like a woman.
Vegas, of course, is a time vortex where you can forget who you are for a while and channel your inner fantasy.

Whip you into shape

What happens in Vegas: With Cami

Which is what Cami from Utah was doing down in Harrah’s off the strip in Neon City.
Party people by the bar on bachelor parties were having shooters poured down their throats by barmaids.
While up on stage a burlesque cross-dressing band, The Whip-Its, were whip-crackin’ away and belting out the best Seventies and Eighties covers.
And we say, yeah, bring it on.

Shania’s journey

Oh, oh, oh, oh: Shania still rocks

Shania Twain is, of course, the Queen of Country Pop, and the great thing about Country is that it never forgets its stars.
The Canadian went stratospheric in the Nineties but Lyme’s disease, the loss of her voice (can you imagine?) and a marriage-go-round saw her disappear for 15 years.
She returned a more critically-acclaimed and considered choice than in her heyday.
Vegas, of course, had never forgotten her, just like they never forgot Ringo Starr or Marie Osmond.
Or anyone who shone brightest before but now is happy to just glisten.

Still the One

And on a theme: Female empowerment

Our friends at Cassidy Travel know as well as anybody how we all like to get our glad rags on and party with the Vegas set.

And they are offering a week in Nevada with Shania (56, really?) as the highlight.Travel on August 30 and take in the Shania concert on September 2 at the Zappos Theatre.

And all for under €1,000 (€969pp) which will give you €31 to bet on the tables.

Although maybe not ask me for craps tips.

As my attempts at rolling the dice, a la Ocean’s Eleven, ended with the cubes going over the table.

Hooray for Harrah’s

Whip it up: With the Whip-Its

The rounds were declared void and I was bestowed the nickname Hannibal.

You should also drop into Harrah’s or any of the Off Strip party bars and shake your stuff.

Drop into Cassidy Travel today or contact them on 01 8779853 to see a real singing superstar.

It’s just the way Neon City does it. Twas ‘E’er The Twain in Vegas.

Cassidy and Shania… now that impresses me much.
America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Mayday Bravo

And whether you’re keeping the red flag flying here, celebrating the Internationale or just twirling around a maypole it’s Mayday Bravo today.

It was, of course, an Irishman, Jim Connell, who came up with the emotive words in 1889 to go with the tune O Tannenbaum.

He had been travelling by train, where you can do a lot of your thinking, in London.

So to mark May Day we’ll revive our Rainy Days and Songdays occasional series with these May Day tunes.

Way to go, Joe

Folk champion: Joan Baez

 

Joe Hill – Joan Baez: And this workers anthem relates to a union leader, framed on a murder charge and executed in Salt Lake City.

But the organiser stands for everyman and of course returns to the narrator in a dream.

And in typical American storytelling style it covers the geography of the whole country… from San Diego up to Maine.

Lennon doctrine

Comrade Lennon: And Jimmy in Prague

Working Class Hero – John Lennon: They were more Lennon than Lenin in Prague during Soviet rule.

When they would congregate at the Lennon wall to protest.

Lennon, the Working Class Hero from Liverpool, has influenced as many if not more around the world from Hamburg to New York and beyond.

Tennessee tunes

Music town: Memphis, Tennesse

Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford: This ditty of a song with the catchy refrain derives from Kentucky’s Merle Travis in 1947.

And the line ‘You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt” came from a letter written by Travis’s brother John.

We’ve taken Tennessee Ford’s 1955 version which hit the top of the Billboard charts and was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

The New Boss

Something to say: The Who

Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who: And the Cockney Four whose shows were as much about menace as music nail it here.

And they captured the working class fascination of the Mods in Quadrophenia in their odyssey to Brighton.

But it’s this anthem against The Man and its clarion call: ‘Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’

Lady Donna

Summer time: Donna Summer

She Works Hard For The Money – Donna Summer: Now you might not associate the Queen of Disco with a societal message.

But the New Yorker penned this after seeing a toilet attendant asleep on her shift at a post-Grammy event in West Hollywood.

And a reminder too for all that while music is replete with messages of working men, working women have had it just as bad and worse.

 

 

 

 

America, Countries, Europe, Music

Ladies Marmalade from America to here

Now I’m back home doin’ 9 to 5, livin’ the grey flannel life, but when I turn off to sleep, memories creep. More, more, more Ladies Marmalade from America to here.

I was a bit of a gitchie, gitchie, ya-ya, Dada myself in CityWalk’s Rising Star Karaoke Bar in Orlando.

When despite the acclamations of the MC that my rendition of the Patti Labelle classic was ‘how to do a chick’s song’…

I actually murdered it, while my hosts taped me for posterity.

Daddy Marmalade

All of which nostalgia came flooding back as I watched Daddy’s Little Girl nail Lady Marmalade with her dance troupe in Tranent in East Lothian in Scotland.

Lady Marmalade, of course, is a celebration of Creole and bordillo culture ‘in old New Orleans.’

Though it morphs into Moulin Rouge by the time Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera & Pink! got their hands on it.

I know it was for the film Moulin Rouge, but I hazard that Lady Marmalade would only ever have worked a sizzling city like Norleans.

Norleans

Now those of us who criss-cross the Oo Es of Eh to cover its travel fairs especially look forward to when it is Norleans‘ turn.

We still wait, and for the time being we make do by smiling at the pictures of our old pal and Travel legend JP Thompson.

As he decked himself head to toe in kitsch carnival clothes for a Bourbon Street parade.

Why then he took shy when calls went up for karaoke volunteers that night in Orlando we’re still interrogating him to this day.

Now we’re all living with Covid one of the staples of a party holiday, the karaoke is thankfully back.

Karaoke memories

Fab four: Terry, Bernard, Claire and Ray in Portugal

Our first was in the fun surroundings of Cabanas in the Algarve, Portugal (and we keep going back)

When ‘Leeds Ray’ and myself whip-cracked away into the theme from Raw Hide.

More Booze Brothers us than Blues Brothers.

Nor did either of these embarrassments put me off getting up again and again.

But with age has come experience and I lowered my range to channel my inner Chuck Berry.

And Memphis Tennessee on board MSC in the Norwegian fjords.

Our duet

Tag team: With The Scary One in the fjords

On none of these occasions has the Scary One joined me on the Mic.

Although I guess she might plump for Hit the Road, Jock.

Whatever your karaoke song of choice, whether Ladies Marmalade from America to here, enjoy.

 

Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, Music

Erect those Las Fallas in Valencia again

No, you mucky pups, this is not a phallic fest but rather it is time to Erect those Las Fallas in Valencia again.

Because Las Phallas are the flaws… and ours come in all shapes and sizes

As can be seen on the streets of Valencia in oversized satirical erections… of public figures.

That is apart from the last couple of years when Covid put it on hold.

Crida Credo

Fireworks: And Valencia goes wild

OK then, the Spanish fest all kicks off with the ‘Crida’ – the opening ceremony where the ‘Mayor of Falleras’ encourages citizens and visitors to enjoy the festival.

And it was declared an event of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2016, Las Fallas has returned.

There are traditional acts such as the mascleates (fireworks), late night parties, and art installations.

Where you’ll see around 800 monuments fill the streets from 15-19 March.

The origins of the fest are hundreds of years old.

That was when carpenters would burn old remains from their workshops every 19 March.

That coincides with the celebrations of San José, the patron saint of carpenters.

And this marked the end of winter and gave a warm welcome to spring.

So, if you’re in Valencia this week.

Or you’ve already enjoyed spectacle and fests as a whole then you’ll see this really does stand up as a magical fest get-away.

Gunpowder, music and art

Smiles better: Spain saves its kisses for you

One of the most spectacular acts of Las Fallas is the mascletà.

That’s Valèncian-style fireworks – daily at 2 pm until 19 March with a roar of gunpowder to shake off that sangria hangover.

In the evening, guests can visit the Turia Gardens for fireworks (and we love fireworks) at the castle. 

On the nights of 15-16 March, València begins the planta.

The erection of monuments in the streets where 800 works of art are spread across 400 locations in the city.

These fallas are classified into different categories according to their complexity, size and originality and the locals work on them all the year around.

The most spectacular are placed in the historic centre – Ciutat Vella – and the neighbourhoods of Ruzafa and Gran Vía.

Making a name: For Valencia

The best way to appreciate the monuments is with a guided tour.

And get a local to highlight the most spectacular sculptures and tell visitors the details and traditions of the festival. 

Like all the best fests there is an awards ceremony in which the Fallas artists collect prizes for their masterpieces.

As well la ofrenda – the offering – in which the city offers flowers to the Virgen de los Desamparados, the patron saint of València.

Festivalgoers dress in traditional attire, carry bouquets and walk the streets to the beat of local musicians.

The procession ends at the Plaza de la Virgen, where a giant image of the Patron Saint is installed and covered with flowers. 

La Cremà – the end and beginning 

Burning love: And a message from the sponsors

With the ‘Cremà’ comes the final act of the Fallas. On 19 March, the sculptures are set aflame in great bonfires that cover the city.

The process is carried out in a staggered way, starting at 8pm with smaller statues and 11pm with the larger ones and the winners. 

With the bonfires come the finale fireworks, which signal the end of Las Fallas.   

Events are free to attend and 2022 flights from £17 via SkyScanner

So Erect those Las Fallas in Valencia again.